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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 7, 2009 4:00am-5:00am EST

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>> don't worry, i'm not here to talk about gilligan's island. speaking not only for myself but for the miami book fair international, we are delighted to see such a big crowd here. we had no idea that south florida had such a substantial population of masochists. [laughter] >> come on. admitted. a lot of you are here in anticipation that norman podhoretz will make your blood boil, and possibly even cause your head to explode. you know it's true. mr. podhoretz knows it too. he's been in creating people for the better part of six decades. he has even written entire books about all the people who wanted to kill him after reading his other books. [laughter] >> after he published a book with a self-explanatory title, ask friends, one critic
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congratulate him for the invention of a whole new literary genre, the memoir organized around the principle of mutual antipathy. william hellmann didn't like norman podhoretz. norman mailer didn't like him even though they want sort of almost joined an orgy together. joseph heller wrote a spiteful novel about mr. podhoretz. allen ginsberg threatened to turn his children into beatniks. having once read a piece by mr. podhoretz's son, john, i can tell you that the threat was empty. gore but all called mr. podhoretz an american fifth columnist for israel. mr. podhoretz has required most of his enemies, or ask friends, by way of long and starving political metamorphosis. i haven't checked the bios of everybody who is speaking at the book fair, but i'm fairly certain that the only speaker to have both written for the stalinist journal partisan
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review, and one of presidential medal of freedom form george w. bush is the one in this room. mr. podhoretz's resumes is sprinkled liberally, if i make use that word, with assembly seeming contradictions. contradictions. he edited the first new left journal, commentary, deadbolt of the democratic party when it nominated the new left's first political water carrier, george mcgovern, for the presidency. he's an intellectual who thinks that intellectuals have ruined the world. most fundamentally he was a key director of a great exodus from liberalism at the democratic party during the 1970s, as leader of a moment that he can no dismissively at neoconservatism. now, even during his best days on the left, mr. podhoretz was never a very politically correct liberal. among the first works that brought him widespread public attention was an essay called my negro problem and ours, which described how a childhood spent
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on brooklyn's mean streets getting beaten up by black kids had shaped his political thinking. but when he left liberalism, mr. podhoretz really left it. he became one of a tiny handful of people who thought ronald reagan was too soft on the soviet union. he not only applauded the invasion of iraq, but thinks the war was a success. in fact, he doesn't even think it was a war. merely one front in a new world war against a force he refers to as islamofascism. is now calling for us to bomb iran. the liberals control everything. had i gotten past the gilligan's island yet? where was i? he is now calling for us to bomb iran and soon. and later, if you think the
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question and answer period is getting too timid, asking if waterboarding is torture. through his long political march to the right he's been puzzled that other jews did not come to the same conclusions that he did about liberalism in general, and the democratic party in particular. what liberals mean they see when they look at his country is in justice and operation of every kind, economic, social and political, mr. podhoretz wrote. by sharp contrast, conservatives see a nation shaped by a complex of traditions, principles and institutions that has afforded more freedom and even factoring in downturns, more prosperity to more of its citizens than in any society in human history. it follows that what liberals believe needs to be changed or discarded and apologize to do other nations, is precisely what conservatives are dedicated to preserving, reinvigorating, and probably defending against
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attack. given alternatives like that, mr. podhoretz argues, jews have chosen the wrong one. surely then we choose not to be joined with its defenders against those who are blind or indifferent or antagonistic to the philosophical principles, the moral values and the social economic institutions on whose health and vitality for traditional american system depends, he wrote. now i could go on with the typical stuff that goes in introduction, including a long list of books he hasn't written and awards he is one, but i can tell your actions for your blood to start bubbling. so i will get out of the way before it boils over. ladies and gentlemen, norman podhoretz. [applause] >> well, you know i love the flattery introduced, but glenn exceeded all of my expectations. [laughter] >> he also stole the conclusion of the talk you're about to hear
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from something i published elsewhere, and you're going to have to hear it again. but it's all right, it's worth hearing again. i have often said and i say again in this book, that never have i been asked any question on any subject as many times as i've been asked why most jews are liberals. or and more specifically political form, why most jews keep voting for the democrats. but this question immediately gives rise to another question. which is why so many people and especially non-jews are so puzzled by the political attitudes and behavior that predominate among american jews. after all, up until the end of world war ii, no one would have wondered why most jews were liberals or why they were so committed to the democratic party. because the answer would have seemed self-evident. in those days, most american jews were poor.
