June 17, 2010, - 3:32 pm

“Israel’s War is Our War, Too” – The Great Cal Thomas

By Debbie Schlussel

I’m often asked which conservative commentators and politicians I like and follow.  My answer is always the same:  I don’t follow, I think.  I’m an independent thinker and a critical thinker.  Sheep on the right are no different from sheep on the left.  Sorry, but the only kind of sheep that have any value are the livestock version.  The human kind are worthless . . . unless you are one of those that has a radio talk show, FOX News show, books to sell, etc., and feel the need to have a built in market, because you have no confidence in the strength of your arguments and delivery of them.  A nation of sheep is a nation of cowards. So, as I always say: think, don’t follow.  If you don’t think, you are the problem, not the solution.  Only you should tell you what to think and how to think, not some person reading GOP or DNC talking points on cable news network talk shows.  I despise anyone who puts personalities over principles.  Sadly, so many do this on the left AND the right, whether it’s Barack Obama or Sarah Palin.


But, if I had to point to one person I admire, one who is largely right and consistent on almost every topic on which he writes or speaks, it’s Cal Thomas, the most published syndicated political columnist.  A religious Christian, the man is not just principled, he tells it like it is.  I was a fan of his work before he became a personal friend I am proud to have on my side, on our side.  And let me tell you, not only is Cal a brilliant, eloquent patriot, but a real mensch, a kind heart, and a special soul.  There is no-one like him.  If he were running things in either the U.S. or Israel, the countries would be batting a thousand.

And that brings me to his commentary, today, in USA Today.  Every Thursday, he and liberal Bob Beckel have half a page to discuss issues in their “Common Ground” column.  Today’s theme is Israel and the Flotilla.  Both Thomas and Beckel agree that “Israel’s War is Our War, Too.”  An excerpt:

Any humiliation Gazans face is due to their real occupiers, the terrorist group Hamas, which has vowed to exterminate Israel and sign no peace settlement with what it calls “the Zionist entity.” Let’s not get lost in the weeds on this. America and Israel are the good guys. The Iranians — in 1979 and now — and Hamas are the bad guys. Sure Israel could have handled this situation better, but Israel’s enemies are the ones trying to smuggle weapons into Gaza to attack Israeli towns.

I don’t agree that it could have been handled better.  But other than that, he’s right on and the rest of his comments at the link above are just fantastic.  Read the rest, and you’ll see what’s already been quite obvious all these years: that Bob Beckel is no match for Cal Thomas. Very few are.

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34 Responses

Great recommendation! Some other favorite conservative commentators I would recommend:

Ann Coulter
Caroline Glick
Charles Krauthammer
John Stossel
Larry Elder
Marc Morano
Michael Barone
Michael Ledeen
Thomas Sowell
Debbie Schlussel 🙂

I agree that Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity are blowhards, and Pat Buchanan is unspeakable.

SS: Of those, I, too, would put Thomas Sowell on my list. Not only is he brilliant, when I was a student at the University of Michigan, he gave me comfort when he wrote about my troubles with a left-wing professor who gave me a lower grade on a term paper b/c I used the word “Congressmen” instead of “Congresspersons.”

Krauthammer, on the other hand, lost me when he supported giving up Gaza, giving up the settlements, and called Geert Wilders a fascist and an extremist. He repeated the hackneyed false argument of “we’re against Islamism, not Islam.” There aren’t these dual versions of Islam. There’s one, and it’s called Islam. And he doesn’t get that. DS

Scott Spiegel on June 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Krauthammer IS ANOTHER PHONY! I bet I find others on your list, too.

    As goes Israel - so goes the World on June 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    don’t forget john bolton.

    howardroark on June 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm

“Sure Israel could have handled this situation better, but Israel’s enemies are the ones trying to smuggle weapons into Gaza to attack Israeli towns.” Israel did handled the situation the best, no others would have done it better. Israel must stay on track as they always have. I know I am far and this is just my mind typing these words but Israel must show to the others perhaps including the U.S. that it’s their country to do as they see fit or then with assistance. (?that’s a period) the flotilas are provoking powers of sovernty. They be sunk, and next time either arrangements escorted prior return to provoke. That is the problem with this world I think. “The good provoker”. there is such a crime, but tell me where? Does not exist and it is where crime is made of. Back to Israel- Not sunk by an army? well others without uniform can also sink ships. Perhaps I’m being a little hesitant confident about the U.S. knowing that the U.S controls some parts as not to have half of the world against it (diplomacy) but diplomacy can only go so far, there has to be both diplomacy and force. though the U.S. is not the only power but it would defend Israel and in faith as with Iraq, North Korea, and iran, turkey and whoever. That is why Russia, China, India, Canada and a few others are with the Americans. I don’t recognize any other countries that can produce so much abundance of cars, planes, boats, cities, planes, armies. But does Obama know?, What’s he going to do take back Israel from it’s people? Small countries even allies are afraid of this but they stand with the Americans, but their sovernty boundries are respected.
going to stop now to submit. It is just my comment. My mind recognized by me individualy but I can’t be the only one of what I’ve written.

