August 16, 2005, - 11:07 am

Did Bill O’Reilly Really Say That About American Jews?

By Debbie Schlussel
I’ve been on Bill O’Reilly’s FOX News Channel show, several times. But what he said, yesterday, on his nationally syndicated Westwood One Radio Show is inexcusable and wrong. O’Reilly said American Jews in Gaza don’t want to leave because “they want cheap land.”
Too bad. I thought O’Reilly might have had a better understanding of the situation. But the comment–in addition to reminding listeners of the old canard about Jews being “cheap”–is totally ignorant. It is and always has been far more expensive and risky to live in Israel–and especially Gaza–than to live in America.
American Jews–“cheap land” seekers or otherwise–lived in Gaza for purely ideological reasons. Surely, one would not move from a life of safety and comfort in America, to a risk-filled life surrounded by Islamic terrorists in Gaza, for “cheap land.” Would you move to a place where the odds are high that you or one of your family will be murdered or maimed–merely to get “cheap land”?
Generally, Bill O’Reilly has been very good in understanding issues relating to Israel and other countries–like our own–facing terrorism. This time he was wrong and it, hopefully, was an aberration.

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7 Responses

Not anti-semitic, just ignorant. You should go on his show and debate him.

Yiddish Steel on August 16, 2005 at 12:32 pm

Do you have the full quote in context–I missed that show–it doesn’t sound like something that Bill O’Reilly would say.

mindovermath on August 16, 2005 at 5:10 pm

I know that woman who used to work for Fox and sued O’Reilly probably thinks he is capable of saying idiotic things.

The_Man on August 16, 2005 at 6:14 pm

I don’t care if he is a conservative. The man is single-handedly dumbing down this country….

Right Side of the Rainbow on August 16, 2005 at 7:01 pm

Wow, first Ann Coulter (disagreement about John Roberts) and now Bill O’Reilly! I guess you’re not the “extreme conservative” people think you are 🙂
Seriously, I have to give you credit, as I believe there is good and bad on both sides of the aisle and (as I have with some columns here) it is possible to sometimes agree and sometime disagree with the same person on different things. It is nice to see you not stick with someone 100% of the time just because they generally share your point of view.
There is no reason anyone would risk their lives in Gaza except for ideology, certainly not to save money. That was a real “cheap” shot by O’Reilly, and a good call on your part Deb.

hairymon on August 16, 2005 at 8:27 pm

Bill O’Reilly goofs

I usually agree with Bill O’Reilly of FOX News, but, as Debbie Schlussel points out here, he’s really off base here when he says that American Jews in Gaza don’t want to leave because “they want cheap land.”

Tel-Chai Nation on August 17, 2005 at 1:33 pm

I visited Gush Katif in early July, to see for myself. If O’Reilly said this, he is simply cloning into a virtual, Michael Moore, who would cynically distort similarly.
For the record, to live there, meant one had to accept over 6000 kassam rocket attacks- maimings, limbs blown off, and some deaths, were the price- to live and work yourself as a self sufficient farmer, and citizen of that land, meant a great love, and respect for oneself and one’s neighbors. It was as fine a bunch of people, hard working, self suffiicent with both religious and not religious in astonishing harmony.
The reason to live there, was to live in the Land of Israel, as a free jew, in the land of the Jewish people, mentioned about 20 times in the Torah.
That land has been populated by arabs from all over the middleeast now for the last 50 yrs, for the express purpose of making a class of people to serve up hatred and murder of ‘jews.’
None of that land, was taken from the arabs. In fact- they had been ‘disengaged’ for 10 yrs, from each other. This is ethnic cleansing of jews as never before done in any democratic state.
If jews were to announce they were doing that in Israel to arabs, what an uproar we would hear.
The arabs are a conquering, bigoted, murdererou religion and the welfare, homicidal state of Gazastan has been promised by them, and now by us, for them, and that will suck up billions of dollars to grow it, support it, and then- megabillions more to fight the terror they will spread not only in Israel but the rest of the world too.
Churchill- Winston, not ward, said
“An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last”.
I’ve digressed- but if O’Reilly said this- hopefully the redoubtable Ms Schlussel and others will howl about this, making him eat those rancid empty thoughts and words.

mgoldberg on August 19, 2005 at 10:30 am

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