Memoirs about American Jews becoming Israelis love to play the incredulous-Israeli card. You’re moving where? To the Middle East? Are you insane?
Greg Levey’s U.N. memoir did it. And now comedian Joel Chasnoff, in "The 188th Crybaby Brigade," has gone there too.
Chasnoff is exactly the right guy to conduct the American reader on a tour of Israel. Raised in the suburbs as a Conservative Jew, he reminds us that buying Israel bonds and picking up a Glilon assault rifle are quite different ways of supporting the Jewish state. “When I told my father I wanted to join the Israeli army, he slammed both hands on the table and yelled, ‘What?’ ” writes Chasnoff. “From across the table, my father glared at me like I’d just announced that I was Republican. And Muslim. And gay.”
Chasnoff’s Israeli girlfriend was even less enthusiastic: “Real Israelis are animals,” she warned him. “They’ll eat you alive.” And the immigration officer at the Israeli consulate in New York asked: “Are you out of your goddamn mind?”
Here’s the trailer from the book (yes, books have trailers these days.