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Bill O’Reilly’s 5 Most Jewish Moments

Bill O’Reilly was forced out from his perch as a prime-time Fox News host on Wednesday, after the disclosure of multiple settlements involving sexual harassment allegations led advertisers to abandon the program.

Here are five of the longtime pundit’s most Jewish moments.

1. Jon Stewart and O’Reilly

O’Reilly and Jon Stewart, the Jewish former host of The Daily Show, sparred numerous times over the course of their careers — developing something of a combative camaraderie. When asking Stewart why he wasn’t sufficiently afraid of the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, O’Reilly prodded, “You’re a Jewish guy, right? … [Former Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad wants to drive you and ever other Jewish person into the sea.”

2. The ‘War on Christmas’

For years, O’Reilly sought to expose the so-called “war on Christmas” by spotlighting a supposed trend of companies saying “Happy Holidays,” which would encompass non-Christian winter holidays like Hanukkah, rather than “Merry Christmas.” When a Jewish audience member called in to The O’Reilly Factor to say he was, in fact, concerned by Christmas celebrations in schools, O’Reilly suggested that the caller should “go to Israel” if he was offended.

3. Killing Jesus

In 2013, O’Reilly co-wrote a book titled “Killing Jesus: A History,” about Jesus and his death. In it, the Jewish teacher Jesus is cast as what the Guardian described as a “Tea Party son of God.” The British paper called the book “a breathy retelling of the gospel stories by two conservative Catholics, one of whom, O’Reilly, believes that he was inspired to write the book by the Holy Ghost.”

4.’That Falafel Thing’

One of the most unusual pieces of evidence presented alongside accusations that O’Reilly engaged in sexual harassment was a recorded telephone call between O’Reilly and then-associate producer Andrea Mackris. O’Reilly vocally fantasized about how he’d like to fondle Mackris with a shower loofah, which he mistakenly called a “falafel thing” later in the call. Falafel is widely seen as a national food in Israel.

5. Jewish Conservatives

O’Reilly hosted many Jewish conservatives on his program, including Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, with whom he often theatrically sparred over subjects like President Trump’s Russia ties and the celebrity performers (or lack thereof) at Trump’s inauguration. “I find it hard to get exercised over the fact that we may be short a Rockette at the inaugural celebration,” Krauthammer said, mocking O’Reilly’s outrage about celebrities boycotting the inauguration.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

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Bill O’Reilly’s 5 Most Jewish Moments

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