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We Fed Photos of Jewish Celebrities Into That Google Arts App. You Won’t Believe What Happened Next.

See Alan Dershowitz’s anti-Semitic brother, Natalie Portman as a dude, and a very surprising presidential cameo from Larry David.

Liel Leibovitz
January 17, 2018
Wikimedia Commons
Head of a Youth, Théodore Géricault, circa 1821-24.Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Head of a Youth, Théodore Géricault, circa 1821-24.Wikimedia Commons

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen, by now, these infernal images of people’s selfies compared to great portraits hanging in the world’s finest galleries, courtesy of a Google app that intends to amuse you for a moment while collecting more personal data you should probably not give to any corporation. So while we don’t advocate any further surrender to ABC, or the First Order, or whatever the search giant’s parent company is calling itself these days, that’s no reason not to have a bit of good, clean fun.

Having not matured much since junior high, I wondered: What are the art doppelgängers of our contemporary Jewish celebrities?

Alan Dershowitz, apparently, is a dead ringer for Henry James, which is a bit awkward, considering that the great author had no qualms about writing lines like these: “There were thousands of little chairs and almost as many little Jews; and there was music in an open rotunda, over which the little Jews wagged their big noses.”

Ivanka Trump was matched with a painting titled “The Optical Viewer,” which is not a bad Secret Service codename for the first daughter.

Jared Kushner matched up with a portrait of a Russian dude. Collusion? You decide.

Rachel Bloom was matched with Woman With Plumed Hat, which seems like the sort of thing that would make Rachel Bloom very happy.

And Natalie Portman? Head of a Youth. A Male Youth. Tell that to virtually every Jewish nerdy boy in America.

Benjamin Netanyahu? More like Richard Achilles Ballinger, a former U.S. Secretary of the Interior whose political career was mired by scandal.

And finally—could it be any different?—Larry David, or President Harry S. Truman. One of them recognized the State of Israel immediately after it declared its independence, which was pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.

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