Stephen Colbert refused to take President Barack Obama’s impending first trip to Israel at face value.
“So now Obama thinks he can wipe out his shameful record of never visiting Israel by visiting Israel,” Colbert scoffed on Tuesday. “It is a shonda. Do not fall for it, my chosen bretheren. (Read more…) My ‘Hebros.’ He doesn’t get you.”
Obama, Colbert said, could never relate to a divided state becoming increasingly subject to the whims of a small, hard-right minority. As proof, he cited the U.S. “decreasing” aid packages to Israel from $2.3 billion a year to $3.1 billion.
“I know it looks like it’s going up,” Colbert assured his audience. “But remember, in Hebrew, you read the chart from right to left.”
The president’s appointment of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) — heavily criticized for saying “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in 2006 — as the new U.S. defense secretary didn’t help matters, Colbert explained.
“Clearly, this man does not understand that when it comes to Israel, there are certain things you can’t say,” he said of Hagel. “For instance, implying that there are certain things you can’t say. Which there aren’t. You can say anything you want about Israel, which I would, if there was anything to say, but there isn’t, so there’s nothing to be said. And how dare Hagel say it.”
Colbert also wasn’t impressed by reports Obama would be awarded the Israeli Presidential Medal of Distinction during his visit. The honor will make Obama the first U.S. president to receive the honor during his term, for “a unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens.”
“It’s not that great, once you eat the chocolate,” Colbert said dismissively.
And while Israeli President Shimon Peres is likely to be all smiles in giving Obama the country’s highest honor, Colbert also pointed out that the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was a vocal supporter of Obama’s Republican challenger in the last election, Mitt Romney.
“That might make Obama’s trip a little achh-ward,” Colbert said.
Watch Colbert’s take on Obama’s impending trip to Israel, aired Tuesday on Comedy Central, below.