Popular American TV satirist Jon Stewart has taken notice of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's attack on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, using it on "The Daily Show" Wednesday night to skewer what he presented as America's slavish attitude toward Israel.
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After chiding a Democratic congresswoman for standing up for Israel on the Iran sanctions bill as if Israel were a state in the union, Stewart turned to a "provocative" comment he attributed to Iranian president Hassan Rohani. He then read out Ya'alon's comment to Yedioth Ahronoth accusing Kerry of "misplaced obsession and messianic fervor," and of crafting a security plan that "is not worth the paper it's printed on."
Assuming a pose of mock outrage, Stewart thundered, "You can't talk smack about America and not get hit hard, Iran, that " He then paused as if he were getting a message through his headphones and explained apologetically that the provocative quote was not from Rohani, but from Ya'alon "talking about the Palestinian situation and his lack of interest in a two-state solution. That's my bad. That's our ally. We wouldn't want to offend them "
Ya'alon's statements earlier this week caused a major flap with Washington, with Ya'alon offering a tepid apology and Kerry saying he wouldn't let the comments derail his peace mission. However, an unnamed senior U.S. official has demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly reject the defense minister's statements, but no such rejection has been forthcoming, leaving an atmosphere of tension between Washington and Jerusalem.