Jeet Heer writes: When your back is against the wall, you need a hero. So it is not surprising that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, flailing in a hard-found election, has turned to Chuck Norris, martial arts master and star of films like Delta Force and the TV series “Walker, Texas Ranger.” Norris cut an ad urging Israelis to vote Tuesday for Netanyahu’s Likud Party, saying, “You have an incredible country, and we want to keep it that way. That’s why it is so important that you keep a leader who has the courage and vision to stand up against the evil forces that are threatening not only Israel but also the United States.”
Norris isn’t the only formerly prominent American actor backing Bibi. Jon Voight, from classics such as Midnight Cowboy and Deliverance, also made a pro-Netanyahu ad, where he made the case for ignoring the rift between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu. “I love Israel,” Voight said. “I want to see Israel survive and not be overtaken by the madmen of this world. President Obama does not love Israel. His whole agenda is to control Israel, and this way, he can be friends with all of Israel’s enemies. He doesn’t want Bibi Netanyahu to win this election.”
The intervention of Hollywood C-listers in the Israeli election might seem comic, but Netanyahu’s turn toward these washed-up stars speaks to something larger: that Bibi is a profoundly Americanized politician, one more comfortable in the United States than in the country he leads.
In fact, Netanyahu is the most Americanized prime minister that Israel has ever seen. [Continue reading…]