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CONGRESS CATCHES BIBI FEVER

CONCERT REVIEW (SatireWire.com) – As conservative Florida Congressman Allen West jostled toward his seat in the packed House, the excitement on his face was visible. So was the word “Bibi,” which he had scrawled across his forehead, in hot pink lipstick, with little hearts dotting the i’s.

What Bibi looked like to Bibelievers

“This is the absolutely, totally, most biggest day of my life,” exclaimed West, pressing his hands to his ears to keep his head from exploding. “My challengers back home are going to be so jealous they could just die.”

Within moments, the Sergeant-at-Arms’ voice broke through the rising shrill: “Ladies and gentleman, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu!”

Yes, “Bibi Fever” had arrived in the nation’s capital.

What is Bibi Fever? Take Obamamania at its height, multiply it by Reagan worship, and add the political thrill associated with being seen as a staunch “Friend of Israel.” Throw in 26 standing ovations, continual girlish shouts of “Will you endorse me?”, placards reading “Israel is my daddy!” and you get some sense of the scene Tuesday at a joint session of Congress before a sold-out (but never-sell-Israel-out), crowd of Bibi-adoring legislators.

Congressmen Peter King (left) and Anthony Weiner argue over who's the bigger Bibi fan.

Smartly navigating both sides of the aisle, the 62-year-old Jewish-vote heartthrob began the hour-long set with the political equivalent of “What up, US!” shout-outs, in this case the up-tempo favorites: “Israel Has No Better Friend Than America” and, “America has No Better Friend than Israel.” The crowd ate it up, some mouthing the words back as Bibi belted them out. When the populist icon then launched into a full-throated rendition of, “You Got bin Laden. Good Riddance!” the front rows were reduced to quivering devotion.

While Bibi may not be a hit everywhere – his heartfelt “Jerusalem Must Never Again Be Divided” isn’t popular in Gaza, while the poignant “Tehran Brutalizes Its Own People” is banned in Iran – no one can argue his distinct voice is a studio trick. Bibi tackled melismatic recitations, heavy Knesset head-banging, and melodious, falafel-house acoustic pleas without so much as straining his considerable conservative credentials.

Equally playful and lovestruck, he swung between doe-eyed confessions (“Settlement Concessions Are Not Easy for Me”) and tales of crushes gone awry (“The Palestinians Have Twice Refused Our Generous Offers to Establish a Palestinian State”). When he followed that with, “In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish People Are Not Foreign Occupiers,” congressmen and women formed their hands into Star-of-David shapes and held them aloft in support.

The crowd goes crazy for "Jerusalem Must Never Be Divided."

Netanyahu finished his set with an old standard, “May God Forever Bless the United States of America.” The crowd rose to its feet yet again. House Speaker John Boehner solicited an encore, asking “Do you want more? Then make some noise!

But like any good entertainer, Bibi left them wanting more. He waved to the cheering chamber and left the panty-littered stage, the resonant cries of “Come to me, come to me!” still ringing in his ears.

Outside on the Capitol steps, the sweaty, buzzing scuttle of senators and representatives with “BN” face-paint fiercely texted friends and tweeted to constituents. In the words of one flushed-faced Congressman still on the edge of tears as he climbed into his waiting limousine: “That. Was. So. Good.”

Copyright © 2011, SatireWire

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