A: I agree. There was no better way to handle it. I don’t agree with that part, but Cal Thomas comments in the entire piece (other than that one) are on target. DS

Augusto on June 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm

What are you talking about? Krauthammer is a brilliant man!Who cares what you THINK you find!

BLESS ISRAEL on June 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    You can go elsewhere if you do not like this site. No one is chaining you to a table leg.

    Worry01 on June 18, 2010 at 3:39 am

I’ve always liked Cal Thomas and am aware he has consistently been a friend to Israel — unfortunately there aren’t too many in the press today.

Little Al on June 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Please add Victor Davis Hanson to the list.

Broomer on June 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

The “Israel Test” should be a litmus test. If any one can’t find a reason to support Israel, they are not people you’d want on your side. Kudos to Cal Thomas for a wonderful column!

NormanF on June 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Yes, Cal Thomas is a principled, well-informed individual who, unlike so many others, has demonstrated a consistent moral sense and the courage to speak out about the menace of Islam, even when doin so has resulted in a firestorm of disapproval from the chattering class. I take issue with Thomas on one point, however – his description of our battle with Islam (and make no mistake, we are indeed at war) as a clash of civilizations, a la Huntington. However, there is only one civilization involved in this clash, and that is ours. We are fighting against barbarism – a seventh century barbarism that originates with a ruthless, cunning, megalomanical desert Arab obsessed with sex, power, and material wealth, and whose bloodlust and hatred of the Other forms an inextricable, ineradicable fundamental component of the utterly evil belief system he propounded.

commonsense on June 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Beck and O’reilly are entertainers that believe in what they are doing…but entertainers none the less and they will tell you so. But I don’t see anybody on the left that is willing to put Bill Maher or Whoopi Goldberg into the same category, after all, they are right when they stay left. You can’t go on a left site and enjoy the back and forth of any issue. They only feed their herds like jm and “ANOTHER PHONY” above. What is tragic is that they have convinced so many in the herd that if they just follow all of the eletist BS artists on the left that somehow they have their IQs pop up a couple of points. I really don’t care anymore. The time for talking is long past.

Reluctor Dominatus on June 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I have no ax to grind with any of the commentators on the right. They make many points in media which would never be covered otherwise and I don’t care what books, t-shirts or other paraphernalia they’re hawking to make a living. Cal Thomas is a cut above. He uses common sense and logic to slice and dice liberals with natural acuity that is heartwarming to watch or read. He knows who our enemies are and pulls no punches in defending our friends. I hope he lives to a hundred.

BernardL on June 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Handled thing better?

In my book Israel’s last military action should have been twice as large in scope…if not more… and they should eliminated their enemies’ ability to wage war.

I feel that many wanted to do just this, but PC politicians and the BS policies they impose often ties the hands of the military.

SA: Agreed. Right on. DS

Sam Adams on June 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Agreed. Israel is half-heartedly fighting a war and is losing it because its not willing to show its enemies it means business. And caving in on the Gaza blockade has merely emboldened Israel’s enemies to go in for the kill!

    NormanF on June 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm

You mention that Cal Thomas is a religious Christian. This raises an issue that I think many Jews on the left are today grossly misinformed about, Christian Zionism. To my knowledge, David Brog’s book Standing with Israel is the only source of in-depth discussion of Christian Zionism, including a discussion of the theology of the sects which do support Israel and are not concerned with converting Jews to Christianity (as many Jews fear). I doubt if more than a handful of Jews on the left have ever bothered to wonder why certain Christian sects and their followers are so pro-Zionism. (Then again, most Jews on the left know so little about their own religion beyond bagels and lox, why would one expect them to understand others’?)

I think many Jews on the left misunderstand your (and my) willing acceptance of Zionism from the Christian “right” as a case of “my enemy’s (radical Islam) enemy is my friend.” In fact, the pure motives of the Christian right with regard to Israel have borne out time and again. Jews who welcome honorable men like Thomas and others are merely recognizing who their true friends are. Whereas leftist Jews turn a blind eye to the anti-Zionism (a.k.a. Antisemitism) that is rabid on the left.