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and this meant that the democratic party which spoke for the interests of people in their social economic conditions was their natural political home. in those days, jews suffered from various forms of discrimination. and this made it inevitable that they would look upon liberal ideas as being good for them. this in deed had been the case for centuries. the ancestors both immediate and distance of the vast maturity of american jews lived in europe. where the forces that saved the emancipation of the jews in granting of civil rights and liberties to them, had always been located somewhere on the left side of the political spectrum. and in the 20th century america, especially after the ascension of franklin delano roosevelt, the closest counterpart to these forces was
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the democratic party. conversely, the political right seemed to represent an american version of a conservative forces in europe which had always opposed equal rights for jews. it made perfect sense then for jews to align themselves with the left and to keep their distance from the right, where they were in any case unwelcome. but then something momentous happened. that began to rub his political commitments to the sense they had always made. this momentous event was the six day war of 1967. to be sure, even before 1967, and the decades following the end of world war ii, jews are themselves getting more and more out of political step with the other white members of the roosevelt coalition. the attachments of these non-jewish ethnic religious groups to the democrats were
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steadily declining in direct proportion to the improvement in the economic and social conditions. but not the jews your the substantial majority of whom kept on voting for the democratic candidate in every presidential election. it was this phenomenon that gave rise to milton deservedlyaying in this epigram. jews, he said, are like episcopalians and vote like puerto ricans. [laughter] >> in short, i told you it was deservedly famous, in short, by 1967 the jewish commitment to the democratic party was already an anomaly from a social economic point of view. and so far as discrimination was concerned, most of the barriers against jews had already been toppled. the principle that was responsible to this development was the belief that justice required individuals be treated
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on their own merits as individuals without regard as the old liberal catechism we used to recite when i was a kid in public school. without regard to race, color, creed or country of national origin. but by 1967, this formally sacred liberal principle was giving way among liberals to a new conception of social justice, that until the reintroduction of a kind of quota system that had always been used as a way of keeping jews out and down. and then came the sixth day war. in the weeks leading up to it, president of egypt and the leaders of the other arab countries bordering israel issued a steady stream of bloodcurdling threats to destroy israel and drive its jewish inhabitants, as they putit, into the sea.
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the second time in a 20th century, and only a quarter of a century after the first, a major community of jews was threatened with annihilation, actual annihilation. and once again the world as it seemed still complacently by. the difference, the literally earthshaking difference, was that this time jews living under a genocidal threat had the means and the will to defend themselves against it. and so the israelis did. in six short days, they avert another holocaust by waging one of the most brilliant campaigns in military history. most american jews celebrated that victory. but on the left, and especially among the intellectual who made their political home there, the outcome of the six-day war gave anything but cause for
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celebration. on the contrary.
