You know the situation is getting desperate when the Israeli President is asking Jason Alexander for a pep-talk.
The Israelis and Palestinians have a couple issues with each other — and that’s putting it about as mildly as humanly possible. Ever since the establishment of Israel as a country in 1948 they’ve been going at it like cats and dogs, only with guns, bombs and a relatively insatiable murderous rage. The holy war between the feuding neighbors has reportedly led to over 14,000 casualties over the past 62 years. Every attempt at peace over the years has been thwarted, and currently the two parties are still far from agreeing on the proposed “two-state solution.”
So who does Israel turn to when all hope is lost? Whose advice do they seek after decades of failed attempts at finding peace? None other than an American treasure, a beacon of hope, an ambassador of togetherness — Jason Alexander. Or as the Jerusalem Post refers to him, “stage and screen star Jason Alexander – born Jay Scott Greenspan – and best known to Israelis as the obnoxious George Costanza in the “Seinfeld” television sitcom series.”
The obnoxious one himself met with Israeli President Shimon Peres as a part of a delegation from the group One Voice, who “work closely with Israelis and Palestinians in the hope of bridging differences and boosting commonalities.”
During Alexander’s conversation with President Peres, the Israeli leader hilariously requested permission to refer to Seinfeld star as his former character’s name, George — a character he has obviously tried and struggled to escape from. Alexander laughed and responded, “You can, but they can’t” in reference to the rest of the room, which slightly hinted as his displeasure with the request.
The Israeli President went on to solicit Mr. Costanza’s advice on what actions to take towards an Israeli-and-Palestinian peace agreement and his views on the two-state solution.
“One land with two ideologies – it’s very difficult,” said Alexander, “but the best advice is not to give up. There’s been so much disappointment, but there are so many wonderful people on both sides.”
Alexander advocated doing more to engage the moderates on both sides. “There are some extraordinary things being done,” he said as he heaped accolades on One Voice. “Every little success can be capitalized on.”
Getting back to Seinfeld, Peres commented that what he’d loved about the series was that it conveyed serious messages in a humorous manner, which in his view was quite convincing. He was curious whether humor could play a part in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I wish humor could do the job,” said Alexander. “Of course you can’t involve Jews without a good sense of humor, but the problem is you always hurt someone. When there is a situation with so many feelings involved (as in the conflict), he explained, “You can’t tell what people are sensitive about.”
If Jewish humor could solve ideological conflicts, Mel Brooks would have single-handedly accomplished world peace. Nevertheless it’s nice to see Jason Alexander — hair plugs and all — doing his part.
Now on a side note, as most Americans know, Jason Alexander is extremely different than the neurotic, pessimistic and lovably obnoxious character of George Costanza. However the Jerusalem Post seemed to be a tad surprised, observing that “the affable Alexander in real life is nothing like the pained and painful Costanza.”
Imagine if Larry David paid the motherland a visit?