Legendary actor and internet meme machine Chuck Norris has cut a video endorsing the reelection of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The national election in Israel takes place tomorrow, and polling suggests that Netanyahu's center-right Likud party is currently trailing the left-wing Zionist Union. Although most Israeli votes apparently prefer "Bibi" Netanyahu as prime minister over his main rival, Yitzhak Herzog, Netanyahu's party must win enough seats in Israel's extremely fragmented parliament for him to continue in the top job. There is no direct voting for prime minister. "Although Netanyahu is favored on security issues, voters prefer Herzog on domestic concerns, such as the high cost of living, which is resonating as a top issue in this election," USA Today noted.
The seemingly ageless Norris, a lifelong martial artist, turned 75 on March 11.
In the video containing a robust endorsement of Netanyahu's leadership qualities, Norris explains that he has a lot of friends in Israel (which he called an "incredible" country), having made three movies there, including Delta Force. He then references Netanyahu's Washington address delivered on March 3.
"I watched Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech before Congress, and I saw a man who loves his country with all his heart and soul. I also saw a strong leader that is absolutely crucial for the safety of the Israeli people... 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. You see, we the American people need Prime Minister Netanyahu as much as you do. Weak leadership can destroy your country and then the evil forces can concentrate on America, too."The Walker, Texas Ranger star is not the only Hollywood icon that has expressed support for the incumbent prime minister. Academy Award winner Jon Voight also made a video in which he said in part, "I love Israel. 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 upcoming election..." Voight also compared Netanyahu's opponent to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who gave away the store to Hitler in 1938.
Reports have recently surfaced that Obama campaign operatives are on the ground in Israel trying to unseat Netanyahu, who has a contentious relationship with the president, and foreign money is pouring in to the country with the same goal.Given that the election is considered too close to call at this point, it may be weeks before it becomes clear who will become country's leader. "There are 25 lists contesting the polls but under Israel's complex electoral system, the task of forming a new government does not automatically fall to the party that wins the largest number of votes. The winner will be the one who can succeed in cobbling together a coalition commanding a parliamentary majority of at least 61 seats," I24 News explained.
Celebrity endorsements of political candidates here in the U.S. have a very mixed history, at best. Do you think that the Chuck Norris "Please vote for Prime Minister Netanyahu" video will have any affect on the Israeli electorate?
[image via YouTube]