Sounds limp, but I shook all day after the “Committee for Justice in Palestine at The Ohio State University” forwarded OSU College Republicans’ invitation to hear David Horowitz pontificate on “Why Israel is the Victim on April 22. But I had to film Horowitz, because he and CAMERA wield ridiculous power in U.S. schools. As my friend Sami Mubarak told me:
Many minority students, especially Muslim and Arabs, are feeling unsafe that David Horowitz is allowed to speak on our campus. He claimed responsibility for the hateful anti-SJP posters found in Smith-Steeb dorm on our campus a couple months ago.
Though I’m a member, I’d no clue that OSU’s CJP had been among those targeted, because CJP chose not to distract from its work at a crucial time. (More about that soon.) Mubarak reminded me that Horowitz had “funded an Islamophobic ad in The Lantern back in 2012″–a fact I’d reported at the time–full of calumnies Horowitz repeated that night.
Readers of this site know David Horowitz’s efforts at hate-mongering on campus, last week and a couple months ago. Ben Norton has also debunked Horowitz’s lies, so I’ll point out a few lowlights and post the whole, in six parts, for context. (Sorry for the background noise, and that my video wobbles, whenever I was asked to move.)
From his rancid start (2, 0:30) to his abrupt departure, Horowitz’s venom stunned. He skipped the courtesies, like thanks or a nod to Earth Day, dear to many. Instead, Horowitz made sure everyone could hear him, then griped, “I understand that we have people here from several groups that support the terrorist regimes in Gaza and the West Bank (#2, 0:20).”
People gasped. When one, then two, clapped in mock shock, Horowitz lapsed into sarcasm: “Great day for America when you support terrorists.”
David Horowitz crackled radioactive hypocrisy. He demonized the Muslim Students Association and CJP (#2, 5:09, 14:00) through guilt by association to Nazis, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas–casting even Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas as “literally Nazis”(#2, 21:36), yet obscured the Israel’s use of all–including the fact that Israel helped start Hamas to divide the PLO (see also this and that). He claimed that the Holy Land Foundation, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Hatem Bazian all plot “the destruction of Western Civilization,” based on one supposed secret memo (#3, 13:55), but could scarcely be less civilized himself. Worse, he ignored miscarriage of justice involved the Holy Land Foundation trial and convictions.
He accused opponents of supporting terrorism, but elided Israel’s own terrorism from the King David bombing to the Nakba onward. He tried to swell his credibility using his status as a former “Communist” and “Leftist,” yet projected his ideology onto us. He whined that he had the right to be heard without listeners leaving in protest. He exclaimed that Jews are victims of “Jew-hatred,” yet scorned the “Victims studies,” that he claims “this University like every other university has (#4, 1:25).”
He moaned that people “put words into my mouth that I didn’t say, they omit every qualification” (#4, 10:30), yet that’s precisely how he misrepresents those who criticize Israel. He alleged that four “Disappearing Palestine” maps “is a Hamas map….The map is one big lie” (#3, 15:18). Paradoxically, those pictures of the ongoing theft of Palestine were the one good thing Horowitz provided: they overshadowed his harangue.
Among other nonsensical claims:
“Students for Justice in Palestine, the Committee for Justice in Palestine has only one agenda: the destruction of the only Jewish state (#2, 16:25)….The Jews didn’t expel the Arabs when they attacked them in 1948, nor did they… in the 1967 war or in the 1973 war. Turns out that this generosity on the part of the Jews was a mistake; these people are not grateful, they’re fanatics, they’re driven by hate. Four hundred years is a long time: the American Indians have a greater claim on the U.S. than the Arabs have either on Israel or on the West Bank (#2: 19:00).”
At least he admitted here that the West Bank is not part of Israel.
But he resorted to long-discredited hasbara, asserting that the people of Palestine had no right to their own homes, because there was “no national movement of the Palestinians” (#2, 19:41)–that is, that if people did not claim a land precisely as “the Jews” had done on the basis of an eminently-debatable brand of national identity, they forfeited the ground they owned. He announced,
“Occupation is one huge lie…. because if you think the Jews stole the land, then you don’t pay attention to all the amazing things Israelis have done to contribute to YOUR health…cell phones, you owe the Israelis that (#2, 25:00).