Mock someone like Palin if you will, but she’s been an ardent supporter of Israel. She may not be the sharpest tack in the box, but the woman seems to be driven, at least in part, by convictions which although she may not be able to articulate, she seems to understand. She may not be a great example, but to me that’s a friend–one who stands behind you out of principle as opposed to convenience. For Obama and his progressive gaggle, Israel is very inconvenient right now.

Obviously, there are conservative supporters of Israel who, on the surface, arrive at their support through intellectual analysis and reason. But when you dig a little deeper, many of these supporters are actually driven by religious convictions and a Judeo-Christian moral sense of right and wrong.

Jewish Marksman on June 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Another excellent post, Debbie.

I agree with NormanF at 4:49 pm about the Israel test.

Cal Thomas definitely passes the test.

I also agree with Sam Adams (and Debbie) at 5:23 pm.

JeffE on June 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Thanks, Debbie. Encouraging people to think for themselves may be the most important message for all to heed.
When one thinks for oneself there is at least a chance of finding truth. What is a more precious individual liberty than each of us using his own mind.
Independent thought is the antithesis of leftist groupthink….which is really all the “thinking” they ever do.
And I agree, idealizing a leader, left or right, is like a quick fix. It may feel good momentarily, but it is no way to run a nation.

Cat K on June 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Well, I think the bad guys may have gotten a leg up on this flotilla thing. Looks like Israel is looking to open up Gaza a little more than it was.

Sal on June 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Allow me to add two more names to the honored list:

Melanie Phillips – who introduced the world to the phenomenon that is Londonistan. Her latest work is “The World Turned Upside Down”. She gets extra points for fighting the good fight from the UK.
Sarah Honig – Caroline Glick’s colleague at the Jerusalem Post. Sarah masterfully finds just the right historic context to make her point. She puts our self-described “student of history” president to shame.

Raymond in DC on June 17, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I have his book Blinded By Might, which is a must-read for any Christian who wants to get into politics.

Richard on June 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I really like reading Mark Steyn too fwiw.

Moi on June 17, 2010 at 8:40 pm

“Israel’s war is our war, too” – really? We are not a sovereign country anymore then. But soon it will not be our war anymore (whether we like it or not) because the day is coming that we will be totally bankrupt, miserable, and prostrate due to the rampant violation of our Constitution that has been going on for almost a century. Perhaps this is what our Masters wanted in the first place anyway. Our country is dying and only a principled stand for constitutionalism can revive our country – I can still dream, can’t I? So go ahead and fight our wars! The sooner we all die – we must suffer first – the sooner we can start to rebuild this country.

Ramjordan on June 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I have met & talked with Cal Thomas. I wish I had a fraction of his intelligence, class, and charm.

Where is Michael Savage on your radar, Miss Schlussel? I know he is way out of line in much of his “off the cuff” comments, but he seems to combine entertainment & (mostly) “conservative” views.

Dr Dale on June 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I can answer that question (about Savage). The guy has some serious psychological issues. Although I haven’t heard his show for awhile, I seem to recall him spending alot of time discussing conversations he would have with his poodle “Teddy” (who also had a “column” on his website). Sort of in the same vein as Barbara Bush’s old shtick about having conversations with the white house springer spaniel “Millie,” which I also used to find a bit corny.

As for Cal Thomas, I’m old enough to remember back in the days when he was working for Jerry Falwell, and used to be Phil Donahue’s go-to guy, whenever he needed a guest on his show to take the conservative side of an argument. Unfortunately, they were usually about trivial social issues that inevitably made Thomas wind up looking rather foolish. He used to blab alot about how “The Simpsons,” “Beavis & Butthead” and Howard Stern were destroying the fabric of society with their complete disregard for human decency blah blah blah. If one were to look back at any of those shows now, it’s easy to see why the moral majority never achieved any of their goals. They were simply on the wrong side of history and nothing could stop the inevitability of stuff like “South Park” and Larry Flynt’s empire eventually becoming mainstream. The damage that Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart caused simply couldn’t be repaired. As more and more scandals about clergy, both Protestant and Catholic kept coming to the fore, culminating in multiple expos?s about how the likes of Benny Hinn spends his ill-got gains, and Priest’s proclivities towards pre-teen boys, it is now difficult to view those people as being anything other than complete laughing stalks.

That being said, the one conservative commentator whose blog I do regularly read is Mark Steyn’s, not just for his views on the state of the world, but for his musical essays (a subject that is also a hobby of mine).

