By: Fern Sidman
Exceptionally heavy security prevailed at Brooklyn College on Thursday evening, March 10th, as conservative commentator, prolific author and founder of the FrontPage Mag web site, David Horowitz, delivered a lecture in response to the propaganda being promulgated by the organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week on campus.
Over 150 people gathered at the college library auditorium to listen to Mr. Horowitz’s speech entitled the “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Myths and Facts” and was sponsored and organized by Brooklyn College student Yosef Sobel and Mitchell Langbert, an associate professor in the department of business and economics. “Because the Hillel organization on campus was too afraid to sponsor me, I must thank those who had the courage to do so.” said Mr. Horowitz. Despite numerous warnings prohibiting verbal disruptions, bellicose Muslim student hecklers abounded and Mr. Horowitz’s remarks were often punctuated by the sounds of acrimonious, ad hominem attacks.
A native New Yorker and a graduate of Columbia University, David Horowitz has led a polemical existence as a one-time self-proclaimed Marxist and a former left-wing academic whose political beliefs have now shifted to the right. As one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s, he was also the editor of its most influential magazine, Ramparts. Along with Peter Collier, he is the author of a number of best-selling dynastic biographies on the Rockefellers, the Kennedys, the Fords and the Roosevelts. With Collier, he also wrote. “Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the 60s” (1989), a chronicle of their break with the 1960s Left, that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ “Witness” and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism.
Through the work of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, he champions an array of causes including the defense of the principles of individual freedom as well as the preservation of free societies in the war against the values inherent to Western civilization and the reestablishment of academic freedom in American schools. His recent books include, “Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left” (2004), “Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom” (2007) and “Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party” (2007).
Making oblique references to the security of Israel, Mr. Horowitz began by ruefully observing, “When I went to college, you didn’t need all of this security on campus, but things have changed and that’s the reason we now need checkpoints on campuses. Checkpoints are essential to defend against terrorists and Jew haters.”
Adding that he has been verbally and physically assaulted on campuses around the country for his forthright views, he said, “Our campuses are controlled by liberal fascists and it is a movement to suppress the free speech rights of conservatives. He said that the International Socialist Organization, a Marxist organization, is culpable for creating an academic climate of intimidation and hate. “It is they who spread lies about me and work with their Muslim allies towards the mobilization of radical jihad against the West. The Muslim community needs to stand up and defend democracy in this country and that’s what we’re all waiting for.”
Providing a historical backdrop to the Middle East conflict, Mr. Horowitz said, “There was no Palestine since the days of the Roman conquest of the land of Israel and there certainly was no Palestine in 1946. The war against the Jews started in the form of Pan Arab nationalism and the PLO was created by the KGB. They advised Arafat that the best way to succeed was to play the victim role and say that all they want is their own state and that Israel is occupying Palestine.” Saying that the entire region around the Jordan River was created by imperialist powers such as the Ottoman Empire, he intoned that, “Israel was not built on Arab land.”
Declaring that he is a “political Zionist,” Mr. Horowitz said he believes that the Jewish people have a right to exist and have a right to their own state. Equating such terrorist organizations as Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Islamic Republic of Iran as “Nazis in the Middle East,” he said that their objective is “not to create a Palestinian state but rather, to push the Jews into the sea” because they can’t live alongside a people of another faith. “In 1922, 80 percent of the land of Israel was ceded to become the state of Transjordan that is now ruled by the Hashemite kingdom and there are more Palestinians in Jordan than in Israel,” he said, adding that their calls for a Palestinian homeland are eclipsed by their desire to eradicate Israel.
“Democracy is a threat to political Islam and they believe that everyone who is not a Muslim is an infidel and is deserving of death. The Christian population of Bethlehem once stood at 80 percent and is now 12 percent because of Islamic influence,” he said.
Addressing the subject of Israeli Apartheid Week on over 55 campuses across North America, Mr. Horowitz said, “Muslims have more rights in Israel than they have in any Arab country in the world,” and called the notion of Israel as a state that practices apartheid as “disgusting.” Pointing to the sheer hypocrisy of such egregious and fraudulent accusations, Mr. Horowitz said, “If you want to know what real religious and gender apartheid is just look at the entire Muslim Middle East and not Israel.”