He asserted that “The second lie is that Israel is an Apartheid state” (#2, 26:00): “The only state that’s safe for women, gays, and Christians is Israel” (#2, 27:40). Excuse me if I quote from the the Kairos Document that declares,
“The aggression against the Palestinian people which is the Israeli occupation, is an evil that must be resisted…. Christian love invites us to resist it. However, love puts an end to evil by walking in the ways of justice.”
He alleged that if you’re a woman “in the [other] countries of the Middle East, “you’re just chattel,” and the merriment that greeted it was priceless (#2, 26:45). And piled up equally laughable falsities about Gaza next (#3, 0:01):
If you want to know why Palestinians are poor,…why they are suffering,…why they get killed in wars, it’s Hamas that’s reponsible, because Hamas is the aggressor. The Jews weren’t firing rockets into Gaza (#3, 6:00).
When Sami Mubarak and a friend asked,”When will the hate end, David?,” as they held up the sign (3, 6:48),” Horowitz barked,
“You tell me. You’re obviously the–. Do you guys want to identify yourselves? Are you MSA or the CJP or some other leftist hate group?”
A whimsical voice quipped, “It’s the Chess Club.”
What an entrancing spirit to return drollery for malice. Horowitz, however, grumbled as people stood to leave, “I don’t know how you guys live with your consciences.” But CJP, MSA, and other groups do know: they had already started a hashtag campaign called ‘EndHateOSU.”
A “representative of Student Government” offered more comic relief about “sinister acts like food and dancing” (#26:45). Nevertheless, Horowitz posed as an innocent threatened by us: “If the police weren’t here, who knows what would happen!” (#4, 0:15), “You haven’t been attacked on campus. I have! (#4, 0:20).” And he yelled at others: “You’re just stupid! You have no brains (#4, 2:50).” Or this abuse:
“You’re on a different planet from me. I don’t understand how you got all that crap in your head and spew it out at me….[I refuse to waste any more life transcribing poison] (#4: 5:50).”
At last, but too soon for students to debate, Horowitz closed his talk: “It’s a sad, sad performance. Now, [mumbling] we’re finished. Thank you all, even the people who disagreed with me in a civil….[unintelligible].”
He then lingered less than twelve minutes for civil chitchat, seemingly scared off by a question he couldn’t answer. A friend of mine asked why so many Holocaust survivors “condemn Israel’s actions (8:41).” He smeared such critics who’d lived through the death camps, saying, “Some of the Jews shoveled the bodies….ovens….” before waving her off: “You’re just being sarcastic.”
The obscenity was so startling that I–stuck behind my lens–assumed he’d involuntarily yelped at my friend. Only in the video could I see him direct it straight into my camera.
Still, I wonder: How has Horowitz retained respectability, when he acts so—-unimaginably? For the College Republicans’ applause seemed keen (#4, 10:55). And the CR leaders were polite to visitors. Still, I can’t understand the moderator’s double standard about protecting “civilized discourse”: allowing Horowitz to denigrate the audience but not the latter to respond.
Why ever the CR did invite the infamous Horowitz when Hillel’s Buckeyes for Israel pointedly did not? OSUCR recently supported several Israel-centric events, but Buckeyes for Israel did not co-sponsor Horowitz’s visit. I can only assume that Hillel and BfI at last calculate that Horowitz’s grotesquery will do anything but pump up Israel’s popularity. And this person has shaped academic debate?
I think psychological care is a great thing. As one flawed human to another, I feel for David Horowitz, because paranoid vigilantism is a sad life. Short of getting professional help, though, we can all hang out with good people who radiate sanity, spreading resilience all round. A week ago, comradely sumud helped me creep into the hate-fest I dreaded. So now I call out to #EndHateOSU, “Thanks.”