Apologies in advance to our European friends who tend to agree with our stand on the war on terror and its logical extension — Israel's war on terror.

The Europeans — and by that I mean the opinion makers in the media and government — are raking us over the coals again for supporting Israel. They don't seem to notice when George W. Bush calls Ariel Sharon to say Hey, you're going too far now, so better knock it off.

They think the American president is pulling his punches when an Israeli prime minister ducks a U.S. request, forgetting that the Europeans ignore the U.S. whenever possible.

Tony Blair is on Bush's side, but for that he gets labeled a poodle by the British press. The French have been such Israel bashers and Palestinian promoters that they now have a wave of anti-Semitic attacks going on there — so serious that even the French government feels moved to speak out on the issue.

You have to wonder why Europe sees things so differently than the U.S. and whether that means that there are serious differences among the so-called Western democracies.

The U.S. was a refuge for Jews before World War Two and after. Europe was not. Europe has turned out to be an Arab and Muslim emigration destination, so is it so surprising that America tends to tilt to the Israelis and Europe to the Palestinians? Probably not.

What is surprising is that the Europeans are so shocked that we would support Israel as we do. To them it seems utterly obvious that the Palestinians are right about every claim, and that the Israelis are the oppressors.

To them, the occasional — even daily — Palestinian bomber is just an aberration of unbalance in the life of one poor Arab youth, a kind of Arab Columbine.

They ignore the evidence that it is an organized campaign of Palestinian and Arab adults, using children as a substitute for aircraft — the Palestinian alternative to military jet bombers.

Do the Israelis create some of the violence against them? In my view, yes. The settlements are a provocation and the Israelis should stand down.

But at the same time, there's no question that for many on the Palestinian side... even in Europe... pushing Israel into the sea is the ultimate goal. Those people, in the Middle East and in Europe, have to wake up. The U.S. won't let that happen.

That's My Word.

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