by David Horowitz
[FrontPage Editor’s note: This is the edited transcript of the speech given by David Horowitz at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on March 12, 2012.]
I want to thank Brandon Hartness, the Committee for a Better Carolina, and Christians United for Israel for inviting me to speak tonight. I wish I had also been invited by Jewish groups on this campus, but the Jewish groups on this campus are in a state of denial when it comes to the threat facing Israel.
The subject of my talk is Israel, but it is really about America as well. Israel is the canary in the mine. When you watch Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, lead tens of thousands of Muslims in Lebanon in chants of “Death to America, death to Israel,” you understand they are linked. When you hear Iran’s dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, lead similar crowds in chants of “Death to Israel, death to America,” you see they are linked. The coiner of the slogan that linked them for the Islamic revolution was the Ayatollah Khomeini, father of the modern Jihad against the West, who called America “The Great Satan” and Israel “The Little Satan.”
When gauging human conflicts it is important to look at people’s intentions. Probably none of you ever wondered why we don’t have missiles pointing towards our northern neighbor, or an army stationed on the Canadian border. That’s because we understand that even though Canadians are often resentful of what they think of as “American imperialism,” their intentions towards us are friendly and benign. We even share a “National Hockey League” with them. If people understood or correctly read Hitler’s intentions in the ‘30s, 70 million lives might have been saved. Hitler systematically violated the International Peace Agreements that were meant to keep Germany from re-emerging as a major aggressive power. Then he took a piece of Czechoslovakia and a piece of Austria, but there were always people in the West, leaders in the West, who said, “We can do business with Hitler, we can negotiate him, we can appease his appetites short of war.” And they were wrong.
The Jews, too, misread Hitler’s intentions. There would be a lot more Jews in the world, if the Jews then had understood the intentions of the Nazis. There were 500,000 Jews imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto. But they didn’t think the Germans were going to kill them. They organized themselves to make it easier for the Germans to ship them out to what they thought were work camps. They actually made it easier for the Germans to kill them because they thought the Germans were too civilized to plan to exterminate them. They misread the intentions of the Germans.
So I want to begin this little talk tonight by reading some statements made by Palestinian leaders, which express their intentions towards the Jews. Mahmoud al-Zahar is a founder of Hamas and one of its current leaders, and this is what he has said: “There is no place for you Jews among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed for annihilation.”
Ahmad Bahar, who is acting chairman of the Gaza Parliament and a member of Hamas said, “Be certain that America is on its way to disappear. Allah take hold of the Jews and their allies. Allah take hold of the Americans and their allies. Allah count them and kill them to the last one, don’t leave even one.”
On the official Hamas website there is a video of a Hamas suicide bomber, and he can be seen saying this: “My message to the Jews is that there is no god but Allah. We are a nation that drinks blood and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of Jews. We will not leave you alone until we have quenched our thirst with your blood and our children’s thirst with your blood.”
Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, has said that he hopes we Jews will gather in Israel so he won’t have to hunt us down worldwide.
Youssef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, spoke not long ago to a million people in Tahrir Square and said this: “Throughout history Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler by means of all the things he did to them — even though they exaggerated this issue — he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.” In other words, Islam will finish the job that Hitler started.
The prophet Muhammad has said, “The day of judgment will only come when Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. When the Jews hide behind the rocks and the trees and the rocks and the trees cry out ‘Oh, Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’”
This genocidal saying of the prophet is quoted in the Hamas Charter, which also says, “Islam will obliterate Israel as it has others before it.”
On American campuses across this country, members of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The river is the Jordan, which is Israel’s border to the east; the sea is the Mediterranean, which is Israel’s border to the west. “From the river to the sea” is Israel. What Students for Justice in Palestine and members of the Muslim Students Association are chanting is a statement of intention to obliterate the state of Israel. Israel is fighting for its survival against global forces who want to destroy it.
What is “Palestine?”
It’s not an Arabic name. It’s a name that was given to Judea and Samaria, which is now called the West Bank, and which is the historic homeland of the Jews. In 66 A.D. the Jews had the bad judgment to go up against the Roman Empire, and they were defeated and a million Jews were killed. To further humiliate the Jews of Judea, the Romans renamed the territory they inhabited after their enemies, the Philistines. There were no Arabs, by the way, in this region at that time. The Philistines were red-headed Aegean sailors. They were not Arabs.
