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Op-Ed: Another Beheading: Can Jon Stewart Change the Channel?

Evacuate to where, Israel?
Published: Thursday, September 04, 2014 10:05 AM


Must be great living in a place where you can simply tune out when something comes along that makes you cringe. We should all be so lucky.
 
Precisely, we should all be as lucky as Jon Stewart who feels that he’s taken enough backtalk as the result of his anti-Israel slant on his Daily Show.
 
The criticism keeps on coming. Stewart does not find it funny.
 
At the height of the recent Gaza war, Stewart chided Israel for its so-called disproportionate response to ceaseless rocket-fire from Hamas.
 
Israel routinely advised Gaza civilians ahead of time to seek shelter from incoming retaliation. Stewart felt that Israel’s gesture was insufficient. “Evacuate to where?” he quipped. I added my own critique of Stewart in a July 17 column along these pages titled “Want Proportionality? Give Israel 22 Countries.”
 
Moreover, I did not know what Stewart did last summer.
 
He was busy making a movie. I learned this just today from reading the Hollywood Reporter. I will skip that part since Stewart needs no help from me to promote that flick. However, during a wide-ranging interview with the Reporter, Stewart (originally named Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) touched on his Jewishness, or lack of it, leading to this response about his critics as follows:
 
“If there is something constructive in what they're saying, hopefully I'm still open enough … to take it in and let it further inform my position. But I'm pretty impermeable to yelling. As soon as they go to, 'Your real name is Leibowitz!' that's when I change the channel.”
 
That’s when he changes the channel. How sweet that is!
 
Over the past 10 years a million Israelis faced a daily barrage of rockets from enemy territory… but they could not change the channel.
 
Parents and their kids were stuck with the same channel that featured sirens by the hour and a race to the nearest bomb shelter.
 
What channel would you have suggested for 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman who was killed because he wasn’t fast enough to outrun a Hamas mortar shell?
 
Crossing the wires today comes news of a second American journalist to suffer a gruesome murder at the hands of ISIS. Steven J. Sotloff could not change the channel and neither could his mother who pleaded for leniency… and neither could fellow reporter James Foley turn to another program.
 
Your movie, Jon, about Iran does touch on Radical Islam.
 
Iran is likewise unhappy with you but Iran can take care of itself. Iran is part of the 56-member Islamic nation.
 
Israel is part of no such membership. Israel stands alone. You picked the wrong people when you cracked, “Evacuate to where?”
 
Do you have another channel for Israel in case all is lost?
 
In life there is only one channel and it is called The Real World.
 
So I notice that you claim there’s a difference between being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. How quant!
 
Tell that to the campuses and to the crowds in Berlin, Paris, London and even in New York who march with shouts, “Hamas, Hamas. Jews to the gas.”  
 
Even those sitting at home cannot change the channel because every channel shows another Islamic massacre and another Islamic beheading.
 
To be clear, what sort of garbage are you feeding those impressionable minds that constitute your audience? Are your gag writers also 16-year-olds?
 
I suppose you feel a sense of satisfaction for allowing Israel to defend itself… as long as it does not defend itself too much.
 
We hear this from many false friends of liberty and phony supporters of Israel.
 
Yes, they say, “I support Israel’s right to defend itself.”
 
As if there’s a Plan B?  Are there other choices on the menu?
 
Press one for yes. But “Press two for no, Israel is not allowed to defend itself.” Is that the deal?
 
No thanks, Mr. Leibowitz.
 
Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. New from the novelist, the anti-BDS thriller Compulsive. Website: www.jackengelhard.com