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mainstream media, the world of the arts and entertainment, not to mention the un, it has become harder and harder to maintain the pretext that there's any significant difference between the new anti-zionism and the old anti-semitism. thus it came about that the political left, which had for so long and with good reason, commanded the loyalty of the jews was now offering hospitality to ideas and sentiments that were plainly hostile to jews. to cite only one of the many examples i discuss in my book, the nation, perhaps the most influential magazine of the american left, that had once upon a time been a staunch supporter of israel, could now publish an article by the novelist and critic gore vidal
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in which israel was described as in his words a predatory nation, busy steel other people's land in the name of an alien bureaucracy. and in which he denounced american jews, all american jews, as an israeli fifth column. it was bad enough that a major liberal periodicals like the nation could play host to the naked invocation of two of the classic themes of anti-semitism. the jews as a disloyal alien, and the jew as a conspiratorial manipulator of blind power, dangerous to everyone else. but what was even worse was that vidal's article elicited no more than a week peak of protest from the magazine sponsors and readers. the bundle a fair provide a powerful confirmation for the argument, some of us have been making since 1967, that
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anti-semitism had found a new home on the left. and then by a lucky coincidence, the nation's opposite number on the right, national review, became embroiled in a similar controversy of its own that provided commensurately powerful evidence to the argument went also been making since 1967, that anti-semitism was becoming more and more unwelcome among conservatives. this controversy involved a member of national review's editorial staff named joseph so brand. who had devoted a number of his syndicated columns to attacking not just the state of israel, but also the jewish people in general and judaism as a religion. accordingly, a letter of protest sent to a long list of prominent conservative intellectuals, and in sharp contrast to the liberal intellectual connected with the nation, all of the conservatives, every last one of them joined in expressing
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outrage at so brand anti-semitic writings. and in spite of the fact that none of the clearly anti-semitic teachings had appeared in national review itself, the letter was also sent to his editor, william f. buckley, jr. but whereas the editor of the nation had responded to a similar letter by denying that the vidal piece is anti-semitic or even anti-israel, buckley wrote an editorial associate his magazine from so brand on this issue and admonishing him to begin respecting, quote, the unwelcome -- welcome, excusing, concerning israel and the jews. what emerge from this dramatic contrast between the two cases was further evidence that anti-semitism has largely, if not as a name of pat buchanan reminds us, not entirely
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banished from its traditional home on the right. while especially in the guise of anti-zionism, it was meeting with more and more toleration and sometimes even approval on the left. this momentous reversal also manifested itself in the bitter debate over other issues of jewish interest and concerns such as quotas and the plight of soviet jewelry that i analyzed in detail in my book. but it was and is a christian attitude toward israel that the reversal of roles between left and right has most steadily been manifested, and thereby hangs the tale. although there appears to have been some slippage in the intensity of jewish concern for israel, most american jews, including most of the liberals among us, still care deeply about israel, or so they say. and as everyone knows or should know by now, there is no group
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in america, probably not even the jews themselves, would cite more passionately with israel on the war being waged against it by the arab muslim world in which is more steadfast in upholding israel's right to defend itself against its sworn enemies than the so-called religious right. yet instead of forging the political alliance with this community, jewish liberals look for ways to justify their refusal to do so. at the same time, they are perfectly willing to make common cause for the so-called mainline protestant denominations despite the fact that unfriendliness and even outright hostility to israel have become pervasive in that sector of the christian were. a similar situation exists in the strictly political realm. all the poll data shows self-described conservatives and self-described republicans
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sympathizing with israel in much greater proportions than liberals self-described liberals, that is, and self-described democrats. for example, in a pew survey taken earlier this year, 60 percent of conservatives sided with israel as against only 8 percent with the palestinians, where as a comparable numbers among liberals were only about half as much for israel, 33 percent against 60. but nearly three times as much, 21% as against aid for the palestinians. the same pattern shows up in terms of party affiliation where 69 percent of republicans expressed more sympathy for israel than for the palestinians, while only 42 percent of democrats do, a gap of 27 points. nevertheless, the average jewish vote for democratic presidential
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candidates, an amazing 75% has remained what it was between 1928, and the great reversal of 1967. and it is still far higher than that of any other group. and when i say still, i'm most emphatically included 2008. running against john mccain, barack obama captured 78 percent of the jewish vote, which was, and get a load of these numbers, which was 25 points higher than the 53% he scored with the electorate as a whole. 35 points higher than the pro-obama white vote in general, and even 11 points higher than his hispanic vote, broken down by religion, the jewish vote for obama was 33 points higher than the protestant vote for him, and 24 points higher than the catholic vote he got.
