The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, June 10, 2002  

Horowitz Seeks Financial Support
For “Defense of Israel” Campaign

We promise not to be too cynical, but we feel compelled to issue a warning on the present danger: former leftist radical and now conservative activist David Horowitz has his hat in hand seeking $180,000 to support his “Defense of Israel” campaign.

For those not familiar, Horowitz is the editor of and “operator” of something called the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. (Operator is his word, not ours. Check the CSPC web site, which apparently is updated about once every two years.)

Herewith a few excerpts from Horowitz’s appeal:

“I’m asking you for your financial support of my Defense of Israel Campaign. I realize that if you care enough about defending Israel to back up your beliefs with a financial contribution, you would want your money to be spent in the most effective way possible.

“Here is what my Defense of Israel Campaign has been doing:

“I sent my booklet ‘Why Israel is the Victim’ to thousands of media outlets including newspapers, magazines, and talk show hosts. The booklet gives the facts on Israel that Americans need to know -- the wars the Arab states have waged continuously, their stated determination to destroy Israel, the falseness of their claims against Israel, and the double standards the world uses to judge Israel and the Arabs. And it includes maps that show dramatically the tiny piece of land Israel occupies, and how precarious its existence….

“I speak out on Israel in frequent op-ed pieces, appearances on TV and radio talk shows, and in speeches in front of organizations and college audiences.

“But we now need to take the campaign to a new level that will reach millions more Americans with the truth -- and show up the pro-Palestinian propaganda campaign for what it is. To do that, I need your help. Here is what we want to do:

“Distribute thousands more booklets nationwide to give many more Americans a factual basis for understanding why Israel must be defended. I want especially to reach politically active citizens, and college students whose impressionable minds are being poisoned by the anti-Israel attitudes of many academics.

“Run an advertisement I have created in newspapers and magazines, to reach millions more Americans with facts about Israel, and to offer the booklet. The ad is headlined, ‘5 Reasons America Must Support Israel.’ It gives essential facts in a clear, readable way. Expand my speaking engagements, media appearances, and writing to reach many more Americans. [Ed.: God help us, every one.]

“The critical job ahead is to show as many Americans as possible that the goal of Yasser Arafat and his supporters is to destroy Israel, not to live side by side with it -- and how vital Israel’s survival is to the survival of the United States and western civilization.”

According to the plea, Horowitz needs to raise the largest amount he has ever sought “at one time,” specifically, $180,000, within 30 days.

Aside from the assertion that Israel is the victim of a propaganda campaign and the reference to “the anti-Israel attitudes of many academics” (Hmm…Last we checked the proponents of divestment of Israel at Harvard University and M.I.T. were out-petitioned by an order of 12 to 1.), we find little in Horowitz’s manifesto to which we would object.

The problem lies in Horowitz himself.

When we envision the tireless and tactless Horowitz mounting yet another of his one-man crusades, we can’t help but think of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the well-known proponent of “assisted suicide.” Despite our opposition to Kevorkian’s mission, we believe reasonable people may disagree on the subject. But even the most ardent supporters of “assisted suicide” must be embarrassed to have a nut like Kevorkian assuming so prominent a role on the issue’s behalf.

Given Horowitz’s propensity to bring any debate into the gutter, his incapacity to restrain his temper, and his inability to construct a few coherent paragraphs, let alone a sustained argument, we are tempted to think he is a mole for the Palestinian cause.

We wouldn’t wish Horowitz on anyone. Thus we extend our deepest sympathies to the state of Israel and the Israeli people. For their sake, we hope the Horowitz campaign is unsuccessful and that he recedes quickly into the background. Surely the Jews have suffered enough already.

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