Political rivals of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may as well call it quits: After the gushing endorsement the prime minister received Thursday from 80s action star Chuck Norris, there is no way he can lose.
“Shalom, this is Chuck Norris. With the elections just days away, Israel has an important decision to make, so let me tell you what Chuck would do,” the star, a well-known supporter of the American right, says in a video posted on YouTube.
“You might think I’m a tough guy in my films, but in a rough neighborhood like the Middle East, Israel has his own tough guy. His name is Bibi Netanyahu,” Norris said, using the prime minister’s nickname. The video shows a picture of a young Netanyahu, who served in the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal, armed and dressed in full combat gear, looking at least as capable as Norris himself at kicking serious terrorist butt.
“Bibi brought the pressing issue of Israel’s security to the world, speaking loudly and clearly to the United Nations and in Congress, bringing the world together to put sanctions on Iran,” says Norris. “He has raised a wall along the whole southern border of Israel, stopped the missiles from raining on Israel, and showed Hamas they will not be tolerated. He also made the bravest decision in securing the release of Gilad Shalit. So vote for Benjamin Netanyahu, because a strong prime minister is a strong Israel.”
In his long film career, Norris has made several films involving Israel and produced by Israeli duo Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, including the 1994 movie “Hellbound,” which was filmed and took place in Israel.
During a trip to the US in September, Likud hawk Danny Danon met with the actor, martial arts master and Israel-supporter and suggested that the man whose strength and indomitability have spawned 200 million exaggerated stories (and there’s another one) come visit. According to the newspaper Israel Hayom, Norris told Danon that he was currently filming in the US, but that he would be glad to visit as soon as he wraps it up.
According to Norris lore, the actor can cut through a hot knife with butter, stop eating Pringles any time he wants, slam a revolving door, and win Connect Four in three. He is also the holder of all Guinness World Records. Oh, and he has counted to infinity. Twice.
More pertinently, according to the Chuck Norris Facts website, Chuck Norris is the reason terrorists hide in caves.
Norris’s endorsement comes just days after that of US right-wing supporter, billionaire and television personality Donald Trump, who said in a video that Netanyahu is a “terrific guy, terrific leader. Great for Israel.”
Both of the videos were funded and produced by JDPR, an Israeli public relations firm owned by Jonny Daniels, an immigrant from England who has also worked with Danon.
The videos play up the Likud’s own campaign message: “A strong prime minister, a strong Israel.”
Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report