For 2000 years after that, there was no people calling itself Palestinian. In fact, there was no people calling itself Palestinian until 1964, 15 years after the state of Israel was created, which is one of the reasons that Newt Gingrich said that the Palestinians are an invented people. Palestine is the name of a region, it’s like New England. In 1948 if you talked about Palestinians, you’d be talking about Jews. We inhabit a kind of surreal universe now, particularly in universities, which are the most conformist institutions in our country, which is why these facts seem strange. The university has become a one-party state where people on the left talk to each other with nobody to challenge them, which is why everything I’m going to say tonight will probably seem strange. But if you can overcome your emotions and actually look at the facts, you’ll see that everything that I’m saying is quite correct.
The, Big Lie which is repeated by Hamas and the PLO, and by everyone on the political Left and by all supporters of the Palestinian cause, is this; the claim that Israel occupies Palestinian land, or that it occupies Arab land.
This is false. The land that Israel was created on, which is the same land that Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan were created on, belonged to the Turks for 400 years prior to that. Turks are not Arabs. The Turks were on the losing side in the First World War, which meant that when the war was over the Ottoman Empire would be dismantled. This is according to both international law and international tradition. After the war, the European victors were given mandates over the conquered empire, and they carved out the five nations I mentioned.
The “Palestine Mandate,” which described a portion of this territory, referred to a region, not a people. There were Arabs living in this region, but there was no “Palestinian people.” In 1922, Churchill assigned 80% of the Palestine Mandate to Jordan, created the state that is now called trans-Jordan. Seventy-percent of the people living in this area were Arabs who inhabited the region called “Palestine.” In other words seventy-percent of Jordan is Palestinian. But you never hear anybody complain that Jordan is “occupied” by the Hashemite minority that rules the state. Jordan is a Hashemite monarchy with a majority Palestinian population. It is 80% of the land mass of the original Palestine Mandate. Where is the movement for the self-determination of the Palestinians of Jordan? There is none. There is none because the agenda of the Palestinians and their leftwing supporters is not to create a Palestinian state but to push the Jews into the sea. That’s it. The Palestinian movement is not about self-determination.
[At this point about 40 members of the audience, some wearing kaffiyeh’s the terrorist symbol created by Yassir Arafat, most of them members of the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine, supporters of Hamas marched out on a pre-arranged cue.]
Goodbye everybody. These are supposed to be college students, supposed to be learning…
The British government, which created the state of Jordan (or Trans-Jordan as it was then known), stipulated that no Jew could own land in Jordan. Today, no Jew is welcome in Jordan, a country which occupies 80% of the Palestine Mandate that had been promised to the Jews.
The British and the United Nations then divided the remaining 20% of the original Palestine Mandate between the Jews and the Arabs, who lived on the west bank of the Jordan River, the Arabs who – it so happened – lived in Judea and Samaria, the historic homeland of the Jews. They divided the remaining 20% equally, except that they gave the Jews three slivers of land not exactly contiguous and 60% of that land was an arid desert.
The Arabs rejected their share of the land and instead, on the day Israel was created in 1948, eight Arab dictatorships attacked the new born state with the stated intention of pushing the Jews into the sea. That war has never ended. It is the Arabs’ aggression against the state of Israel and their desire to push the Jews into the sea that is the cause – the sole cause – of the conflict in the Middle East.
When the Jews won the 1948 war, they offered to sign a peace with the Arabs and to live side by side with an Arab state. But the Arabs did not want a Palestinian state, then or for the next sixty years. They have rejected a state every time it has been offered to them because that is not their goal. Their goal was once to expel a non-Arab people from the region, and is now to make it Muslim. Islam is – and has always been — an imperial religion that expands by force. No one can leave Islam. For apostates the sentence is death. Similarly, once an area is Muslim, it has to stay Muslim. That is the creed.
When the war ended in 1949, Egypt annexed Gaza, and Jordan annexed the West Bank. There was not a peep out of the entire Arab world about the annexation of Gaza or the annexation of Jordan, or the fact that the so-called Palestinians not only didn’t have a home now, they didn’t have the land they had been promised to build on. Why was there no protest? Because it’s not about self-determination for the Palestinians or the Arabs, for that matter. It’s about getting rid of the Jews. It’s about pushing the Jews into the sea.
The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, was an admirer of Hitler who translated “Mein Kampf” into Arabic in the ‘30s. In 1948, al-Banna said, “If the Jews get a state in Israel, Islam will push the Jews into the sea.” That’s the agenda, and it has never changed.
