Last month former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was honored with the first annual Genesis Prize, which has been dubbed "the Jewish Nobel Prize."
The prize included one million dollars, which Bloomberg donated to a global competition with 10 prizes of $100,000 available to entrepreneurs ages 20 to 36 with big ideas based on Jewish values, to better the world.
Comedian Jay Leno, visiting Israel for the first time, was the host of the award ceremony, and delivered a nine minute monologue that skewered politicians in the USA and in Israel, sparing no one.
As David Caspi wrote in The Hollywood Reporter,
Leno's mostly political quips included references to ongoing media reports about the tenuous relationship between President Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reminding the audience that May is Jewish American Heritage Month in the U.S., with Obama "calling it an opportunity to renew our ‘unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel.’ And he knows it’s unbreakable, because he’s been trying to break it for the last five years.”Enjoy!
Leno also joked about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s role in trying to broker peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in recent months, explaining he did some research ahead of his visit: “According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, here in Israel the most popular boys name is Noam. Noam is the most popular boy’s name in the country. The least popular boy's name? John Kerry.”
Leno also familiarized himself with local indicted headline makers for his monologue, taking shots at former Israeli president Moshe Katsav, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence for rape, indecent acts, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice, saying “Israel had some great leaders: David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin. People were really touched by them. Well, of course, not as many people as were touched by former President Katsav.”
A more recent aim was former prime minister Ehud Olmert, sentenced earlier this month to six years in prison on two counts of bribery. “You guys are tough,” quipped Leno. “You sentenced your former prime minister to six years in prison -- did you hear Olmert’s defense? Not the best strategy. He blamed the whole thing on the Jews.”
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