Speaking of the political realities in the aftermath of World War II, he said, “12 million ethnic Germans were purged from Poland, but after the state of Israel was established, no one expelled the Arabs, hoping that one day rationality would take hold, but it never did.” He said that such organizations as the Muslim Students Association and the Islamic Society of North America who are the chief sponsors of Israeli Apartheid Week, are “fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood” and are “hate organizations” that make campuses unwelcome for Jewish students. On campuses around the country, he said, the organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week erect an “apartheid wall” and proffered the idea that “a wall of lies” be built to counter their pervasive myths and distortions of the truth. Speaking of the well known Saudi Arabian funding of Middle East Studies departments at Western universities, Mr. Horowitz suggested that this is the impetus for the inextricable links between Muslim organizations and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Calling the expulsion of close to 10,000 Jews from Gaza in the summer of 2005 as part of the disengagement a “mistake,” Mr. Horowitz said, “a normal people in a normal state would never have done so, but would have driven out the 1.2 million Arabs because they are possessed by hate as manifested in their violent destruction of the thriving horticultural industry that the Jewish population had created there and their incessant rocket assaults on such towns as Sderot.”
Taking aim at the ubiquitous political zeitgeist that views the Palestinians as a nation of oppressed refugees, Mr. Horowitz intoned, “No people have shown themselves as so morally sick as the Palestinians,” adding that, “In the history of all mankind, there was never a people who strapped bombs on their bodies and killed innocent people. No other people have sunk so low as the Palestinians and everyone is afraid to say it.” Describing Islam as a religion possessed by “hate, violence and racism,” he said that a resolution to the protracted Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio is not beyond reach. “If you disarm the Palestinians in the Middle East there will be peace, but if you disarm the Jews, there will be further death and destruction.”
“How is it that Jews do not get the narrative?” he queried. “The Palestinians are suffering, but it is not by the hand of the Jew, but rather their true oppressors are Hamas and Hezbollah,” he said. Calling the Palestinian Authority a “terrorist government,” Mr. Horowitz said, “when we see hate we must call it so, we must label the enemy as who they are.” “The Palestinians don’t want peace. How can you negotiate with those who won’t recognize Israel’s right to exist? Look what happened to those Arab leaders that have tried to establish peace with Israel. They were assassinated by radical Islamist elements.”
Extolling the idea that “jihadist murderers” are tantamount to “Nazis and blatant Jew haters.” he said although they may appear to be perfectly decent, nice people, a great many of them support Osama Bin Ladin and like minded genocidal murderers. “Hitler did not publicly announce his ‘final solution’ in the fear that the German people were too civilized to accept it, but Ahmadinejad proudly and publicly announces his version of the ‘final solution’ and no Islamists condemn him. To the contrary, they cheer him on and embrace his vision.”
Challenging the belief that America is an Islamophobic country, Mr. Horowitz said, “Muslims are treated with kid gloves in America and are a protected species.” He said that 8 to 10 times more hate crimes are committed against Jews than there are against Muslim in America. Pointing to the case of the Holyland Foundation, a purported Islamic charity that was found guilty of funding terrorism on the West Bank by their direct contributions to Hamas, Mr. Horowitz said that the unindicted co-conspirators in this case were the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and that there has been “no significant condemnation of this group or others of this ilk.” He unabashedly condemned Hamas as a “fanatically religious, Jew hating, America hating, Nazi organization.”
During the question and answer period, a male Muslim student implied that a witch-hunt cabal was taking place and drew a parallel between Mr. Horowitz and the late Senator Joseph McCarthy, adding that Horowitz was a racist. When asked by Mr. Horowitz if the student would condemn Hamas, the student refused to do so, but proceeded to engage in further equivocation. Referring to Mr. Horowitz as an “ignorant racist” a female Muslim student who identified herself only as Magdalene said, “he has no proof of anything that he’s said here tonight,” adding that women in Muslim countries are “not persecuted by the rules of Sharia law but by draconian dictators who serve American political puppets.”
According to Lauren Kunis, a pro-Israel supporter who sought entry into the auditorium but was denied, “I had wanted to bring my Israeli flag in with me and was told by the Brooklyn College security that I couldn’t. I told them that I’d wear the flag around my neck as the Arab members of the audience were wearing keffiyahs around their necks. I was then strong armed out by an African American security guard, who I’ve learned is the Brooklyn College deputy director of security. She accused me of making a ruckus and then called other police officers to escort me to the gate and out of the college. Seems like anyone who takes a proud pro-Israel position is considered a troublemaker and an enemy on campuses today.”