Controversial speaker David Horowitz spoke at UC Irvine and condemned what he believes is rampant anti-Semitism on campus that is being primarily practiced by the Muslim Student Union. Although Horowitz claimed that the event was originally scheduled to be held at the UCI Student Center, it was moved to the much smaller room 101 Rowland Hall on Tuesday, May 13.
The event was sponsored by the David Horowitz Freedom Center and focused on the MSU’s series of events, “Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust Awareness Week.” Prior to his speech, Horowitz expressed his distaste with UCI’s social atmosphere.
“This is a disgraceful campus. You have a pro-terrorist organization, which calls for the extermination of the holy Jewish state and pretty much all of the inhabitants … the fact that a California state institution is funding a hate group is disgraceful,” Horowitz said.
Horowitz specifically criticized Chancellor Michael V. Drake for allowing MSU to exist on campus. Aside from the administration, Horowitz also disapproved of the actions of such Jewish groups as Hillel: The Jewish Student Union and Anteaters for Israel. According to Horowitz these groups have failed to defend the state of Israel against MSU harassment. Although Horowitz noted that both groups were invited to attend his lecture, no members of either group chose to attend.
When asked by the New University whether his lecture would focus on MSU or more international topics such as Palestine and Hamas, Horowitz claimed that there was no difference between the two.
“MSU is Hamas. The MSU is affiliated with the Muslim Student Association, which was created by Muslim Brotherhood. … The Muslim Brotherhood is the fountainhead of the Jihad,” Horowitz said.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a political Islamic organization founded in Egypt in 1928. The group has drawn criticism for a number of different issues, including perhaps most prominently, its current leader Mahdi Akef calling the Holocaust a myth in 2005. However, according to the history section of the MSU’s official Web site the group was founded in 1992 by a group of Muslim students, with no ties mentioned to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Outside of MSU, Horowitz has been critical of various other Muslim campus groups throughout the country, perhaps most prominently the Muslim Student Association at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Last month, members of Horowitz and MSA exchanged debate via various articles and ads published in the university’s official newspaper, the Daily Nexus.
Although his exchanges with the MSA did not escalate into violence, Horowitz has claimed that he has been physically confronted by individuals with opposing political views in the past. As such Horowitz was guarded by a group of police officers prior to his presentation, who then stood at the back of the room, once Horowitz launched into his lecture.
While Horowitz never strayed far from noting his disdain for UCI’s administration and campus Jewish groups, whom he perceived as inactive during his presentation, he also touched on a number of global and historical incidents.
In criticizing the actions of Palestinians, he noted the philanthropic actions of Mortimer Zuckerman, who collected 14 million dollars from American Jews to buy greenhouses for Palestinians on the Gaza Strip as a peace offering. However, according to Horowitz, once the Israeli army left the Gaza Strip after the peace offering was given, Palestinians immediately destroyed the greenhouses, demonstrating that they are unwilling to accept peace.
Horowitz also expressed his belief that outside of Jews, hostilities have also run rampant throughout the Arab community itself as Arabs do not accept Palestinians for letting their land be taken away.
“Why are there no refugee camps in Israel? Because Jews are civilized … whereas the Palestinians, the Arabs deliberately get the Palestinian Arabs in refugee camps. You probably don’t know this, but Palestinian Arabs cannot live in another Arab country, they don’t let them in,” Horowitz said.
The question-and-answer session that capped off Horowitz’s presentation, sympathized with his viewpoints with no oppositional questions being asked.
One concerned parent of a UCI student asked Horowitz if cutting the money line to the university would force the administration to take action against anti-Semitism on campus. Horowitz responded to this question by saying that action must be taken in a political form, such as speaking out. He noted that conservatives may be most successful in this endeavor because of their strong presence in Irvine, but are currently not taking action.
“There are plenty of conservatives here. Let’s see, there’s an institution called the Irvine Foundation, which is run by Republicans … [it would help if] more of them would just pick up the phone,” Horowitz said.
Anam Siddiq contributed to this report.