Israelis laugh about Iran nukes, government threat

March 17, 2012

By TIA GOLDENBERG, Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — The threat of Iranian nuclear weapons and a possible Israeli military strike are not the usual ingredients of comedy.

But Israelis are responding to the heated rhetoric and dire warnings with comic skits and Daffy Duck — gallows humor in the face of what their leaders say is a real danger.

Israel has been warning that Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, despite Iranian denials. Israel believes this threatens the existence of the Jewish state, given Iran’s parallel missile development and frequent references by its leaders to the destruction of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hints at Israeli military action against Iran to stop its nuclear program if international sanctions fail. That, in turn, would likely set off Iranian retaliation and devastating barrages of thousands of rockets and missiles from hostile Iran proxies — Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

It’s no laughing matter, but that hasn’t stopped Israel’s premier satirical TV show from taking it on.

Eretz Nehederet (A Wonderful Country) recently showed a skit with two women at a restaurant.

“You’ve started working out again?” says one, biting into a juicy hamburger. “Of course, winter’s almost over and I don’t want to get to the beach double my size,” her friend responds. The first woman asks: “What beach? That thing with Iran is happening this summer.” Realizing the futility of a diet when the end is so near, the friend devours the burger.

Other TV comedy shows are also awash with Iran jokes. Comedians on a recent episode of “State of the Nation” declared that Israel won’t mount an airstrike because fuel prices for the fighter planes are too high.

A Facebook group is calling for Netanyahu not to start a war until after Madonna performs in Israel in May.

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