So what does Ben Affleck have that Jeremy Ben-Ami does not?


Okay, the question is rhetorical. Please do not post "a past with Gwyneth Paltrow"-type replies.

But still: Israeli ambassador Michael Oren has Affleck fly over all the way from Los Angeles just to light the fourth night candle on the menorah chez-Orens last night — yet he can’t afford the taxi fare for a pow-wow with J Street?

I’d better elaborate.

Affleck, like Ben-Ami and J Street, had major issues with Israel’s conduct during last winter’s Gaza war. From the Washington Post during inaugural festivities:

At the Google party, the hot ticket of the final night, Ben Affleck, who became usual suspect No. 1 on the inauguration party scene, was engaged in rigorous conversation with a few of Washington’s wonkiest wonks (including liberal journalist David Corn and Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation).

Affleck was railing about the Israeli invasion of Gaza. And, thanks to his special access, he said he has already registered his concerns with the highest echelons of the Obama administration. He said he gave White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel an earful about Israel at a private dinner the night before.

It pays to have an agent who is the brother of the new White House chief of staff. Affleck’s agent is Ari Emanuel, the model for obnoxious Hollywood super agent Ari Gold in the hit HBO show "Entourage.

So, um, what’s Ben doing remembering "those days, that time" with Oren and White House Jewish liaison Susan Sher below?


(Note, before we continue: Ben clearly wants to be holding a shamas. So, where’s the staffer making sure he does? He’s a celebrity, folks! He does not pick around in the box for the one that isn’t bent!)

In any case, the press release (in Hebrew) alludes to Oren’s reasons for reaching out to Affleck:

Affleck was very much interested in the peace process, the Iranian question and other topics of interest.


Since assuming his role, the ambassador has made his home known as a meeting place for key figures in Washington, in the government, and further afield. Tomorrow, the president is due to participate in the lighting of the menorah alongside President Obama …

The ellipsis is not mine, it’s in the Hebrew text. As in, "Get it? We like Obama. We like Hollywood liberals. We like Ben Affleck."

All fine and good, but J Street’s criticism of the Gaza War is cited by Israeli officials as reason one for Oren’s ostracism of the group.

So what gives? The embassy has three days to make nice. After all it is the season of forgiveness — oh wait. That’s the other holiday. For us, this is the season to kill apostates. So maybe not.

Seriously, the embassy, waxing a bit cute, headlines this photo "Ben Bayit," a play on "Feel right at home." What about a little Shlom Bayit?

Otherwise, Jeremy: Get on the phone. Gwyneth awaits your call.

Just don’t name the firtst-born tapuah.

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