Nationally syndicated talk-radio host Mark Levin. (Photo: FNC)
-- Conservative talk-radio host Mark Levin strongly criticized comedian and quasi-news commentator Jon Stewart for his acerbic jokes and comments concerning Hamas's ongoing missile attacks against Israel, stating that "if Hamas had the weaponry that Israel had," then "Israel would cease to exist."
Levin also stressed in remarks aimed at Stewart that Hamas "is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood," it was part of the PLO, and the "PLO's history goes back to the Mufti, goes back to the Third Reich, the Final Solution."
"Read up, Ivy League boy!" said Levin on Fox's Hannity program on Tuesday. "Try and figure out exactly what's going on before you cut your stupid jokes!"
Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic terrorist organization, has been firing missiles into Israel for years but stepped-up its attacks in early July -- more than 1,000 missiles have been launched against Israel since July 7. Hamas has also used undeground tunnels in its attacks. So far, 29 Israelis have been killed and, on Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. flights to (and from) the Ben Gurion Airport.
Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, whose program is built around comedic commenting on current events and politics, has joked about the situation in Israel and Gaza. Levin has criticized some of Stewart's commentary, and Fox's Sean Hannity hosted Levin on July 22 to explain why he was so tough on Stewart.
"I'll tell you why," said Levin. "I watched this segment on the Internet, and the disinformation and the propaganda he was putting out in the form of jokes was outrageous. And I would just tell Mr. Stewart that it really doesn't take a lot of courage to criticize Israel and trash Israel. It's done all the time."
"It's done by Israel's, quote/unquote, 'neighbors,'" said Levin, whose nationally syndicated radio show is heard by an estimated 10 million people. "It's done in Europe right now, where Jewish stores and so forth are being burned down and there's riots. It's done in Boston and New York, where the police have had to come out and protect pro-Israeli rallies and so forth. So you're not really a tough guy. You're not really cutting-edge."
Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show. (Photo: Comedy Central)
Levin continued, "And the fact of the matter, Mr. Stewart, is that if Hamas had the weaponry that Israel had, nuclear weapons and other weapons, Israel would cease to exist. And if Israel wanted to take out whole communities in Gaza, or the whole Gaza strip, they could do so in about 30 minutes. And it doesn't."
Levin went on to note than a Hamas missile landed not far from the Ben Gurion Airport and now, "They shut down the airport now to international traffic. The United States did. So now Israel is isolated in that way."
"The Gaza strip is relatively distant from Ben Gurion airport," Levin explained. "The West Bank is very close. So what this demonstrates is Israel must never demilitarize or give up the West Bank because it will lose all control over its security."
"So I -- I thought Jon Stewart -- I don't think he's funny," said Levin. "I don't think he's smart. How can he be -- 10, 30 writers? But I thought this particular segment was really putrid."
Sean Hannity then said there are some observers of the fighting who lack "moral clarity" because they apparently do not want Israel to protect herself.
"I mean, what if one rocket were fired into one town or one city or one state here in the U.S.?" said Hannity. "I know what I'd expect our president to do: take out whoever was responsible. I don't understand why they're -- this is not a morally clear issue for everybody."
In response, Levin said, "Well, it is morally clear. That's why those who now pretend there's a moral equivalency or moral relativism are absolute fools. And they're to be ignored or to be shamed."
Neither Egypt, Jordan, nor Saudi Arabia are firing missiles into ISrael, said Levin. As for Hamas, "Israel waited and waited and waited, missile after missile after missile, and even after this ceasefire, it agreed to it, and then it warned Hamas: you continue this, you can see we're building up our ground troops. This is the only country I know that's not allowed to win."
Levin continued, "If they don't wipe out Hamas and the Hamas missile sites, it's never going to end. And I would like to educate Jon Stewart and his clapping seal studio audience to let them know: Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas also was part of the PLO. The PLO's history goes back to the Mufti, goes back to the Third Reich, the Final Solution. Read up, Ivy League boy! Try and figure out exactly what's going on before you cut your stupid jokes."
Hannity then noted that in its own charter, Hamas "calls for the destruction of Israel."
Also on Tuesday, State Department spokesman Marie Harf, commenting on the fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas and anti-Israel protests in Europe and the United States, said, "Israel does have the right to defend its citizens. And I think that many of the people, if they were – in these (anti-Israel) protests – if they were constantly having to run to bomb shelters because terrorists were firing rockets at them, I think some of them may feel differently."
"I don’t want to speak for them," said Harf. "But, certainly, Israel is living under a very serious terrorist threat that they have a responsibility to protect their people from."
She continued, "As I said, though, a few minutes ago, we do believe that Israel should uphold the highest standards. They have told us they will. We think they could be doing more to protect civilian casualties here, and we’ll keep the conversation going with them on this as well."
Because of the Hamas-launched missiles and tunnel attacks, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to protect its citizens and eliminate Hamas terrorist bases in Gaza. While more than 1,000 rockets have been fired by Hamas into Israel, a reported 754 have hit Israel but 201 were intercepted by the Iron Dome Missile defense system.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered IDF ground troops into Gaza six days ago to destroy the Hamas tunnels, which the terrorist group uses to cross the border and attack Israeli targets.
Senior Video Producer Eric Scheiner contributed to this report.