Comedian | Professor | Writer
(& Smartest) Arab
A few weeks ago, I returned from a month-long trip in Palestine, where I performed some comedy shows, ate too much hummus (yes, that’s possible), and witnessed the general ridiculousness of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As it turns out, however, I was not the famous American in the region at the time. Sarah Palin was also visiting the Holy Land. I’m not sure whether she was there to see me or to see Jesus, but either way, we Arabs love visitors.
But she wasn’t there for us. I’m sure many of you saw the photos of her touring around Jerusalem with her Israeli tour guides, wearing a Star of David on her necklace, visiting the Temple Mount, and talking about how much she loves Israel. And I’m also sure you all remember how she drove up the checkpoint to enter Bethlehem, only to abruptly turn around right before entering the Palestinian-controlled area. What a tease!
I would not normally pick on Sarah Palin too much. She rarely crosses my radar. But her visit to Israel reminded me of some things she has said in the past. It is no secret that supporters of Israel in America are trained with talking points, and they use them incessantly.
Palin once had the following exchange with Barbara Walters:
Palin: I believe the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon… and I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.
Walters: Even if it’s Palestinian areas?
Palin: I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to expand.
And the following conversation with Charlie Gibson:
Gibson: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?
Palin: I don’t think we should second-guess the measures Israel has to take to defend itself and for their security.
Gibson: So if we wouldn’t second-guess and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would be cooperative or agree with that?
Palin: I don’t think we can second-guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.
Gibson: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need, to defend itself, by taking out an Iranian nuclear facility, that would be all right?
Palin: We cannot second-guess the steps Israel has to take to defend itself.
I’m not exactly sure how the Israel lobby trains it spokespeople. I’m not allowed in the meetings. But I guess it goes something like, "Just say the same thing 3 times in a row, no matter what the question is… works every time." Even Sarah Palin can remember a simple rule like that. I understand the strategy. When you’re uttering complete bullshit, it’s important to stay on point.
It works like this:
Wife: "Did you forget our anniversary?"
Husband: "I love you honey."
Wife: "How could you forget?"
Husband: "Baby, I love you so much…"
Wife: "I could just kill you!"
Husband: "I love you more than anything."
Wife: "Awww, I love you too."
Now, Sarah Palin is rarely worthy of much intellectual conversation, so I’ll do my best to avoid any. But I can at least say, "Sarah, stick to guns, abortion, and hockey… leave Palestine and Israel to me." Now I know she’s running for president, and everyone knows that during a presidential campaign, Israel suddenly becomes the 51st state, with candidates scrambling to campaign there. I can handle Sarah Palin when she talks about everything else. But when she starts talking about me, I start to get pissed off.
In all seriousness, I thought she was the super-Christian. For all her talk about Jesus, it’s weird that a few Arabs would scare her off from visiting his crib. Seriously, Sarah, there’s nothing to be scared of. We Palestinians love white women, and we’re used to seeing them with guns pointed at us. You would have felt right at home.
But I’ll tell you this, Sarah. As a Palestinian, I can sleep well each and every night, because I know if Jesus were around today, he’d be on my side. And he’d be my cousin too. Yeah, that’s right.
Jesus is my cousin.
Jesus is my cousin.
Jesus is my cousin.