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Israeli Ambassador Threatens 'Doomsday' for Hezbollah

Reported by Judy - July 18, 2006 -

An Israeli ambassador promised "doomsday" for Hezbollah and severe action against Syria and Iran if Hezbollah dares to fire rockets at Tel Aviv, even as Fox News on Tuesday (July 18, 2006) continued to downplay the suggestion that Israel's response to the abduction of two of its soldiers is disproportionately harsh.

Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on "Dayside" and claimed that Israel's response has been "very measured and very calculated" and that it has tried to minimize civilian casualties as its U.S.-supplied warplanes have bombed harbors, airports, bridges, cell towers, and other facilities, killing more than 300 Lebanese people so far.

Gillerman said the response against Lebanon was justified because the government has allowed Hezbollah "to fester" in the southern part of Lebanon, near that country's border with Israel.

"Dayside" co-host Juliet Huddy asked Gillerman if Israel would consider it an escalation in the war if Hezbollah rockets were to target Tel Aviv.

"If they hit Tel Aviv, it won't be an escalation. It will be doomsday. It will be the end of everything for them," Gillerman said.

When Huddy asked what he meant by that, he said, "We would consider it not just an escalation but something which they and their sponsors, mainly Iran and Syria, would pay very, very dearly."

Asked by Huddy if he meant a nuclear attack, Gillerman said no.

The interview would have been a perfect opportunity for either Huddy or co-host Mike Jerrick to ask Gillerman if the level of casualties Israel has inflicted on Lebanese civilians is proportional to the loss of its two soldiers. But they didn't do it. Instead, as the interview ended, Huddy teased an upcoming "fair and balanced" debate on whether Israel's response has been excessive.

Instead of asking Gillerman that question straight out, Jerrick giggled when the head of Iran was mentioned and opined, "Isn’t that the truth?" when Gillerman said the Iranian leader "is the last person I would have preach about right and wrong."

After passing up a chance to put the Israeli ambassador on the spot about the proportionality of Israel's response, Huddy and Jerrick wernt to their debate with two other guests -- Fox News military analyst Major Bob Bevalacqua and Daveed Garsteenstein Ross, a terrorism analyst.

While Ross defended Israel's attacks as self-defense, Bevalacqua criticized them. as "way too aggressive." Although he said he is in favor of removing Hezbollah as a military force, Bevalacqua said he is not in favor of the destruction of the entire country of Lebanon.

Bevalacqua said Lebanon is a unique country in the Middle East with its mixture of Christians, Jews, and Muslims, that has been a democracy and a gateway to the Middle East.

"We just set all that back 20 years ago because two guys were captured. We lose two soldiers every other hour in Iraq. You don't see us leveling an entire city. I'm sorry. This is a complete overreaction by the Israelis," he said.

How interested is a news channel on a "fair and balanced" debate on an issue when its representatives pass up a chance to confront directly one of the actual parties to the war whether its attacks have gone too far and instead ask two proxies? Could it be that Huddy and Jerrick were simply too timid to ask the question, afraid that the ambassador would become angry at them for raising the issue? After all, this duo usually discusses interesting topics like Huddy's fondness for eating dog biscuits.