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only with blacks who gave him 95 percent of their vote did obama do better than he did with the jews. and so it continues to go with the liberal agenda. on the old economic, political issues like government spending, benefits to the poor and organized labor, as well as on the new issues that form the battlefields of the culture war, gay marriage, school prayer, assisted suicide, gun control, and so on, the polls consistently show a huge gap in support, huge gaps between jews and all other americans, including conservative americans. which brings me finally -- excuse me, including other jewish americans. not liberal in which brings me to answer why aren't jews so stubbornly committed to whatever happens to be on the liberal agenda at any given moment, and
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why have they continued voting for democrats in spite of the changes that have taken place since 1967, both in their social economic position and in the democratic party itself, that might have been expected to drive them away? many attempts have been made to account for this phenomenon and they fall into three large categories, historical, social logical and religious. those in favor of the historical explanation tell us that jews have long memories and that they are therefore still mindful of the centuries of oppression their people suffered at the hands of the right, as against the help they were given by the forces of the left. in my judgment, however, to the extent that the host oracle explanation is valid, it is a case that resembles the guns of singapore. before the outbreak of world war ii, these artillery pieces were pointed in the direction from
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which the island had last been invaded, and so they proved utterly useless against the japanese simply invaded from the other side. for the jews, the enemy had our event on the right for the most part, and it was from there that he had only yesterday launched the most murderous assault on them in their long history. it may be understandable that they would keep looking for the enemy where he was last seen, but as the british discovered in 1940 from the guns of singapore, fighting the last war can only bring defeat in the new war that has just broken out. the sociological factors that are often invoked to include minorities, education, parental influence, to a greater degree of comfort to mexico and the company to the kind of people who belong to the democratic party whose fear of being punished socially for dissenting from the political orthodoxies of the community, and even
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lately genetic inheritance. not surprisingly, the most original theory is found in an article by the late irving kristol were with his usual boldness he proposed that jews were notorious for their intelligence are actually stupid when it comes to politics. but the most popular explanation by far traces jewish liberalism all the way back to the jewish values that are said to derive from the commandments of judaism, or more broadly, the spirit of the jewish religious tradition. there is, however, a fatal flaw at the heart of the theory that the liberalism of the american jewish stems from the teachings of judaism. it's the theory were valid, the orthodox would be the most liberal senator of the jewish community, for it is they who are the most familiar with the jewish religious traditions with the most deeply influenced by its holy books, and whose lives
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are the most fully shaped like it's commandments here and yet the orthodox are the least liberal of all their fellow jews. the orthodox enclaves are the only jewish neighborhoods where conservative candidates get any votes to speak up. even more telling is that on every one of the issues involved in the culture war, the orthodox opposed politically correct liberal positions taken by most other american jews. and precisely because these positions conflict with the jewish law. for example, jewish law permits abortion only to protect the life of the mother. it forbids between men. it prohibits suicide except when the only alternatives are forced idol worship, for sexual relations and coerced murder. and so on. i have much more to say in my book about why the religious theory has commonly expounded,
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failed to explain continuing commitment of american jews to liberalism. i also analyze each one of the other theories before concluding that they are all either inadequate or just plain wrong. i do, however, go on to argue that there is another way of framing the religious theory that does provide an answer to the question. it is that liberalism has become more, much, much more than a political position to most american jews. and has become a religion in its own right, complete with its own set of commandments. through a process i described at length in the book, this new toll road, the total of liberalism as i call it, has superseded the toga of judaism to the point where we say without exaggeration that liberalism, not judaism is now the religion of most american jews. i do not go as far as the cruel
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wit who once described services and a reform temple as the gave to the torah of judaism. so too as i can testify from the scars on my soul, they regard moving from left to right, or
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from liberalism to conservatism, with the same horror that their forefathers felt that conversion to christianity. of course, when i speak of the conflict between left and right, or between liberals and conservatives, by talking about a divide wider than the conflict between democrats and republicans, and deeper than electoral politics can go. what the great issue between the two political communities fundamentally turns on, is how they feel about the nature of american society. with all exceptions, duly noted, i think it is fair to say that what the left main disease when it looks at america is in justice and oppression of every kind, economic, social and political. by sharp contrast, the right sees a complex of traditions, principles and institutions that have made it possible for more
