Isn’t it a great world when a talk-show moron on a major cable network (Bill O’Reilly at Fox) feels free to slam a caller (and by extension, all Jews) with the exact same slur (“go back to Israel”) that was hurled at me (along with rocks and dogshit) on my way to and from school in 7th grade?

You have a predominantly Christian nation. You have a federal holiday based on the philosopher Jesus. And you don’t wanna hear about it? Come on, [caller] — if you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel then. I mean because we live in a country founded on Judeo — and that’s your guys’ — Christian, that’s my guys’ philosophy. But overwhelmingly, America is Christian. And the holiday is a federal holiday honoring the philosopher Jesus. So, you don’t wanna hear about it? Impossible.

The “philosopher Jesus?” As others have pointed out, where’s Plato’s holiday? Where’s Heidegger’s? More to the point, where’s Spinoza’s or Maimonides’? “Philosopher.” Bah.

Abraham Foxman of the ADL responds quite appropriately, and much more politely than I would have.

More dangerously, your remark plays into one of the oldest anti-Semitic canards about Jews, that they are not full citizens of a country and are not entitled to all of the rights afforded to the majority. The notion that religious minorities have no place in a Christian America and should leave may be acceptable for extremists, but it is unacceptable coming from a popular and respected media commentator.

To add to the “moron” part of this post’s title, O’Reilly also referred to the “seven candles” of Chanuka.

Just how popular is Fox News? Far too popular. It’s frightening. “Fair and Balanced.” Bah.

(Media Matters has the full text and audio clip of O’Reilly’s offensive rant)