Tuesday, September 28, 2010

David Horowitz at 'Securing America's Future' in Beverly Hills

Here's the scene as I walked up to the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills Sunday night:

Securing America's Future

It's an old-fashioned venue with a balcony and ornate interior. Kinda fun. Here's a shot of the crowd a few minutes before opening introductions. The event was well-attended:


The event press release is here. Michael Medved moderated. And the panel was awesome: Cliff May, Mona Charen, and David Horowitz.

Medved's opening question asked the panelists: "What was the most important threat" facing country today?" Medved tapped David Horowitz first. Without hesitation, Horowitz said that "Islamo-Nazism" was the most important threat facing the United States. And he noted that it wasn't just the threat of Islamist terrorism but the even greater danger of the "fifth column of the international left" (hellbent on America's destruction). Mona Charen followed Horowitz. And she agreed, although she stressed that the Western European democracies have suffered from a loss of self-confidence. They have turned inward and are ready to submit to creeping Islamization. This hollowing out indicates Europe's long abandonment from the defense of Western civilization. Charen added that in the American case, the party in power (the Obama/Dems) was working on the Europeanization of the United States. But she stressed that the American people have refused to capitulate to the left's statist power grab. The U.S. continues as the bastion for the defense of the West. And the coming election in November was looking to bring about a major reckoning in American politics. Last to respond was Cliff May. He agreed with the others but placed the debate on security in the context of America's support for Israel and our leadership in the war on terror. "Israel is on the front lines," May said. The security of Israel directly affects the security of the United States.

As this was a bit uniform, Michael Medved broke out of the moderator's role to suggest that the "bankruptcy" of America's fiscal policy was perhaps the greatest threat to America's long-term security. "This will destroy the American dream," he said. Cliff May and Mona Charen seemed fairly warm to that discussion, but David Horowitz placed the current huge budget deficits in historical context, suggesting that as a percentage of GDP the deficits America incurred in WWII were much larger than today's, and after the war we paid them down and went about building the postwar prosperity. "The deficits are a problem of political will" not economic crisis, he said. Horowitz was to return to the theme of political willpower throughout the night.

While I was impressed with both Cliff May and Mona Charen --- and I was thrilled at the chance to see them speak --- the night truly belonged to David Horowitz. During the audience question time, one attendee --- sitting in the front row a few seats to the left of me --- asked about Israel's security, that by defending the country by force didn't Israel "risk World War III?" This question really animated David Horowitz, and he came back again to the issue of political willpower. He said the it wasn't just the PA or Hamas that rejected Israel's right to resist, but the Palestinians themselves. They'd been trying to drive the Jews into the sea since the 1920s. Current efforts at "peace" were thus systematically doomed to fail since there is no support among Palestinians for the preservation of the Israeli state. Whenever Israel had made concessions to the peace process the security situation has deteriorated. What the Palestinians would understand is hard power. Israel should have "carpet bombed" Gaza after the rockets started raining down
on schoolyards in Sderot after the 2005 Israeli withdrawal. Until the Israel government is willing to "crush" the Arabs militarily there will never be any movement toward lasting peace.

Horowitz belts it out when he gets on an emotional roll, and he elicited huge applause a number of times. I stopped taking notes just after a few minutes, as I was so enthralled with this discussion --- and not just Horowitz. Michael Medved is a deeply thoughtful man and eminently reasonable. He appealed repeatedly to the humanity of the Jewish people and in closing he implored attendees to visit Israel --- 80 percent of American Jews have not been there --- and also suggested they get involved with their communities and synagogues. One more question from the audience asked whether President Barack Obama was likely to be reelected to a second term. I'm straining my recollection here, but Mona Charen returned to the notion of the November reckoning once more, and David Horowitz indicated that he was supremely optimistic, stressing that the polls were probably underestimated the likely scale of Democratic losses; and that tea party movement has turned out to be the salvation of American politics. And Horowitz further stressed the importance of taking back the grassroots from the left. Despite the total destruction of communist ideology after the collapse of the Soviet Union --- and he hammered the point that today's Democrats are a true hard-left party, carrying the banner of international socialism --- the left continues to push on relentlessly, despite objective failure, until they hit the brick wall. "We have to be that brick wall," Horowitz said. We have to engage and participate at the grassroots just like the left has.

Medved thanked the Jewish Policy Center upon wrapping up, and both Cliff May and Mona Charen exited surprisingly quickly. David Horowitz lingered for some time, however. Audience members approached the stage. I saw Orly Taitz speaking to him, for example. (She's an incredibly beautiful woman, by the way.) And I was fortunate to catch his attention, and he gladly signed my book, The Politics of Bad Faith: The Radical Assault on America's Future.
A great night all around:

Securing America's Future


Sarge Charlie said...

Horowitz said that "Islamo-Nazism", I could not agree more.

FishEagle said...

Wow, great post.

Minicapt said...

For your collection: http://www.meforum.org/article/441


Bohemian said...

Sounds like a fascinating evening Donald. Must admit to being a bit jealous. Have you read "Radical Son?" Reading that book was the nascence of my "grey-matter" infatuation with Mr. Horowitz. Thanks for sharing!