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freedom than even factoring in periodic economic downturns, more prosperity to be enjoyed by more of its citizens than any society known to human history. it follows that what liberals believe me to be changed or discarded, not to mention apologized for two other nations, is precisely what conservatives are dedicated to preserving, reintegrating and proudly defending against attacks. in this realm, american jewelry surely belongs with the conservatives rather than with the liberals. because the social, political and moral system that liberals wish to transform is the very system in and through which jews found a home, such as they had never discovered in all their forced wanderings throughout the century over the face of the earth. the jewish emigrants who began coming here from east europe in the 1880s were right to call america the golden and medina,
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the golden land. there was no gold in the streets at some of them may have imagined, and so they had to struggle, and struggle hard. but there was another kind of gold in america, more precious kind than the gold coins. it was freedom, and there was opportunity. blessed with these conditions and hampered by much less disabling forms of anti-semitism and discrimination, then jews had been accustomed to growing with, children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these immigrants flourished. and not just in material terms, to an extent unprecedented in the history of their people. what i'm saying is that the jewish experience in this country as an eloquent testimony to the infinitely tested the virtues of the traditional american system. surely then we jews have an obligation to join with its
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defenders against those who were blind or indifferent or antagonistic to this philosophical principles of moral values, social economic institutions on health and vitality, traditional american system contents. in 2008, we were faced with a candidate who ran explicitly on the premise that the traditional american system was seriously flawed and in desperate need of radical change. as he said on october 31, 2008, quote, we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the united states of america here and he also had a record powerfully indicating that he would pursue policy dangerous to the security of israel. because of all this, i hoped for a while that my fellow jews would finally break free of the liberalism to which they have remained enthralled, long past the point where it has served
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either their interest or their ideals, whether as a jews or as americans are that help having been so resoundingly dashed on election day, i now crass for a bit of encouragement for the signs that buyer's remorse may be beginning to set in amongst jews. as it also seems to be doing among the independents who voted for obama. and so i am now hoping against hope that the exposure of obama as a false messiah will outlast open the eyes of my fellow jews to the co- relative falsity of the political creed that he so perfectly personifies, and to which so many of them have for so long been so misguidedly loyal. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> before we start the questions and answers, i must tell you that immediately following his presentation at 4:00, mr. podhoretz has a call-in interview with c-span. you can go downstairs to the bus and watch it live. you will then come back upstairs and autograph your book. so buy a book outside, and go watch the interview, and come get it signed. and now, come up for questions. >> am i supposed to call people? >> thank you. it is a pleasure to hear you and i want to thank you for your stubborn, noble moral clarity that you have demonstrated.
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and i find, as you do, a dangerous contradiction in jews of the left supporting regimes that support the very element that seek to destroy israel, as well as the jewish nation abroad. it seems to me that the position that you are stating that there is a secular premise that is being given, and they are putting that before the interests of the jewish nation and their religion, is extremely relevant. do you think that at some point regimes of the left that is supported so heavily can be stopped? do you see that occurring? >> well, nothing is forever, and
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before 1967, the left everywhere in the world, including governments like the soviet union, were pro-israel. for one reason or another. and as i pointed out, it all changed or began to change a 1967, conceivably something will happen that could provoke another change. i wouldn't bet the ranch on it, but it is not out of the question. but in the meantime, i would recommend, i mean, i spent a lot of time on this book trying to explain in historical terms how jews have wound up in the position they have. and i began way back, at least in the mid-19th century, and ic eight trace of progression therefrom a commitment to marxism in its secure form in the early days.
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democracy, democratic socialism as it got watered down as marxism watered down in this country particularly in the labor movement, which so many jews were committed. and finally when the progressive discrediting of socialism as a social economic system morphed into liberalism, and from liberalism there is nowhere to go but apostasy. which is why, you know, that's it. that's the last out on the road. the real question is whether most of jews will continue holding stubbornly on to their last resort, and the face of the mounting empirical evidence and the rational arguments that they have so far resisted. i mean, to the horror of any liberal jews who have dared to read this book, i compare the
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liberal religion, the torah of liberalism to the faith of totality of who was one of the early fathers of the christian church around the third century, second, third century. he had been a roman pig attempt and when his friend said to him how can you believe all that nonsense that you are now required to believe? it is absurd. and he said i believe it because it is absurd. now, if you believe something because it is absurd, obviously you're not going to be shaken from their belief by rational argument or empirical evidence. and i actually think that a commitment of many american jews to liberalism, and by the way, not just jews, has that character which makes it all the more difficult to shake. i can only say this.
