Oh what a tangled

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March 18, 2003 6:43 p.m.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave …

I had meant to say nothing more about David Horowitz. But he’s done something now that really needs a response. He’s now written on his site the following …

Note: One reader of the blog took me to task for not pointing out that Marshall maintained that the Holocaust book was so far in the past that it did not actually disqualify the prime ministerial candidate. So here is my acknowledgment. I don’t see that it changes anything, except to put Marshall in an even less favorable light.

Now, the reader in question has actually written to me and told me that this is the precise opposite of what he said. (He’s learning Horowitz’s MO.) But did I say anything like this? Here are the relevant portions of the post he’s referring to. (It’s a long post so I clipped out portions that don’t touch on this issue, but you can find the entire thing here.)

A number of readers have written in questioning or criticizing my decision to call soon-to-be Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen “unquestionably one of the good guys” in this earlier post. The criticism stems from this article which says he published a book in 1983 — based on a dissertation written years earlier — in which he denied or questioned key points about the Holocaust, particularly how many people died.

…

So here’s my response. When I wrote the post this morning I was unaware of this book Abbas had written. It is obviously deeply disappointing and ugly that he wrote such things. And I’m not sure I would have used the same words. However, it doesn’t really change my mind about what I wrote this morning.

Here’s why …

Obviously, I now think less of Abbas personally. And I’d like to believe that Abbas would now recant such statements (I doubt the Frontpage article would include any mention of this if he had). Given his current status, he probably would have to. But that wouldn’t necessarily prove anything. Unfortunately, many of the older bulls in the PLO were reared in an ugly amalgam of Arab nationalism, anti-semitism, revolutionary socialism and whacked-out pseudo-history. And I am willing to say right now that when Abu Ben-Gurion or Said Washington come along, I will vote for them for Palestinian leader over Abbas.

…

But the point isn’t that Abbas is a good person, or has ugly beliefs. My issue is his role in the peace process over the last decade — Abbas was one of the architects of the original Oslo Accords. In the Palestinian Authority I think there are various camps. There are those who really don’t want a just peace with Israel, those who do, and others who aren’t really particularly committed to either outcome. Unfortunately, I think Arafat is in that latter category. I think Arafat was open to the idea of peace and at various points truly pursued it. But for a variety of reasons both personal and political was unwilling or unable to actually make the deal.

I think Abbas is in that category of Palestinians who really do want a just peace.

Now, you can be the judge. But I feel pretty clear that I didn’t say what Horowitz claims I did. I’d say more about the guy. But we’ve got more important stuff going on in the world at the moment. And I think his actions and words speak for themselves.

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