I first became aware of the modern state of Israel during the Six Days War in 1967. The images that played on the evening news were of an underdog country engaged in a battle for survival with bully opponents. I was unaware of the societal guilt built up over two millennia of Western persecution of the Jewish people. Nor was I aware of the manner in which Jewish settlers, desperate to escape persecution sharpened in the 1920s and made even more acute in Germany with Hitler’s ascendancy to leadership of what became the Third Reich in 1933, fled to and took up residence in Palestine.
Many Americans view the problems in the Middle East very simplistically. The Israelis are the "good guys" and the Palestinians are the "bad guys." It would seem difficult to counter this view, after such episodes as the killing and taking of Israeli hostages during the 1972 Munich Olympics, or other attacks brought by various groups claiming to be, affiliation with, or solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
Many Americans are unaware of the actions of such leaders of modern Israel as Menachim Begin, who led the Irgun Zvai Leumi, responsible for the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946.
Next Saturday we shall discuss the bias of the United States toward Israel.
Perhaps I'll have the time to show up for this one.
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