Nearly a week ago, I put up a piece that in the context of this post, might be worth a revisit.
I attended the event as an individual, not as a representative of any organization, least of all the MSA. My presence was solidly founded in my academic and personal quests to hear diverse viewpoints. Unfortunately, Mr. Horowitz is a seasoned polemicist whose intent is not to encourage academic discussion by expounding his arguments or even supporting his positions with hard facts, but to excite the passions of an audience. Mr. Horowitz spent an hour indiscriminately attacking liberals, students, Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians, utilizing verbiage that completely departed from an academic tone and delved into hate speech–especially labeling groups and individuals that support Palestinian rights “terrorists.”
Insofar as my references to Hitler and the Nazi Youth programs: it was Mr. Horowitz who spent a substantial amount of time referring to the MSA as the “Hitler Youth” and its Justice in Palestine Week as “Hitler Youth Week”– pejorative titles that as a human being, a student of history, and a person of faith, I find disgusting. I uttered them in a sarcastic manner only to point out the ridiculous and slanderous nature of Mr. Horowitz’s labels–Nazis sought the extermination of anyone who was not “white,” and this racial category excludes the vast majority of the Muslim population.
Towards the end of the exchange, I became emotional. I could no longer hear Mr. Horowitz speaking and so did not even hear his injection of Hezbollah’s credo of “rounding up” Jews in his last tangent. I could no longer contain my anger at being implicitly and improperly labeled a terrorist, an anti-Semite, and a proponent of genocide. The answer I was coerced into giving grossly misrepresented my beliefs and ideologies.
My answer, “for it,” in the context in which it was said does NOT mean “for” genocide. I was referring to his initial question that asked me for my position on Hamas, a topic that for his own political reasons he was relentless in pursuing. “For it” was not a legitimization of Hezbollah’s or anyone else’s credo for that matter that Jews should be exterminated. In fact, Mr. Horowitz’s intent was to entrap me with his barrage of questions so that he could avoid answering my question, and construe any answer that I would provide as anti-Semitic, genocidal hate speech in order to further his political agenda.
I am not a member of Hamas, nor have I ever given support to Hamas, nor do I agree their actions or stances wholesale, but I refused to offer Mr. Horowitz a blanket condemnation of Hamas that night. I felt that doing so would be a blanket condemnation of the Palestinian cause. I refused to throw the baby (the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people) out with the bathwater (Hamas.) In addition, Mr. Horowitz asked me to condemn Hamas as a genocidal organization; which to my limited knowledge on the subject, is another unsupported claim made by Mr. Horowitz.
Does this in any way change your view of what was seen in the Horowitz video?
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.