Molly Wharton of NRO draws our attention to a Jon Stewart bit that is quite unsympathetic to Israel concerning its current conflict with Hamas. She provides a link to an editorial written by David Horovitz of the Times of Israel which makes mincemeat of Stewart’s claims. Stewart’s invective against Israel comes as no surprise. Consider how Stewart framed a question about Israel to NBC’s David Gregory in January 2009 shortly before the Obama Administration took office:
STEWART: Why can’t American politicians criticize Israel in any way for their behavior? I’m watching these shows and there’s not one person who’s going, hey, this is kind of complex. Hey, Hamas is a bad actor. They shouldn’t be throwing missiles. But the treatment of the Palestinian people the last 50 years. Not so nice either.
GREGORY: I think it’s a fair point.
STEWART: It seems like a more complicated situation than is portrayed.
Actually, it’s very simple. It’s devastatingly simple. Israel is willing to live in peace with the Palestinians and the Palestinians aren’t. Hamas wants to destroy Israel and Israel is going to stop that from happening. There’s nothing complicated here.
I’m not sure what Stewart has against Israel. Now Stewart isn’t the first American liberal Jew to speak disdainfully of Israel and he won’t be the last, but his words have weight behind them. Weighted words become dangerous when they are loaded with falsehoods.
I’ve never found Jon Stewart funny. Not 25 years ago; not today. I also fail to see why he is held up as this towering intellectual figure. All he really does is drop f-bombs between highly edited video clips. Nevertheless, Stewart has a considerable following. Should Stewart persist in putting Israel and Hamas on the same moral footing then in a generation’s time I fear that the foundation of American support for Israel could very well crumble.