There are some Americans who see Israel as a villain, just as there are some who believe the USA has brought the War on Terror on itself. That kind of thinking is important to understand so it can be defeated in debate.
As we mentioned, the committed left-wing newspapers in America have been largely silent about the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict, largely for economic reasons. Many American Jews are liberal. Many of them love The New York Times, for example. The Times cannot afford to alienate its liberal base.
Thus, it is sitting this one out editorially so far. Although efforts will be made to blame President Bush for the whole thing down the road, wait and see.
But the liberal Los Angeles Times printed an op-ed by UCLA professor Saree Makdisi that said, "Israel's blanket bombardment of Lebanon was sparked not by rockets ... but by a guerilla operation against a military target, the aim of which was to capture soldiers as leverage for the release of some of the Lebanese prisoners Israel stubbornly refuses to free."
Professor Makdisi apparently believes Hezbollah is a legitimate fighting force that should be given moral equivalency with Israel. Never mind that Hezbollah wear no uniforms and routinely attack civilian targets. Never mind that the terrorists killed eight Israeli soldiers in their raid to get hostages. And never mind that the prisoners Israel is holding are terror killer suspects.
Now later on in his article, the professor, who did not respond to our questions, justifies his opinion by saying that Israel is a terrorist state itself. He points to the Israeli seizure of land in 1948 to bolster his argument.
Makdisi's take on the Middle East is not uncommon, but it's troubling. From his perch safe in Los Angeles, this educated man believes that the Hezbollah terrorists have a perfect right to do whatever they want, because Israel violently carved out a homeland after World War II.
Now that kind of thinking is at the root of the terror war. Israel is bad and so is America for supporting Israel. Any and all violence against Americans and Jews is permitted.
To win any war, you have to understand the nature of the enemy. Has Israel made mistakes? Of course. Has America done bad things? Surely, we have.
But in July of 2006, here is the simple and true fact: Tomorrow, if the terrorists stop killing and lay down their arms, the violence in the Middle East and in Iraq, for that matter, will stop. Tomorrow, if Israel throws all of its weapons into the Mediterranean Sea, there will be another Holocaust. Are you getting that, Professor Makdisi? Wise up.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Although it means nothing in the real world, there is an Internet controversy over President Bush giving German Chancellor Angela Merkel a neck massage.
The Bush-haters say Merkel was offended by this. Offended, I should say. There it is. She doesn't look too happy, but you know, what are you going to do?
Supporters of Bush say the president is a regular guy who has a good rapport with the German leader.
I say I don't really care. It's ridiculous to even bring it up. I hate to spout the cliche, "get a life", so instead I'll say, get an issue that matters. OK?
—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org