In 1964, when the West Bank was still part of Jordan, and Gaza was still part of Egypt, the Egyptian dictator, Nasser, sponsored the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization as a weapon against the Jews. You can read the original PLO charter on the Internet. You will not find a word about liberating the Palestinians of the West Bank, or about self-determination for Palestinians of Gaza. It’s all about obliterating the Zionists — Israel. That’s who these people are.
The West Bank and Gaza were liberated from Egypt and Jordan as a result of Israel’s victory in the ’67 war. This was the second Arab aggression in 20 years whose stated purpose was to destroy the Jewish state. When this war was ended, Israel offered to return Gaza and Jordan back to Arab rule in exchange for a peace treaty that would recognize Israel’s right to exist. The offer was rejected. The Arab aggressors all met in Khartoum in 1967 and they issued a joint statement which is generally referred to as “The Three No’s” – “No recognition of Israel; No negotiation; No peace.” That is the reason why Israeli troops have occupied Gaza and the West Bank. Their purpose is to prevent further aggressions by the Arab states through these corridors, and also – and more recently — their use as terrorist launching pads by the PLO and Hamas — and that’s why Israeli troops are stationed here.
Israel cannot just unilaterally withdraw from where its troops are stationed and allow those who seek its destruction to attack again. They need to have a peace treaty that recognizes their right to exist and they need to redraw their borders to make their territory more defensible. It is the internationally recognized procedure for dealing with aggressors when they lose to re-draw the map so that their victims have a greater ability to defend themselves the next time.
Germany attacked Poland twice in the 20th century, so in 1945 the Allies took the entire region of East Prussia, which was the industrial heartland of Germany, and gave it to Poland.
How many Germans do you think had to be resettled? How many Germans did they pull out of East Prussia and resettle when the Allies gave East Prussia? Twelve million. Twelve million Germans were uprooted from places they had inhabited since the Middle Ages. And nobody complained. If the Jews had acted the way other nations act, they would have annexed the West Bank in 1967 and they would have moved all the Arabs into Jordan which is a majority Palestinian state. But they didn’t do that. The Jews tried to be nice. They thought: if we’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to us. No they won’t. They hate you, and want to push you into the sea.
When Israel was the ruling authority in the West Bank and Gaza in the ‘70s and ‘80s, they poured hundreds of millions of dollars into these territories and created universities. The economy of the West Bank grew at a rate that was the fifth fastest in the world. Then came the Oslo so-called peace process, which established the Palestinian Authority and brought the terrorist Arafat back from Tunisia and gave him control. I had to pinch myself when I read the statistics, but within six months the standard of living in Gaza had declined by 25% and the unemployment rate went from 10 to 40%. These are the real oppressors of Palestinians: The PLO and Hamas.
It’s not like the malicious intent towards the Jews, the hatred for the Jews, the “kill the Jews” mentality is extraneous to this struggle. It is this struggle. The father of Palestinian nationalism is Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who led massacres of the Jews in the ‘20s and ‘30s because they were Jews – well before the creation of the state of Israel. Al-Husseini was a Nazi, literally a Nazi, who went to Berlin to serve Hitler. Al-Husseini was a protégé of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. He recruited an Arab legion to fight for Hitler and he also drew up his own plans to create an Auschwitz – a death camp for Jews in the Middle East. The only reason his plan wasn’t implemented was because Rommel was defeated in the battle of El Alamein. Today, Al-Husseini is honored on the West Bank with a holiday as the George Washington of the Palestinians.
This is a Nazi movement. The statements I read at the outset of this talk are Nazi statements. The difference is this: Hitler hid his plans for the Final Solution from the German people because he thought they were too civilized to accept them. The Palestinians of Hamas and the Iranians shout it from the rooftops. Where is the great dissent from this in the Muslim world? It’s too bad that all our Muslim friends have left and did not stay to hear this, but there are good Muslims and there are bad Muslims, and the majority of Muslims are probably good Muslims – decent, law abiding and desiring peace. But there were good Germans too, and in the end, they didn’t make a damn’s worth of difference. I will know a moderate Muslim when they stand up and condemn these kinds of statements and the actions that they inspire. It’s not really hard to know who your friends are. But a lot of people have difficulty in knowing who their enemies are and that is the problem we are facing today.
