sopranos spoof 298.
(photo credit: AP, Israel Prisons Service)
Prime Minister Tony Soprano Monday introduced senior members of his cabinet at a press conference at the President's Residence in Jerusalem in his first appearance since his stunning election victory.
"Dese folks are da best youse kind could ask faw," said the reputed New Jersey crime boss, who added that his surprise showing at the polls was simply a reflection of his party's "making da people an offer dey couldn't refuse."
Soprano's Knufia Party took 85 seats in the election after it was given special dispensation to participate after several other parties, including the frontrunner Kadima, the Likud, and Labor all suddenly dropped out of the election two weeks before it was to be held.
Spokesmen for those parties have been unavailable for comment, and calls made to the offices of former acting prime minister Ehud Olmert, Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu and Labor leader Amir Peretz have gone unanswered.
Asked what had led the three leading parties to drop out of the race so abruptly, Soprano's choice as foreign minister, former Likud MK Inbal Gavrieli said: "Easy. We made it worth their while."
Election Committee officials allowed the new party to participate after it became clear the public was simply bored with the three parties.
"We sensed an opening," explained Gavrieli. "Even Sefi Rivlin's show was getting higher ratings than the campaign ads. They rocked the people to sleep, and my dad, er, advisers put me in touch with Mr. Soprano."
Soprano refused to comment on reports that his new finance minister might be Ze'ev Rosenstein, who was sprung from his US prison shortly after Knufia's victory in exchange for the plans of the Teheran sewer system. The prime minister said the deal for Rosenstein's release was secured through "certain pictures we had of that Cheney guy going duck hunting."
The prime minister downplayed criticism from Shinui, who called Knufia's awarding of amulets with crime boss Carlos Gambino's image on them and shares in New Jersey beachfront construction projects to each voter "corrupt," saying: "Dose fellas are just jealous we tought of it foist."
Soprano denied reports of an organized crime connection, describing himself as in the "waste disposal business." "We saw dat not one of dese prime minister candidate fellas was worth a plate of ziti, so we made some calls. We didn't want dis here election to go to waste."
Potential coalition partners, while not really needed, include other new parties who were also permitted to run and remained in the race: Manyak, the bad drivers' party; Mutek, the obnoxious cabbies party; and Stima, the Sephardi sewer workers party. Masriah, the Ashkenazi sewer workers' party, narrowly failed to pass the threshold necessary for obtaining Knesset seats.
The National Religious Party-National Union was considering joining the coalition "if the calzone served at cabinet meetings is certified kosher" and the yellow in all traffic lights was immediately changed to orange.
Knufia officials downplayed reports that Gonen Segev, whose jail sentence was commuted by the president shortly before his meeting with Soprano, would handle coalition talks.
"We should't be surprised by this development. We've been warning about the gradual infiltration of the Israeli political system by criminal elements," said former attorney-general Meni Mazuz in a phone conversation, before choking sounds were heard and the line went dead.
Soprano said earlier at party headquarters, the newly opened Tel Aviv branch of the Bada-Bing! Lounge, that as his TV series had recently completed shooting its last full season in the US, he now had more time to devote to "other interests."
His approach to the security issue, which he initially referred to as "dat ting with the Polistainians," would be direct. "We've been doing protection, I mean, security for years," he said with a smile, "youse got nuttin' to worry about."
Asked what he would do if Hamas leaders refused to meet with him, Soprano said: "Dey can drink the bitter waters of da East River.
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