Tag Archives: Golda Meir

Yasser Arafat deserves wax museum spot as much as the Penguin or the Riddler

Does Yasser Arafat deserve to be evicted from Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum?

Does Yasser Arafat deserve to be evicted from Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum?

THREATENED BY WAX?
By Darren Garnick
The Jerusalem Report

Originally published: May 26, 2001
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Does Yasser Arafat make good company for Barbra Streisand, John Travolta and the Dalai Lama? The new Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Times Square says he does, and it is not melting under pressure to remove the Palestinian figure from their world leaders room.

Remarkably, a wax statue eviction notice is being backed by 50 members of the New York state legislature. Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), an Orthodox Jew, shockingly asserts that Arafat’s image does not evoke pro-Jewish sentiments – and thus, does not belong in the most Jewish city (population wise) on earth. Furthermore, reveals Hikind, Arafat is a “terrorist,” an occupation that makes him a very bad man.

I went to go visit Yasser the weekend after Hikind and his supporters picketed Madame Tussaud’s, urging Gov. George Pataki to cancel a $100,000-a-plate Republican Party fundraiser scheduled for June 14. Pataki also branded Arafat a “killer,” and a “terrorist,” promising he’d raise the money with non-terrorist wax figures instead.

Before I got to the world leaders room, I tried to put myself in Assemblyman Hikind’s shoes. Who else should be yanked from this museum for dissing the Jews? Richard Nixon would never have worn a kippah and spun a dreidel in the White House like Bill Clinton did. Listen to his tapes, Dov, he used the word “Jew” like the “F-word.” (Ironically, the wax Nixon has to stare at Jew Mark Spitz and his seven gold medals).

Henry Ford wasn’t a great guy either, practically having offered complimentary copies of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” with every purchase of a Model-T. Give Elton John the boot, too. Remember his 1993 hissy fit when he canceled (and later rescheduled) a Tel Aviv concert because he didn’t like the security goons at Ben Gurion Airport?

Personally, I’ve never been a big Arafat fan. I think Benny Begin got it right when he said, “A snake in a coat and tie is still just a well dressed snake.” Arafat never wears Armani, however. He is like Charlie Brown, wearing the same clothes every day. Olive green shirt. Olive green pants. Khaffia folded in the shape of Palestine. Trusty gun in his holster. Arafat’s career goals may be a mystery, but his wardrobe is not.

Encountering Arafat “in person” is empowering to any pro-Zionist museum visitor. Most striking is how tiny and frail this scraggly weasel really is. Forget Ariel the Bulldozer, even skinny Shimon Peres could make some convincing points with his fists. But alas, the Middle East conflict cannot be resolved like the Cold War was in “Rocky IV.”

In the world leaders room, Arafat is surrounded by Gandhi, Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Mikhail Gorbachev and Golda Meir. It’s a good mix. For pure historical drama, Madame Tussaud’s needs good guys and bad guys. Featuring Golda without her old PLO nemesis is like watching Batman without the Penguin or the Riddler. In my world view, Israel is Batman, and Arafat’s been the bad guy for way too many episodes.

As for “glorifying” Arafat, pro-Israel forces need not worry. He’s generating far less camera flashes than supermodel Elle McPherson or transvestite RuPaul. Then again, not too many tourists want their pictures taken with Golda Meir, either.

RELATED LINKS
Culture Schlock Story: “Yanking Yasser: Evicting wax Arafat is a slippery museum slope.”

BostonHerald.com“Shedding no tears over the wax Hitler beheading.”

Schlock Blog: “The Hezbollah Children’s Museum: A Cross-Cultural Study”

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Filed under Asinine Mideast Analogies, Darren's Archive Vault, Elton John's Hissy Fit, Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem Report Flashback, Middle East, Uncategorized, Yasser Arafat wax statues

Election 2008: How many Jewish best friends do you have?

Barack Obama once was tucked in at night by a Jewish camp counselor.

Hillary Clinton has a deceased Jewish aunt (not to be confused with Halle Barry’s Jewish cousin).

John McCain has a Jewish best friend — a real regular Joe.

My first Cub Scout Den Mother — who honestly deserved to be named Den Mother of the Year — was African-American. My favorite pizza place is run by Greek immigrants. Neither one of those facts qualifies me to be the keynote speaker for the NAACP or earns me automatic membership in the fraternity house of my choice.

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart recently mocked the obsequious behavior of presidential candidates attending the national AIPAC conference, charging that they were all afraid to even remotely criticize Israel. The reality is that pandering is at the core of all politics.

Consider how much impact a few Spanish catch phrases had on the Hispanic vote for President Bush. Or how carefully John McCain chooses his words when talking about illegal immigration.

Personally, I recoiled at Stewart’s hokey Eastern European Jewish grandma accent, fearing the comedian might be morphing into the intolerable Jackie Mason.* But as I make the case on the Ha’Aretz Ed-Op page, The Daily Show does a stellar job in ridiculing the patronizing nature of ethnic politics in general.

After showing the audience a clip of Republican nominee John McCain not just bragging about visiting Jerusalem — but gallivanting around the Holy City with U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman — Stewart snaps: “When you go to Israel, you don’t need to bring your own Jew! There’s a wide variety of Jews there.”

He goes on to call Israel, a “Whitman’s Sampler of Jews.”


* Some mean people in the comments section of Ha’aretz said some very mean things about me. Including attacking me for the sin of not being famous — at least not famous enough to criticize Jon Stewart’s accent with any authority.

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Filed under Barack Obama, politics