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Hasbara Project

David Horowitz, anti-Muslim “godfather”, goes after Berkeley students

BBSNews 2015-04-02 — By Michael Hess. David Horowitz has entire sections of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Web site devoted to exposing his hatred and bigotry, but that does not stop him from going after college students who seek peace, justice, and full human rights for Palestinians on their own land. Mr. Horowitz goes off the deep-end of hatred in the very first sentence of his latest screed of hostility, mentioning “Hitler” and the “Final Solution” in his first paragraph in order to get the bigoted juices flowing in the minds of those besotted by the wingnuttery that hate speakers such as Horowitz commonly espouse.

Visualizing Occupation: Ethnic Cleansing. 972 Magazine series.

Visualizing Occupation: Ethnic Cleansing. 972 Magazine series.

The Daily Californian, published by the Independent Berkeley Students Publishing Company Inc., squandered all credibility in hosting hate speech by Horowitz in Tuesday’s article entitled “Reasons for targeting Students for Justice in Palestine.”

Horowitz makes many claims with no evidence, including completely over the top statements like, “[i]n the Middle East, Hitler-admiring leaders in Iran and parties such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are openly planning to finish the job Hitler started.” This is not the type of rhetoric one would expect from a lucid person. But then he blithely continues on with accusing students in “campuses across the country” of “Jew-hate” for them daring to stand up against Israeli crimes outside of the country of Israel, in Palestine.

I called the Daily Californian, they support the hate piece that Horowitz wrote, and suggested I write something. So here it is, a factual refutation of the many counter-factual claims made by one David Horowitz, whom the SPLC, the American civil rights organization tracking hate speech since 1971, describes as “…one of the founding Marxist intellectuals of the New Left in the 1960s” who became “the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement.”

Perhaps Horowitz forgets that Israel has the most powerful army in the Middle East and dozens, if not hundreds, of undeclared nuclear weapons. He makes preposterous statements as if the state of Israel is hiding under the bed in fear from students at the University of California at Berkeley. This shows him, in my opinion, to be completely unhinged.

In particular Horowitz directs his rage at Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), who apparently keep him up at night with nightmares. He appears to be terrified that someone might finally be successful at bringing justice to millions of Palestinians who have had so many wrongs, crimes, and injustices directed at them from a nation that is clearly, belligerently and illegally, outside of its borders.

SJP is a decentralized organization, meaning that the national organization does not direct the advocacy of individual student chapters. The national organization is clear in their mission statement that they are not in favor of bigotry in any form:

“We believe that in order to resist structural oppression, we must embody the principles and ideals we envision for a just society, and that we must stand against homophobia, sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, classism, colonialism and bigotry and discrimination in any form.”

But Horowitz believes that anyone who calls into question crimes that the state of Israel has committed for decades to be “antisemitic.” So let’s take a look at some of his non-factual claims.

Horowitz writes, “…they deploy classic anti-Semitic imagery, they propagate the idea that Israel exists on land stolen from the Arabs, and they demonize Israel as an apartheid state.”

UN West Bank Fragmentation Map 2007.

UN West Bank Fragmentation Map 2007.

Every colony outside of the state of Israel in Palestine is illegal. This is longstanding US policy and it was affirmed in the 2004 opinion from the International Court of Justice who confirmed that the Apartheid Wall is illegal because at least 15% of it extends into Palestine. Horowitz seems to think that he can just makes things up but this has been US policy since President Truman. Until now, politically, US administrations have given Israel a free pass as Israel was considered an important Forward Operating Base during the Cold War.

The state of Israel declared itself within the suggested borders of UNGA 181. This is one of those non-debatable facts that people like Horowitz like to debate, and then lie about. The state of Israel declared its borders through Eliahu Epstein, agent for the provisional government of Israel, who wrote to President Truman in a letter dated May 14th, 1948:

“I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within the frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution of November 29, 1947 … the Act of Independence will become effective on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”

Not debatable. Israel was declared under its own motivation within the borders of UNGA 181 and this is what President Truman recognized.
Home demolitions and ethnic cleansing

Human Rights Watch explains that the home demolitions of the family homes of a suspected militant is “collective punishment” and likely a War Crime. The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD) reports on other demolitions with similar numbers to those disputed by Horowitz (and apparently by the Daily Californian):

“Since 1967, about 27,000 Palestinian homes and other structures (livestock pens and fencing for example) crucial for a family’s livelihood, have been demolished in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including East Jerusalem. It is impossible to know how many homes exactly because the Israeli authorities only report on the demolition of “structures,” which may be homes or may be other structures. When a seven-story apartment building is demolished containing more than 20 housing units, that is considered only one demolition. Some homes are as yet incomplete when they are demolished, but the financial loss to families (70% of the Palestinians live below the poverty line, on less than $2 a day), plus the inability to obtain decent and adequate housing, constitutes a fundamental violation of tens of thousands of people to shelter.”

