A wit once said that it’s every man’s right to be stupid, but
some abuse the privilege. Ari Paul, the author of an incoherent and
illiterate diatribe (What the hell is a neocon?, 09/03/03)
in The Michigan Daily is one such individual.

Paul’s column (“Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Paul Wolfowitz” –
get it?) purports to be about how the dread neocons are driving the
war on terror in behalf of Zionism. Here are just a few of his
inanities and errors.

According to Paul, neocons are “all Jewish.” False. Jeanne
Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett and Dick Cheney, to name only three
important neocons, are hardly Jewish.

According to Paul, “Most neocons were all the same in their past
lives as Trotskyites.” This is false too. Among the leaders of the
alleged “neoconservative” faction – only Irving Kristol was a
Trotskyite, and that for one year in 1938. If Bennett, Kirkpatrick,
Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz were ever Trotskyites, they sure
have kept it a secret.

In Paul’s fever swamp prose I myself am referred to as, “the
now-racist David Horowitz.” This is a particularly repulsive libel,
not least because my grandchildren (who I am joining at the
Raiders’ game next Sunday) are black. As it happens, I have been
marching for the civil rights of black Americans since 1948, before
Paul (and probably his parents) were born. I am today active in the
inner city as a supporter of black organizations like Operation
Hope, for whom I raised $500,000 dollars last year. I am in the
process of organizing an inner-city summit which I will also
finance to draw resources to communities that are poor, Hispanic
and black. Virtually every panelist at the conference will be
Hispanic or black. I am primarily responsible for the election of
Shannon Reeves, the president of the Oakland, Calif. branch of the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to be
secretary of the California Republican Party since it was I who
recruited Reeves and had him put on the slate. I have written
extensively about my racial views, which are identical to those of
Martin Luther King Jr. and have not shifted one iota from where
they were in the ’60s. If Paul were not consumed by his own
ideological hatreds he would have had the decency to check what I
had written and done before slandering me in this fashion. This
behavior is particularly unbecoming of someone who pretends to be a
liberal.

Paul says “most neoconservatives made the switch (from left to
right) in the ’60s, like Irving Kristol, when they found themselves
supporting Israel when the left was rallying for the Palestinians.”
This is false and also malicious. Irving Kristol was a famous
conservative in the 1950s. Norman Podhoretz, Jeanne Kirkpatrick,
Richard Perle and other neoconservatives left the Democratic Party
in the mid-’70s as a result of first the McGovern campaign and then
the failure of their political leader, Democratic Sen. Henry
“Scoop” Jackson, to get the presidential nomination in 1976. The
issue that caused their break was the Cold War and the Carter
Democrats’ failure to stay the course.

The issue of Israel moved some neoconservatives – like Podhoretz
– to the conservative side to be sure. But to write a piece whose
central claim is that neoconservatives are Jewish nationalists out
to control American policy in behalf of Israel is merely to mouth
the false and hateful propaganda of the Islamic jihadists. It is
the jihadists who have attacked America, who have blown up the
Middle East peace and who have a desperate stake in the myth that
Jews are behind the war on terror and that the war on terror is
about Israel, when in fact it is about the hatred of Islamic
radicals for a tolerant and democratic United States.

I am sorry to see such self-righteous ignorance on display in a
college journal, but then what else is new?

Horowitz is a political commentator and the author of
“Uncivil Wars: The Controversy over Reparations for
Slavery.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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