"F***ing Jews! Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?"—Mel Gibson, while being arrested for DUI, to one of his arresting officers.
Other than the F-bomb, what did Mel Gibson say while sitting handcuffed in a Malibu squad car that you don't hear every night on CNN?
Bombs are falling and mortars are flying, and — the media imply — it's all Israel's fault. Lebanese children are dying, as CNN shows again ... and again ... and again, and these children are dying because Israel is "on the attack," they are "pressing their offensive," and worst of all, they are "rejecting demands for a cease-fire."
Watching Christiane Amanpour "report" from the Middle East, the hostility toward Israel oozing from her, one gets the sense she's a couple of martinis away from a belligerent squad car rant of her own.
Perhaps this is unfair. Perhaps these are the complaints of a supporter of Israel offended by objective reporting.
But I'm having trouble negotiating the "objective" line of reasoning that begins with "murderous, anti-Semitic terrorists fire missiles at hospitals hoping to kill Israeli children" to "and it's all Israel's fault!"
The media coverage of the battle between Israel and the Islamists is painful to the point of outrage because of the utter lack of context. A viewer waking from a coma and flipping on the nightly news would think, "Why are those horrible Israelis invading Lebanon? No wonder Hezbollah is firing rockets — they've got to defend themselves!"
Or, as I heard it on NBC just days ago: "Israel continued its attacks on Lebanon today, and Hezbollah responded by firing more rockets."
Huh? First of all, Israel isn't "attacking" Lebanon. Israel is attacking a terrorist organization called Hezbollah whose leader has publicly called for the destruction of Israel and whose members have killed more Americans than any terrorist group except Al Qaeda.
Second, the only reason Lebanese civilians are dying is because Lebanon and the UN have allowed Hezbollah terrorists to operate openly on Lebanese soil. Hezbollah has shown their gratitude for this favor by using the women and children of Lebanon (and the U.N. "peacekeepers" themselves) as human shields.
Third — and the most annoying — if Hezbollah was really "responding to" Israeli military action by firing rockets today, what, pray tell, were they "responding to" when Hezbollah rockets were hitting Israel a month ago? A year ago? Five years ago? After all, it was six years ago when Israel withdrew entirely from Lebanese territory.
Never an answer, because nobody in the Mel Gibson media is asking these questions. Israel is shooting at someone. Therefore, Israel must be wrong.
As one activist participating in an anti-Israel "Die In" at a Boston subway station put it: "We mourn the Israeli dead, but we question the utility of such monstrous aggression towards Israel's own neighbors. If Israel is willing to kill UN observers, civilians, and especially children, how will the violence end?"
Yes, that "monstrous aggression" of defending itself. That horrible, Israeli disrespect towards its "own neighbors," the Islamists of Hamas and Hezbollah sworn to Israel's destruction. Oh, if only Israel would sit down and talk to Hezbollah! If only they would negotiate with Hamas! But they won't, because they are, well, you know ... "J-O-Os."
I'm not one for conspiracy theories (they tend to annoy my Zionist masters), but it's hard to imagine any nation other than Israel having its suicide-bombing, civilian-targeting terrorist enemies portrayed as equal moral actors by the mainstream media. If German rockets were pouring into France again, the French wouldn't wait six years before going after the rocket launchers, and nobody would be saying "Oh, the poor Germans. Why must they die?"
Instead, the world would demand that the German government stop the missiles themselves. The deaths of German civilians would be blamed on the terrorists firing rockets from town squares and playgrounds.
But this is Israel. Israeli children die — as they have been for decades — and Hezbollah celebrates, while the world says little and does nothing. Israel defends itself. Lebanese children die, and Hezbollah celebrates again, because they know the media will finish the job for them. Sure enough, CNN shows images of the dead and the world suddenly discovers "violence in the Middle East." Or as it's known in Israel, "our lives, every single day."
Not long ago, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote that Israel should take only limited actions to defend itself because "Israel itself is a mistake." And violence is to be expected in response to the "mistake" of Israel.
Nobody is going to accuse Mr. Cohen of anti-Semitism. But somewhere, Mel Gibson is reading the Post, and smiling.