B’Tselem, also reports widely on home demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities saying:

“According to Civil Administration figures, between 2000 and 2012, the Civil Administration issued 9,682 demolition orders for Palestinian structures built without a permit and has demolished 2,829 of them. According to B’Tselem figures, from 2006 through September 2013, the Civil Administration demolished at least 624 Palestinian residential units in the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem), causing 3,075 people – including at least 1,457 minors – to lose their homes.”

The Association for Civil Rights Israel (ACRI) has been reporting on home demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territories for many years. In particular demolitions in East Jerusalem, where all of Israel’s actions have been deemed illegal and “null and void” in many Security Council resolutions (UNSCR 476 et al). According to ACRI Attorney Nasrat Dakwar:

“Harm done to the East Jerusalem residents on the construction planning issue impacts every aspect of their life. People can not procreate, infrastructures malfunction and there is a major shortage in public spaces. When you even glance at Jabal al-Mukabar and then compare it with the Jewish settlement of Nof Zion, which was built on its lands, you will immediately see the huge gap in the planning institutions’ attitude toward the Jewish and the Arab populations. The policy employed here is driving the Palestinians out of East Jerusalem and practically means ‘a silent transfer.'”

SJP is on solid factual ground. And David Horowitz, with the Daily Californian’s help, is acting as an apologist for ongoing criminal activity.

Israel an Apartheid State

Horowitz continues with ludicrous charges, writing, “[s]ince its creation, Israel has been home to more than 1 million Arabs who, as Israeli citizens, sit on Israel’s Supreme Court, are members of its Knesset and enjoy more rights than the Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

This is heard a lot. What Horowitz left out is the 47 year occupation of Palestine by the state of Israel. He left out that millions of Palestinians who are under the boot of a brutal occupation army have no right to vote. Indeed in this recent election Israeli authorities made certain that the illegal colonists who are not in Israel had their right to vote for right wing parties who will of course be in favor of more criminal activity, more destruction of hundreds of years-old olive trees, and the construction of more illegal colonies. This is Apartheid when millions are prevented from voting on their own fate, a future of more Swiss Cheese like bantustans for Palestinians on their own land, again, outside of the actual state of Israel.

According to the Jewish Daily Forward, Likud did not fare all that well among the “settlers” (illegal squatters). Only 19% of the illegal “settlers” voted for Likud compared to the national average in Israel proper of 23%. Despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts in “pandering” to the farthest right parties in Israel in order to be re-elected, this ploy did not totally work. The “settlers” are not a monolithic group. Yes, some of them are hard right ideologues who believe “god” supports their squatting on territory outside of the state of Israel. But there’s a portion of these “settlers” who are just looking for cheap housing so they take advantage of these illegal colonies and move out of Israel into Palestine.

Horowitz also leaves out that there are two sets of laws, one applied to Jews and another applied to Palestinians. In 2011 B’Tselem pointed out that while “settlers” live in an area of occupation that is subject to military rule, Israel has “applied a substantial part of Israeli law to the settlers.” The illegal squatters are not subject to military or local law, when and if they are prosecuted at all they are subject to Israeli penal law.

There are two different systems of law where “settlers” who are charged with an offense receive “liberties and legal guarantees that are denied Palestinian defendants in the Occupied Territories charged with the same offense.” It’s blatantly an Apartheid system in a “temporary occupation” that has persisted for nearly a half a century.

Palestine is occupied by the state of Israel

Horowitz continues with blatant lies, perhaps the largest is his racist claim that Palestinians live better in Israel than they do in Palestine. He also claims “[n]or does Israel ‘occupy’ any Arab land.” This claim alone calls into question the credibility of the Daily Californian unless of course they also buy into the notion that UN resolutions have no meaning when it comes to Israel. This question used to come up with respect to Gaza because Israel claims that they ended the occupation of Gaza ten years ago. I asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon about this years ago and his spokesperson told me that Gaza is still occupied. The reality is that the state of Israel holds “effective control” over Gaza, if a fisherman strays beyond what that days limit is (they vary according to the whims of Israeli security forces), he can get shot, or have his boat destroyed.

