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Israel held hostage

As Americans have learned from the Daily Show, sometimes satire can be the best way to take the political temperature of a country.

Last month, Eretz Nehederet -- a prime-time satire show broadcast by Israel Television Channel Two -- produced a series of skits about settlers holding Israel's defense forces hostage.

Here is the first skit:

After it aired, settlers and their allies cried foul. One right-wing Knesset Member even compared the show to Nazi propoganda.

Eretz Nehederet then introduced the following segment. They prefaced it with an apology to all those who were offended by the first skit, and said that the new skit would "correct" the representation that some West Bank settlers were "high-tempered and dangerous."

All humor aside -- Israeli public opinion polls consistently show that most Israelis do not identify with the ideological settlers, their values and way of life. As settlers increasingly resort to violence and disobedience, Israelis increasingly grasp that Israel is being held hostage to a fanatical political agenda.

I hope that Americans come to understand this dynamic, and to step up their support for an Israel at peace, an Israel that most Israelis want to see.