Since Gaza for the younger people here is something they remember, I will use Gaza to make this case. After the 1967 war, as I said previously, the Jews offered to give Gaza back to Egypt. Egypt rejected the offer because the Arabs had decided on the “Three No’s” — no negotiation, no recognition, no peace. The reason that Israeli troops occupied Gaza was that Israel had been invaded twice already – and in 1973 would be attacked for a third time. Nonetheless, the world is bent on encouraging Arab aggressions. There was enormous international pressure from the left on Israel to retreat from Gaza without a peace, without security guarantees.
Why is there such international pressure? It comes from Islamic states, but also from the secular international left, which regards Israel as the oppressor and not only ignores the history of Arab aggression but also the real oppression in the Muslim world. The left is supposed to care about women and gays, but apparently not when they are second class citizens or hung from cranes in Islamic countries. There is no greater oppressor of women in the world today than Islam.
Women are practically chattel in many Islamic countries and are not even free to go out without a chaperon. Ninety percent of the women of Egypt have their clitorises sliced off in accordance with Muslim practice, and most of these clitoridectomies are done without anesthetic on pubescent girls with kitchen knives. Where is the outrage? What is the Women’s Studies Department on this campus saying about that?
In any case, in 2005 or so, Ariel Sharon decided that Israel would unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and take away an argument against the Jewish state. Remove a Jewish “settlement.” There were 7500 Jews in Gaza at the time. Why are Jewish settlements a problem in any case? There are more than a million Palestinian Arabs settled in Israel. What’s wrong with Jews living in the West Bank? It’s a problem because the Palestinians are racist. They hate Jews and they don’t want any Jews living in their society. How do I know this? Because Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the PLO, has said so, and in so many words: there are not going to be any Jews in a “liberated” Palestine. How much clearer does it have to get? (And yet, there is not a Jewish organization on this campus willing to support this talk.)
So, Ariel Sharon decided, “We’re going to unilaterally withdraw.” Of course, Jews don’t want to be occupiers in any case. Why should they? They’re too busy creating cell phones and flash drives. Israel is the most creative, productive society on the face of the earth. Which is another reason why the Arabs hate it. Hate Israel. Israel’s creativity and productivity because it shows how Islam as currently interpreted has blighted the Arab world. There are three hundred million Arab Muslims in the Middle East. There are five million Finns in Finland. If you take away the oil that God in one of his blacker moments put under the desert there; if you take away the oil, the gross national product of three hundred million Arabs is less than that of five million Finns. And why is that? Well, part of the reason, obviously, is that they keep their women ignorant, denying them education. One of the reasons the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the ayatollahs was because he allowed women to get an education. The ayatollahs didn’t like that. The illiteracy rates in the Muslim world are a disgrace. It’s no wonder their countries are so backward.
In any case, Ariel Sharon decided that Israel was going to remove the Gaza pretext for the Palestinians not to sign a peace treaty. But he misread the Palestinians’ intentions. Israel evacuated Gaza unilaterally. The Israeli government also evacuated the 7,500 Jews who had settled there and did not want to leave. Because they did not want to leave, the Israeli government forcibly removed them. Why did they do that? Because if they had not done that, the Jews living in Gaza would have been massacred when the Israeli troops left. Figuring out the Middle East conflict does not take rocket science. What did those Jewish settlers do? Well, first of all, they were law-abiding. They were 7,500 Jews living peacefully among more than a million Arabs. They were not only law-abiding citizens of Gaza, they were productive ones. The 7,500 Jews created a horticulture industry with greenhouses and irrigation systems. They produced 10% of the entire gross national product of Gaza, a country that could not afford to take such a contribution lightly.
If I may be self-critical about my own people, this is how sappy we Jews are. To make the Israeli peace gesture to the Palestinians complete, to put the ribbons on it, so to speak, the Jewish publisher of U.S. News & World Report collected 14 million dollars from Jewish philanthropists to buy the greenhouses and give them with the irrigation systems to the Palestinians of Gaza. On the day the Israeli troops left and Hamas took control of Gaza, Hamas destroyed the greenhouses and the irrigation systems – the whole industry that had accounted for ten percent of Gaza’s gross national product — and started firing rockets into schoolyards in Sderot.
