The Question that Demands an Answer
In an era where open debate is severely restricted in the traditional media, it is refreshing to consider
the recent exchange between two well known titans of thoughtful reason. However, you feel about their individual politics,
you should ponder the questions that are presented. In Scott McConnell's, An Open Letter to David Horowitz on the
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, to the essay by Mr Horowitz: Why Israel Is The Victim And The Arabs Are The
Indefensible Aggressors In the Middle East; we have the makings of a very worthy discussion.
Since it is rare that this subject can be approached with intellectual clarity, both of their arguments,
deserve evaluation. This same point is made by Mr McConnell, when he laments the risk of losing our Jewish friends if disagreement
on Middle East policy, conflicts with Zionist goals. But more to the point than the account of historical background, is the
question of our American Policy toward this ongoing conflict, that pits the interests of two national movements against each
An Open Letter to David Horowitz on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Scott McConnell
In Mr Horowitz's reply to the McConnell letter, he lists the relevant questions: "There are four issues
to the matter before us. The first is the legitimacy of the Jewish state in Palestine. The second is the way the Palestinian
leadership has conducted itself (and therefore how one assesses the very possibility of negotiations). The third is what is
to be done about the West Bank. The fourth is: what is the American interest?"
Israel and the Buchanan Conservatives by David Horowitz
We will leave you to explore the answers to the first three from within these articles, but the last question,
demands examination. Mr McConnell asks the following of Mr Horowitz: how you think American interests would be served
by adoption of the policies implicit in your argument?
Scott continues: "You paint the Palestinian national movement as a fraud and the effort to build a state
in the occupied territories as a nonstarter, and suggest the Palestinians "try Jordan" if they want a state of their own.
Though this is not an uncommon view on the Israeli Right, it is generally kept under wraps because sophisticated Israelis
understand how poorly it plays with international audiences."
Eager to hear the response to this fundamental and legitimate question, we get from David: "I am not
- as I said in the article - a Zionist. I see this issue through American eyes. In terms of American policy, the appeasement
of Arafat by Bush pere and Bill Clinton has been an unmitigated disaster. The new Bush White House should tell Arafat exactly
what it has told the terrorist government of the Taliban and the terrorist government of Yemen: behave, or you are history.
If the White House does that, there will be peace in the Middle East and America will be a lot better off."
Somehow this reply lacks focus on the only issue that is important to America. Why is it so difficult for
our fellow Americans of Jewish heritage to address this topic, with clarity and explicitness? It always seems that the argument
must rest upon the primacy of Israeli interests, while American benefits recede into the shadows. Claims that both are identical,
insults the intelligence of all parties.
Now consider the issue that strikes to the heart of the discussion and is censured from polite conversation,
let alone; open public debate. Mr McConnell asks: "But as Israel's sole and generous patron, the United States risks the
unleashing against its own citizenry of the anger felt by the Palestinians (and spilling into the rest of the Arab world)
over their continued national dispossession. Indeed, that anger has already been unleashed. Even if as you argue it was the
Palestinians' own fault that they lost their homeland, or that they have no legitimate claim to any of the territory allocated
them by the United Nations partition of the Palestinian mandate why would it be in America's diplomatic and strategic interests
to endorse such arguments, considered completely ridiculous in most of the world?"
Since Mr Horowitz avoids any direct response, isn't it incumbent upon those who promote the current U.S.
Foreign Policy to defend it, and make their case to the American People?
Deferring to the slogan that "We are at War against Terrorism and need to support our Government and our
Friends" is insane at best, and risks national suicide for a cause that is not our own. Where is the imperative benefit for
us? Until it can be demonstrated that there is an advantage for the American Nation to advocate Israeli interests as our own,
would be madness.
Mr Horowitz's recovery from surgery, may well allow for reflection on the true interests of America. We
wish him well, and have supported many of his positions, since his conversion to the 'Right'. However, by renouncing his antiwar
roots, his is aligning himself with the forces of 'Interventionist Internationalism'. Because of this devotion to a cause,
foreign to ours; we must question his wisdom.
David, answer the question . . . . The American people deserve to know how we benefit, from a fight among
factions, that have nothing to do with our interests?
SARTRE - January 20, 2002