Saturday, May 7, 2016

David Horowitz at UC Irvine

Last night, David Horowitz appeared at UC Irvine, hosted by the College Republicans. He spoke before an audience of about 40 people including students and community members on the subject of campus anti-Semitism as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition to students and community members, the Vice Chancellor for student affairs and his deputy were present. There were no protests or disruptions

Horowitz addressed many issues including campus anti-Semitism arising out of the pro-Palestinian movement on campuses. He took aim at Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Union, both of whom he termed as supporters of Hamas, a terrorist organization that wants to exterminate every last Jew in Israel. He also sharply criticized the universities (UCI and in general) for allowing the outrages on campus against Jews as well as the indoctrination by professors.

Horowitz also described the history of the term, Palestine, which originated out of a Roman term for Philistines, who were not even Arab. He debunked the Arab claim to the area, which is the historical home of the Jews. To paraphrase, the main motivation behind the entire Palestinian movement was pure Jew hatred and a desire to drive the Jews from the region.

During the q and a, a group of female students identified themselves as Hillel members, but that they were not there representing Hillel. Horowitz was sharply critical of Hillel for their unwillingness to stand up to the anti-Semitism on campus. One young lady replied that as Jews, they were culturally conditioned to be in fear. (I am paraphrasing.)

There were a handful of pro-Palestinian students in the audience (one Jewish). During the q and a, they attempted to engage in debate with Horowitz over the Palestinian question. The Jewish student told Horowitz that Jews did not support him, at which point a community member stood and said that he was Jewish and he supported Horowitz.

Also, during the q and a, I was able to confirm his charges of anti-Semitism on campus and give a few examples. I also criticized the University of California campuses including UCI for denying the problem and organizations like Hillel and the Jewish Federation for being missing in action.

Final comment: I had heard that Horowitz had been in poor health, and it was evident. He seemed tired and lacking the energy that I had seen before. He had spoken the night before at San Diego State University in the wake of campus turmoil over posters his organization had placed on campus. In spite of it all, he continues to plug along, and for that he deserves much credit. I wish him good health. His voice is badly needed. His appearance and support for us at UCI is much appreciated.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Horowitz also described the history of the term, Palestine, which originated out of a Roman term for Philistines, who were not even Arab. He debunked the Arab claim to the area, which is the historical home of the Jews. To paraphrase, the main motivation behind the entire Palestinian movement was pure Jew hatred and a desire to drive the Jews from the region.

That's mendacious, but I doubt anyone in attendance had the knowledge of history to take him down.

Sure, Palestine was a Roman term for a province they had cleared of rebellious Jews. So what? The relevance of "Palestinian" to the current controversy is that the League of Nations awarded Great Britain a mandate to run a fragment of the former Ottoman empire designated "Palestine" by European Romanophiles.

The Arab claim to the area is that Arabic speaking peoples had been living there for some 1000-1500 years, when a large number of thoroughly Europeanized Jews who had not been living there for some 1800 years suddenly showed up and said "my historical home."

The main motivation for Jew-hatred was that the population moving illegally across international borders to enter the territory and remake the culture instead of assimilating were Jewish.

Historically speaking, the first few Caliphates and the Ottoman Sultanate got along fine with Jews, many of whom served in high government positions. Both had a common antipathy toward Christians.

Now, all that said, there are times when large populations flood across borders due to overwhelming human catastrophe, and there is really no way to turn back the clock or drive all the Jews into the sea or any other such fantasy. It would have been more just to carve out a Jewish homeland out of a good chunk of Poland, Germany and Hungary, but no use crying over spilled milk. They are there, just like all the Hispanics living in the United States.

Gary Fouse said...

The area called Palestine also had Jews throughout history as well. In addition, many of the Jews who moved to the region even prior to WW II purchased their land from Arabs.

As the region began to prosper because of the efforts of the Jews, many Arabs moved there for better opportunity. In addition, don't forget the half a million or so Jews who were driven out of Arab lands after 1948 and who wound up in Iasrael.

Wasn't Israel more or less created the same way Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon were created after WW I?

Israel's Jew are not all Ashkenazi, you know.

When you look at the history of the region, it's a rather complicated demographic story, is it not?

Squid said...

Really Siarlys,

Please check out the Arch of Titus that still stands today in Rome. On the inside of the arch is a mural that depicts the sacking of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by the Roman armies. They used the spoils to help build the Coliseum. You can Google the picture. The distraction of the Second Temple took place over 2000 years ago, before the birth of Mohammed and the revelations that started Islam. This inconvenient fact explodes the theory that Israel belongs to the Palestinians and not the Jews.
Israel is the ancestral home of the Jews, period. They have been there for over 3000 years, even though they have been driven out of their land by many invading forces.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Squid, the facts you state are mostly true, and all irrelevant to the controversy at hand.

The Second Temple was actually destroyed about 500 years before Muhammad, but even if it was 2000 years, so what? The Jews were gone, and demography abhors a vacuum. People were living there before sizeable Jewish migration returned. At any rate, it was not Arabs who drove out the Jews. As Gary notes, there were (small, peaceful, non-threatening) Jewish populations there in the interim. Nobody gets to claim pre-emptive rights to land because "we moved here 3000 years ago" over people who have been living there the past 1500 years. Cut the mysticism.

Israel was not created after WW I. It was created after WW II, by a UN resolution. According to that resolution, there should also be a Palestinian Arab state, so both have the same claim to legitimacy. Jewish settlement and purchase of land from Arabs did not upset anyone particularly, until Britain decreed the land open to unlimited Jewish immigration, and people arrived dedicated to establishing a Jewish state that would dominate the territory.

Yes, its complicated. That is why simple solutions and slogans don't offer much progress. In the end, everyone in the former British Mandate needs a political home. It would have been easier if every corrupt monarchy in the region had not sent armies to thwart the original UN resolution, but blaming the monarchies is cold comfort to Palestinians who still want a bit of the land to establish their own country.

Israel could have announced in 1967 that it had liberated Palestine from illegal Jordanian and Egyptian occupation in violation of the 1947 UN resolution, and invited the Arab residents to form their own independent government. It would have been a very different world.

Gary Fouse said...

Israel accepted the UN division of the region but the Arab world did not and went to war.

I always wonder why there is no worldwide movement for Jordan to cede territory to the Palestinians. Was not Jordan created from the same land?

Then again, I know the answer. The Jordanians are not Jews.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Your first sentence is correct. However, it was not "the Palestinians" who went to war, but the armies of five or so neighboring Arab nations. They told the resident Arab population to get out of the way while they drove the Jews into the sea, which of course never happened, leaving those displaced as refugees. The territory known as "the West Bank" was part of the British Mandate of Palestine, and it was seized by Jordan, which lost it in 1967. What remains of Jordan was not part of Palestine.