Eight-thousand rockets have been fired into Israel since Israel foolishly withdrew from Gaza. And what kind of rockets are they? They’re not rockets that one targets a military instillation with. They can’t target accurately. They aren’t good for any military purposes. They are only good for terrorizing civilians. These are Nazis. That’s who they are. And yet, on college campuses we have people wringing their hands over the poor Gazans because after three years of Israel accepting the unacceptable Israel struck back. Just how long do you think a country like America would allow, say, Canada, to launch rockets into schoolyards and towns in this country with no reprisal? But the Jews did it for three years. And then when they struck back, on college campuses across the country to protest the deaths of civilians who were killed in the Israeli effort to stop the attacks. Why were so many Gazans killed in the counter-attack? Because Hamas put them in harm’s way. Hamas put its headquarters under a hospital. Hamas installed its rockets in neighborhoods where people lived. You wouldn’t think there would be so many idiots in the West who would fall for these tactics, but there are.
Geopolitically speaking, Israel is in pretty dire straits. Iran is a thousand miles away; Israel does not have strategic bombers, it has fighter bombers. Whether they can actually carry out the job of taking out Iran’s nuclear capabilities is problematic. Of course, if you believe that Iran is building these nuclear sites to produce medical isotopes I’m not goin’ to get through to you. Israel is in a very hard place. A significant portion of its plight, is its own doing – not reading the intentions of its enemies. Leaving Gaza to Hamas was one mistake. The Oslo peace process was another. When Oslo began, the terrorist Yassir Arafat was in exile in Tunisia. For the sake of peace with people who wanted to push them into the sea, the Jews brought Arafat back to Ramallah, and armed his terrorist “police force” with 40-thousand weapons, and in effect began the phase of the war in which Hamas Nazis are dictating the tactics – suicide bombing in particular.
Why do people fall for these illusions? Its the “hopey-changey” thing in all of us. The wish is father to the thought. We want things to be better; we don’t want to face the fact that there is evil in this world. People don’t want to hear that there is evil.
On our college campuses today you can’t even inform people of what’s out there. My Freedom Center has produced a pamphlet written by Dan Greenfield about Muslim hate groups on campuses, which refers to the anti-Israel activities of the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. I tried to place an ad for that pamphlet in about 30 college papers. Only one, Ohio State, agreed to print it – this is a paid advertisement mind you. Of course, there was a big eruption when it appeared. The Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine are Muslim Brotherhood groups, which make apologies for Palestinians’ evil intentions and deeds, and demonize Israel by spreading Hamas and PLO lies about the Jewish state.
Oh, of course on a college campus you can’t talk about Palestinians having evil intentions. That’s a generalization. You can’t say all Palestinians, that’s racist. All right, where is the Palestinian “Peace Now”? Tell me that. Where is the Palestinian standing up in the West Bank or Gaza, or in the United States, for the rights of Jews? There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Jews who are standing up for the rights of Palestinians. But none known to me refuting the lie that Israel is an apartheid state. It’s all about intentions. It’s all about the culture. And Palestine is a culture of hate.
Tell me that the reason the Palestinians in their majorities, through their governments support suicide bombers is because they are desperate. The Israelis have tanks, we have suicide bombers. The fact is that people have been oppressed in this world for thousands of years, horribly oppressed. But never in the entire history of mankind has an oppressed people strapped bombs on its own children and sent them to blow themselves up and kill other children, and then tells them that if they’re lucky enough to be male, they’re going to go to heaven and get 72 virgins for their good deed. That is sick. Gaza is a death cult, and the death cult is created by Hamas. A similar death cult exists in the West Bank run by Hamas’s ally, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which lionizes the murderers of children, terrorists who actually set out to target children. Who does this except psychopaths? They have institutionalized psychopathic behavior. You can see it on the web, the preachers preaching death to Jews, the little kids dressed up as suicide bombers, the children’s television cartoon figures encouraging them to murder Jews.
There was a really good documentary on HBO called “A Death in Gaza,” made by liberals, which was about this death cult. The filmmakers followed two twelve-year-old boys who who were hanging around Hamas, and aspiring to be suicide bombers. They recited poems in their school classes about becoming suicide bombers. It was a very sad picture. During the film one of the kids was shot – I forget the details of the incident – and suddenly he was transformed back into a little kid no longer boasting about becoming a suicide bomber but screaming and crying in pain.
In another sequence one of the boys was playing scissors, rock, paper with a Hamas terrorist. When the kid went back home the filmmaker said to the terrorist, “I see that you use this kid as a runner and lookout. Isn’t that a little dangerous for a 12-year-old? He could get killed.” The terrorist’s answer: “Oh, we have thousands of kids like that we can replace him with.”