Israeli drones are in the sky over the Gaza Strip all the time, hardly no one there can remember a time when they weren’t. The UN Security Council made clear in 2009 in resolution 1860 that Gaza is occupied by Israel as well as all Palestine. Fourteen members voted yes, the United States abstained from the vote. The resolution says in part:

“Recalling all of its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008)…

Stressing that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will be a part of the Palestinian state…”

Apparently David Horowitz forgot about UNSCR 242, mentioned above, is quite clear in emphasizing that the acquisition of territory acquired by war is inadmissible. In short, a UN Member nation is required to follow Article 2 (paragraph 4) of the UN Charter. A nation cannot use military force to expand beyond its borders. Horowitz has a friend in Vladimir Putin who used military force to take Crimea. The entire world condemns this, but one must assume given Horowitz’ stance on Israel being able to use its military to steal territory and resources, that he must also support Putin’s moves in Crimea and Ukraine.

The logical fallacy of two wrongs make a right

As an American Indian, one of Horowitz’ erroneous claims really makes me furious as a student of Human Rights laws and how they have evolved over hundreds of years, and especially during the last century. Horowitz wrote, “Native Americans have a greater claim to the United States than Arabs do to either Israel or Gaza and the West Bank.”

This racist statement is akin to claiming that early American slaves in the Big House had it much better than the slaves in the fields, so what are they complaining about? His statement completely ignores what year it is. Or what year it was during the Trail of Tears. It completely ignores that international human rights laws have changed greatly since white Europeans came to North America and committed genocide against First Peoples.

He completely ignores the Hague Regulations of 1899 / 1907, for instance Article 42, “territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. It’s exceedingly obvious that the IDF has all of Palestine under its authority. In the UN Charter, of which Israel is a signatory and a member state, a clear duty of a member state, “[a]ll Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Article 49, in the Fourth Geneva Convention makes very clear that it is illegal for a nation to transfer its citizens into occupied territory. “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

American Indians did not have any of these laws to protect our rights. However, the Palestinians do. Indeed in the document widely considered to be the basis for the legitimacy of the state of Israel, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 makes emphasizes that the indigenous Palestinians rights in Palestine, were not to be abused in the event of a Jewish state. Balfour wrote:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…”

This was again reaffirmed at San Remo in 1920 where this same language was adopted. Perhaps David Horowitz has not noticed, but 600,000 “settlers” transferred from Israel into Palestine is a grave violation of international law and no amount of racist rhetoric from a former Communist can change these facts.

Horowitz continues on a tirade of lies writing, “There is no peace in the Middle East because it is impossible to negotiate peace with people who want to eliminate you.” Which is ironic as it is not the Palestinians stealing, by military force, Palestine, from themselves. It is the state of Israel that is employing illegal colonization of territory that it does not hold sovereignty over that is preventing peace.

In 2002, the Arab states made an amazing offer to the state of Israel in the Arab Peace Initiative. Full recognition, normalization of relations, termination of all belligerency etc. And all Israel has to do is follow international law and ends its illegal occupations. This Israel refuses to do. They continue to expand the illegal settlements. They continue to subjugate and occupy a captive people outside of their state. Palestine is not Israel. The state of Palestine is recognized by 138 nations around the world and counting and it is quite possible that the United states will abstain from vetoing a full statehood bill for Palestine this coming September. It will be in part an answer to those who lie about the situation and continue to deny the obvious such as Israel occupying Palestine.

But finally, David Horowitz, acknowledged as the Godfather of anti-Muslim rhetoric by the SPLC, is openly threatening the students at the University of California at Berkeley, trying to encourage that their funding be stopped, by throwing a tantrum, and rocks in a glass house; accusing students seeking justice of telling lies and spreading hatred. The world already knows that David Horowitz is a master at lies and hatred, many of his latest lies I have debunked here.

But what has not been addressed is why the Daily Californian, a student run newspaper, would host these types of lies against students at Berkeley by David Horowitz? Why would this newspaper destroy its credibility by hosting this hate speech from a well-known hate-monger? In a Summer 2014 Intelligence Report from the SPLC, these are the kinds of tactics and bizarre conspiracy theories promulgated by David Horowitz:

“Horowitz has accused anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of being a secret Muslim plant in the federal government. More famously, he has led the charge that Huma Abedin, a long-time aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is a Muslim Brotherhood agent sent to ‘penetrate’ the U.S. government. Horowitz argues that Abedin, who is married to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, has ‘been given a special dispensation to marry a Jew so she can infiltrate our government.'”

What hold does David Horowitz have on the Daily Californian? The musings from this man are unhinged from reality. And suspect. After years of going back and forth in his stated political views from hard left to hard right, and his current rhetoric that rings of tin-foil hat conspiracy theories, what ever possessed the Daily Californian to print something from this well-known hate speaker?