Letter From Israel
by Ran HaCohen

January 24, 2002

David Horowitz's Virtual Israel

First, a comment about style. If there's one lesson I learnt from Jewish history, it is this: never show tolerance towards racism. I wonder what American legislation would have had to say if Mr. Horowitz had written that African-Americans were a community of suicide bombers. When he writes – about the very people with whom I share a common land – that "the Palestinians are a community of suicide bombers," he is a racist for me. This is why, unlike Mr. McConnell, I refuse to address him directly. My only aim is to warn the readers of him, not to engage in any communication with him.

Having said that, I wish to apologize to Antiwar.com readers for my article. It was based on the assumption that Mr. Horowitz was writing about Israel, the Palestinians and Jewish history. I now realize – his reply makes it obvious – that his subject is Virtual Israel, Virtual Palestinians and Virtual Jewish History. I stand corrected: On these issues, the "Jewish Virtual Library" is indeed the ultimate authority, and Mr. Horowitz is right to stick to its virtual facts, virtual figures and to his own virtually Islamophobic prejudices. If the Jewish Virtual Library mentions "more than 1,000" virtual Israeli victims between 1993-1999, it is certainly more reliable than an Israeli web-site listing names, dates and circumstances for each and every of the 395 actual victims. The rest of Horowitz's narrative is just as reliable; his main line of argument is insisting on his mistakes.

This was the point I wanted to make: Not only that Mr. Horowitz has no idea of actual Mid-Eastern realities, but that he doesn't even wish to have any. His facts are fictitious, his narrative of hatred is a fairy-tale. He is an expert on the Virtual Middle-East (his "Islamo-fascist Middle East"), and those who doubt it are either Nazis (like the Palestinians) or Leninists (like myself). For information on the actual Middle East, you'll have to look somewhere else.

A final remark regarding the claim that I am an "ungrateful and treacherous citizen of a western democracy." Mr. Horowitz failed to notice that I live in Israel, not in Virtual Israel. Unlike the virtual one, actual Israel is not a western democracy (I hope to elaborate on that later); it's a pseudo-democracy run by a junta specializing in war crimes but unable to give its own citizens – including my family and myself – even a minimal sense of security. I admit I am doing my humble best to change it. A non-Zionist American Jew preaching Israeli patriotism to an Israeli: Horowitz's virtual reality is fantastic indeed.

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