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EDITOR'S PICK: MUST SEE - SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE SKETCH ABOUT HAGEL WHICH ADL COMPLAINS ABOUT-IS IT ANTISEMITIC?



Below readers  can see the Saturday Night Live sketch about Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearing at the Senate, a sketch that is very memorable to say the least. It has been s uploaded onto the internet.

The sketch culminates when a crotchety “Sen. John McCain” insists that Hagel answer a hypothetical question: would he agree to “go on national television and perform oral sex on a donkey” if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu determined it was vital to Israel’s security? When Hagel says no, McCain declares that he can’t vote to confirm him.

The Anti-Defamation League has raised concerns of antisemitism about the skit. Watch the sketch here:

 

 

The Winnipeg Jewish Review asked  Dr Catherine Chatterley, Founding director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, what she thought of the sketch. Chatterley replied:

"I have loved Saturday Night Live from its Gilda and Jane days.I must say that more than anything this satirical sketch demonstrates the security and confidence that American Jews enjoy in the United States today. This (relatively recent) feeling of security allows them to poke fun (hence the donkey) at their own government (particularly Republican members) for what some see as a blind devotion to Israel, largely among representatives who feel they must pander to evangelical Christians and other allies of Israel. Whether one thinks Jews in the United States should actually feel this secure is a good question but the fact that they do is very real. It is also true that if one has no understanding of satire, or the provocative silliness of SNL, one may see this as "evidence" of the lie that "the Jews" control the US government. Although it is hard to take this sketch very seriously--even the actors themselves are having trouble controlling their laughter--one thing is for certain: Chuck Hagel must prefer Jason Sudeikis's performance to his own in the senate confirmation hearings for his appointment of Defense Secretary.


"Far more frightening is the antisemitic commentary of people like Brother Nathaneal on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvIE-ZE6DB0  "

 

To read about the  Anti-Defamation League's concerns about the sketch,click:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/11/snl-lands-in-hot-water-with-anti-defamation-league-over-hagel-sketch.html

 

EDITOR'S COMMENT: I  didn't have concerns about antisemitism when I watched the sketch, which truthfully made me laugh. The sketch is written by Jews  who are no doubt supporters of the Democrats  and are making fun of Republicans. A humourous skit making fun of Hagel who has tried to fudge and backtrack over his comments also could easily be written, (but it wasn't by SNL). Having said that, I wonder how I would have felt if the sketch had not been written by Jews, but by non-Jews--it's possible it may have troubled me a little more.  

 
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Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.