At the end of the film, the director is killed. Nobody knows who killed him. He is out in the field and is shot. The film ends with a sequence with the kids. After they come through the terrible experience of one of them being wounded and in pain, the filmmakers ask them what they’d like to be now, and they say, “filmmakers.” That’s how sick that situation is. This is a whole society geared to bringing up its children to kill Jews.
Now why are these campus leftists — I’ve talked to them and they’re not stupid kids — sucked into this, into being apologists for evil? I have some insight into this because I grew up in the Left. My parents were Communists and I was one of the founders of the New Left. I have a fairly educated insight into what might go on in the mind of a leftist and how one of them might be taken with the Palestinian cause. To begin with, there is no right in this cause. The Palestinian cause would be right if it were directed against Hamas and Hezbollah and the PLO and the Arab states. Then it would be supportable. But, it is led by Hamas and Hezbollah and the PLO and is directed against the Jews who are the victims of a 60-year war by the Arab states and the Palestinian authorities to push them into the sea, and obliterate the Jewish state.
“Push the Jews Into the Sea” was the official slogan of the Palestinian Liberation Organization until the KGB persuaded Yassir Arafat that the Palestinians would never gain influence with the international community unless they changed the face of their movement and presented it as a quest for self-determination. (We know this from the testimony of Arafat’s KGB handler, Ian Pacepa.) Of course, for anyone familiar with the facts this is an obvious lie since the population of Jordan is 60% to 70% Palestinian Arab but is ruled by Hashemites. There is no outcry over the oppression of the Palestinians of Jordan by the Hashemites and no movement for Palestinian self-determination in Jordan.
It is also evident in the repeated rejections of statehood by the Palestinians every time it is offered to them. In 2000 Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians 95% of the territory they had been demanding to create a state and their response was the Second Intifada led by suicide bombers targeting pizza parlors and public buses.
Why would the left embrace such a malignant cause? Because the left is seduced by promises to “liberate” and to change the world. The world is full of misery, everywhere one looks. If the world could be changed, who wouldn’t want to do it? But, consider the legacy of the movements that actually set out to change the world in the 20th century.
Nazism was one. If we just rid the world of the Jews and the mongrel races, we can create heaven on earth. Communism was another. If we just get rid of the capitalists – the 1% — we can create paradise on earth. What Communist progressives created in fact was the most oppressive state in the history of the world. In the name of “social justice” they murdered 120 million people — in peace-time – and created unimaginable poverty, man-made famines that killed millions of people. That’s what progressives produce when they get sufficient power.
The lesson of this is that you can only change the world a little piece at a time. There’s a reason that we are where we are and not somewhere else. The obstacle to the realization of all progressive utopias is human nature. You can read all of the Marxist and leftist texts ever written and never encounter a consideration of what people are actually made of and what they are capable of, and why it is so difficult to produce a society of human beings that is fundamentally different from the way human beings have lived since the beginning of recorded time. But the fantasy persists: we’re going to change the world. It’s the same fantasy of Osama bin Laden and the jihadists: We’ll make everybody Muslim and force them to live under Sharia law, and then the world will be a holy place. And if you don’t agree to be holy, we’ll kill you. Exactly the mentality of the Nazis and the Communists.
There’s a natural affinity between all movements for an earthly redemption. That’s why the Islamists have made common cause with the progressive left and have learned to talk in the language of the of the left, the totalitarian language of social justice. It’s a noble idea, but it is an impossible dream.
I have come to these conclusions having spent the first half of my life trying to achieve social justice and then reflecting on the achievements of the movements I supported. I was part of the so-called anti-war left of the ‘60s. (The left is never “anti-war” – it is anti-American, anti-capitalist war.) The left I was part of forced America to get out of Vietnam – to withdraw unilaterally from the field of battle. The Nixon supporters of the war whom we hated said, “If America leaves Indo-China, there will be a bloodbath. The Communists will kill thousands, maybe tens of thousands, maybe more.” Our answer was, “No, they won’t.” But they did. They killed two-and-a-half million people in one of the worst genocides of the 20th century. And there wasn’t one leftist protest against those killings – because they were done by Communists, by progressives.
Thank you all for coming.
[FrontPage Editor's note: To get the whole story on the radical anti-Israel hate groups infesting our universities, order "Muslim Hate Groups on Campus" by Shillman Journalism Fellow Daniel Greenfield and "Genocidal Liberalism: The University's Jihad Against Israel & Jews" by Dr. Richard Cravatts.]David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine,Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.”
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