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May 15, 2010

UC San Diego Smack Down: Horowitz vs. Hamas Supporter?

I first learned of this story from Michael J. Totten's blog post A Most Disturbing Moment of Clarity. I would recommend reading MJT post as he is a brilliant writer and spent a considerable amount of time in the Middle East.

I first started reading Horowitz about 6 years ago when I became interested in the Israeli-Palestine conflict. I knew the U.S. supported Israel and I thought it odd when a coworker said the State of Israel was bogus and that they have no right to be there. I couldn't wrap my head around that. I decided to research the whole mess, and I use mess liberally since I knew any conflict in the Middle East probably has roots dating back to the Old Testament.

During my research I came across Horowitz and found that I both agreed and disagreed with some of his conservative thoughts. What I really liked about  Horowitz was his knack for drawing out the honest responses from people he talked to. It seemed like a Jedi mind trick. I downloaded and read his book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America because I was getting my Masters and, out of curiosity, I wanted to see if any of my hippie-like professors made the list.

Below is the video of the conversation between Horowitz and the Muslim student. She was calmly combative and her intentions were clear, even though she tried to come across as someone wanting to just get some "clarification" on Horowitz's literature. Her display was blazingly transparent and dishonest- if you have a point to make just come out with it. I can understand why Horowitz went on the path he did, to answer he question with a question, but it was irritating nonetheless. That being said, the answer to the student's question was, by Horowitz's admission, in his pamphlet. She just wanted to start something and I have no problem with that. Here is the most telling exchange by Horowitz and the student. The succinctness of the paragraph speaks volumes:
"I am a Jew," he said. "The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or against it?"

"For it," she said.

Really? You are going to come out and tell everyone you are for the murdering of Jews during a David Horowitz talk?

I really recommend NOT reading the idiotic, racist and irrational responses to the YouTube video. Instead, read the responses to the story on MJT blog. Horowitz really cornered this student and when he stripped away her poor attempt to discredit his literature with the rhetorical question about the connection between "MSA and Jihad terrorist networks". I could tell by her demeanor, body language and her verbal connector after she said her name that she wanted everyone to know what side she was on. Inviting everyone to a Hitler Youth rally was a particularly smooth move.

The aftermath of this jib-jab made its way to Fox News where Hannity, sans sidekick Colmbs, has an interview with Horowitz and mark Levine, Professor at UC Irvine. I knew this wasn't going to go well.  The interview was a waste of broadcasting time and was clearly set up to pit two extremists into a verbal cage match and burn up 8 minutes of the show. I especially liked Hannity's comment where he cuts off Levine in an effort "to get to the bottom of this". Really? You want to get to the bottom of why Jihadist terrorist organizations hate Israel in an 8 minute segment? Brilliant.

Here is the segment, with my apologies:

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