If I have one major criticism of this (Debbie Schlussel’s) blog, it’s that like Cal Thomas before her, she really often comes across like a comical angry schoolmarm whenever she goes off on one of her silly tirades about how “John McCain’s daughter has big breasts and shouldn’t be wearing a low cut shirt” or about Hannah Montanna’s pole dancing routine. It greatly undermines her more substantial essays about the very serious threat to this nation’s security via both Islamic terrorism and Mexican drug cartels.

Daniel H on June 18, 2010 at 4:40 am

Please note that Cal is a big time Catholic.

Not all of us catholics are effeminate, socialist, namby-pamby, little weasels. Some of us are fighters like King David, Joshua, the Maccabees, Pope Urban II, and Pope Gregory VIII, Rodrigo Díaz (El Cid), Vlad III, Charles Martel, etc.

Rick on June 18, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Feel free to compare your manliness to Joshua, King David or the Macabees. They’re great role models but you don’t seriously mean to say they were Catholics do you? Gosh, even in Catholic school, I learned they were Jewish.

    mk750 on June 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm

There are times when I worry that Cal Thomas wants to fight Muslims to the last Jew. Israel cannot fight America’s battles for us.

That being said, there’s no question Cal Thomas is a friend of Jews and Israel.

There is NO Santa Claus on June 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Really good article. I sometime read Cal….Also I agree with many of the previous comments:
Mark Steyn, Thomas Sowell, Caroline Glick (for political analysis, not entertainment value) , and Melanie Philips are worth their weight in gold.
I’ve seen Krauthhammer up close several times, and though he displays flashes of brilliance, I wondered about the necessity of laying a dose of democracy on Iraq. I asked him back around ’04 if those people really deserved democracy , would welcome it or know what to do with it, and his response was ” we have no choice” …I think we did have a choice: Get rid of Saddaam, destroy his army…but then ensure that his replacement (however chosen) would not step out of line or he’d get similar treatment. Nasty solution, but its a nasty neighborhood with a nasty tradition, most of whose inhabitants are set on maintaining those nasty traditions.

Not Ovenready on June 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I have a litmus test for the character of a person, particularly if they are running for office.

If the person opposes Israel or the Second Amendment, they are no damn good.

If the person utters the phrase “Islam is a religion of peace,” I know they are pandering morons.

If a person puts welfare before national defense, they are brainless.

If a person thinks we can spend our way out of a recession/depression, they are dangerous.

If a person thinks that “tax cuts,” giving money back to the people who earned it, is spending, than they are socialist/communists.

Now, look at what Obama supports, and if you are not scared, you must be brain dead.

Jonathan E. Grant on June 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Mark Steyn is such a good friend of Israel you would think he was Jewish. Love me some Steyn.

Desiree on June 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm

It’s the world’s oldest family feud. It’ll take the Messiah to stop the sons of Isaac and Ishmael from casting stones at one another. The world conveniently eschews- irresponsibly in my opinion- when missiles are fired randomly into Israeli neighborhoods.

However, let the Jews defend themselves and the anti-semitic world cries “foul.” Victimology 101- schmucks!

patrick on June 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

How about Israel internal (cultural) war between Sephardis and Ashkenazis?


I ain’t jew, but sided with Ashkenazis’ right to make their own choice on schooling their children. Whose side will defenders of Israel take?

House divided can not stand, so the saying goes. And with this internal cultural war, the typical conservative versus liberal war in this world, will Israel existence be wipe off the map (as dreamed by Ahmadinejad)?

Yoah on June 19, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    While there are still primitive prejudices to be overcome between Safaradim and Askenazim (BTW, it’s a 2-way street), the main guilty party here is the Israeli press, the left and Israel’s tyrannical Supreme Court.

    The school already has permanent Sefaradi students, some of whose parents happily refused to abide by the court’s demands and went to jail instead.

    The “segregated” children are such not because of ethnics but because of ethics. They moved into the community but they do not abide by the same religious standards as most everyone else.

    This case is mostly a blood libel.

    Shy Guy on June 20, 2010 at 2:23 am

Several Canadian columnists are strong and consistent defenders of Israel. Jonathon Kay, Mark Steyn, George Jonas, Barbara Kay, David Frum and Conrad Black are a few that come to mind.

He is not a columnist but the best friend Israel has today internationally is Stephen Harper, the current Prime Minister of Canada. He has gone out of his way several times to support Israel and sometimes has done so alone, or nearly so.

And he has done so when it was politically unpopular as well. He has exhibited a principled and consistent support for Israel. Stockwell Day and Jason Kenney are two other members of the Canadian cabinet who have strongly supported Israel.

vimy100 on June 20, 2010 at 10:07 pm

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