So it was rather refreshing to see Hardball host Chris Matthews defend the United States's staunchest -- and only truly democratic -- Middle Eastern ally in his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary for the July 15 program. You can read the transcript below the page break (MP3 audio here, video follows page break; emphasis mine):
Let me finish tonight with the powerful case Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York delivered in today's New York Post. I feel like starting this with, "Now hear this!" because it's been so long that it's not been heard, because it's been so long since we've all needed to hear it.
It's this little precious fact. It's about how Israel and its Palestinian neighbors are dealing with the tragedy of the four young people kidnapped and killed. The innocent three Israelis, and the innocent Palestinian boy.
Israel went out and found the killers of the Palestinian boy. They arrested them. They charged them. They clearly mean business in punishing the guilty.
Now, what about the other side? What about the Palestinians? What have they done to render justice?
Well here's Sen. Schumer. Quote, "How did Hamas and too many diverse parts of the mainstream Palestinian community respond to the kidnap and murder of three young Israelis? They cheered. The official Hamas spokesman called the kidnappers heroes."
It gets worse.
"The mother of one of the suspected Palestinian kidnappers, said, if he, her son, truly did it, she said, I'll be proud of him 'til my final day."
While there have been terrible statements made by at least one Israeli politician who called for the mothers of the so-called Palestinian martyrs to be killed, the government of Israel, itself, has been just and effective in this matter, and went out and caught the people suspected.
This has hardly been the case on the Palestinian side. Hardly.
I have thought for a while about when we will have true peace between Israel and its neighbors. It's when the Arabs are ready to punish an Arab for killing a Jew. That's the day when the people of Israel will be ready to trust their neighbors, the day when they show the most primitive respect for the Jewish people. The respect for the right to their homeland, but even more to their right to life.
Senator Schumer, you said it right. These killings and how they're being handled tells us all we need to know about what is right about the Middle East and what is wrong. And in this case, the right, even in this horror, is tilting toward the government in Jerusalem.
More often than not when Mr. Matthews gets mentioned in NewsBusters, it's not in a favorable light, but refreshing moments like the aforementioned are worthy of our acknowledgment.