Anonymous sources in the Israeli US Embassy don’t like what they see on television

Anonymous sources in the Israeli US Embassy don’t like what they see on television

by on May 1, 2013


Ynet has an oddly anonymously-sourced story on a trend the Israeli embassy in Washington has noticed in American popular culture – Israel and the Israel lobby are increasingly portrayed as the bad guy. From YNet:

Popular American television shows are presenting Israel in a highly critical manner, sources in Israeli Embassy in Washington say, expressing their concern that the negative characterization will badly affect the Jewish state’s image among viewers.

One of the recent episodes of HBO comedy series “Veep,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, focused on the Middle East conflict: The US vice president’s daughter, a college student who has a boyfriend of Iranian descent, slams Israel in an essay based on Oscar-nominated film “5 Broken Cameras.”

The article undermines the relationship between the White House and the Jewish lobby, forcing the vice president to schedule a damage control interview. But the setting is quite unhelpful: She is seen discussing the friendship between America and the Jewish state with a pig roast in the background.

An episode in American political drama series “House of Cards” is also said to have presented Israel in a critical manner: In order to thwart the president’s choice for secretary of state, Representative Francis Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) uses an editorial published by the candidate 30 years earlier in his college student newspaper, in which he criticized Israel’s “illegal occupation” of Palestinian land.

We wrote about House of Cards here. I haven’t seen the Veep episode, but it sounds good. Here’s the recap from HBO:

Mike learns that an essay Catherine wrote for a film class leaked to the blogosphere. It praises the “masterly portrayal of brutal Israeli aggression” in Emad Burnat’s “Five Broken Cameras” about nonviolent Palestinian resistance to Israeli settlement of the West Bank. Back in DC, Amy and Dan scramble to get out “the Gettysburg Address of tightrope-walking say-nothing bull****.”

Kent, concerned about the combination of family strife and the Middle East, orders Jonah to get Catherine to apologize. Selina gets her daughter on FaceTime and tries to sweet talk her into apologizing, but the conversation sours when she spots Rahim, Catherine’s Iranian boyfriend, in the background. Catherine accuses her of having a problem with his nationality and then hangs up, refusing to apologize for the essay. Selina orders Mike to get on a chopper and bring Catherine back to the air base, along with some towels: she may need to “daughterboard” her.

Later, Kent sees Selina on TV voicing solidarity with the Jewish people in front of rotating pork. He calls on Mike to “de-pork the visual,” but since he’s at the air base with Catherine, he’s forced to call on Jonah for assistance. Jonah works “security detail” by bending over and blocking the pig behind her. . .

At the air base, Selina argues with Catherine about apologizing for the essay. She tells her it could cost her the pro-Israel contingency and subsequently Florida’s 29 electoral votes in two years, and then “mommy’s out of a job.” Cathefrine agrees to apologize if Selina lets her spend part of Thanksgiving break with Rahim.

Unnamed Israelis don’t like it. The takeaway from Ynet:

“These series present Israel as a country which one should be very careful not to offend, and that anyone daring to criticize it is reprimanded by the Jewish lobby,” a senior state official says. “This justifies all conspiracy theories about the Israeli and Jewish control of American politics.”


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