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jews have a lot of experience with false messiahs. be obama's is the first non-jewish false messiahs jews it had to do with, but the last really successful one, in the late 16th century, ended by converting to islam. and he had attracted a following all of the jewish world, including many prominent rabbis, learned men. and his apostasy, which by the way was rationally even though it was rationalized by some of his followers, but his apostasy was such a traumatic shock to most of his other followers that it led to a deeper we thinking of all their ideas and attitudes about judaism, about life, about god. and i don't suppose that the exposure of obama as a false messiah which seems to be happening before our very eyes, and as i speak, will have a
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profound and a fact. the media will start shaking things up a bit. >> thank you. >> i'm wondering what your views are on the responses of the democratic party and administration and the left in general to that report, and the responses of the conservaconservatives and the republican party. do you feel if the conversion or there is significant and meaningful differences that are important to israel in their response. >> good question. being against the goldstone report is a no-brainer. is so outrageous, so despicable that you have to bend yourself into three pretzels in order to defend it. i am serious about that. so when the resolution was introduced in the house of representatives to condemn it,
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overwhelming majority of representatives voted to condemn it. but it's interesting that the only congressman who voted, either abstained or voted against condemning it were democrats. there weren't many of them, 30, 35, something like that. and it was clear that there was, you know, less enthusiasm about taking it on in a liberal circles and even among democratic politicians. many of whom are afraid of extending their jewish constituents, because they still depend upon jewish support, jewish money. as for the administration, we did, the american representative of the un did i think a vote against sending the report to the security council. and we would undoubtedly have vetoed the report if it had been brought before the security.
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we may be down but we are not flat as all that. to have gone along with this document. but if you read as i have the actual statements made by ambassador wright -- rice, and a couple of the assistant ambassadors, it is actually quite tepid compared to what, say, the kind of outrage that daniel p. moynihan expressed the design of racism is a resolution in the un, really passionate and tough. this is unbalanced, too one-sided, it will not help the peace process. instead of saying this is a moral and political outrage of the first water, more gingerly and dissenting from it. >> would have liked to seen it stronger? >> absolutely. i would have liked to see, yes,
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something comparable to the response that moynihan who is in our ambassador to the un made to fundamental to america's success historically, when america's success when came to me to have
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been built on constructive criticism, revisionism and mercilessly systematic reform and adaptation. how does resisting change translate into success for a country that has been built on constant reform? [applause] >> well, some changes are good and some changes are bad. it's not self-evident that change is necessarily good. [applause] >> the conservative view, despite what liberals like to believe, is not even philosophically opposed to reform, or adaptation. on the contrary. the patron saint as you might say of conservatism, burke, was formulated the approach that conservatives should take to reform. he was a reformist himself, but
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he insisted that any reform, that you ensure that any reform is consistent with the fundamental principles, what he called the english constitution, and that it not in any way undermine the foundations upon which the country stands. and that's the position most conservatives today, and it is a position i take. the question always is, which reform. many reforms that i myself supported when i was misguided leftist like the war on poverty, and some of my friends by the way, fellow neoconservatives who actually helped write the legislation that made up the great society, discovered that it had a fixed the opposite of those that were intended. in more harm to the poor than
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good. in various ways. that's been demonstrated over and over again. so to invoke something like, you know, passion to the poor or institute reforms when you keep supporting measures that presume or pretend to be favorable to the poor and are in fact, harmful, yet, you're not supporting what i would call reform that is in harmony with the fundamental principles of the american system. that i believe as i said and i will say again, to my dying breath, have resulted in more freedom and more prosperity for more good citizens than any society, any society known to human history. whether it is past or present. >> i belong to that group.
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>> name: i'm sorry, i didn't hear you. >> i belong to that group that you refer to universities -- >> the mainstream liberalism. >> yes. that should be telling you something. because as a jews i don't think are more intelligent, but we have been reared to analyze and to question and to go for scientific pursuits. jews have been very good at making money, and jews have been very good at being teachers, stimulating people to question what is going on. and i think that you shouldn't
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talk about university people in that way. i think that we should be honored and pleased that the process that we had to go through, i am from south america, but i went to medical school there. but in those days here, jews couldn't go because there were quotas. and let me tell you something else. in the last few days, i met with a very good friend who is a professor at the nazarene university, and he was saying, he is from israel, said he thought in the 1967 war but he didn't find for the policies
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that government of israel is applied to the west bank. [applause] >> you know, if you read certain sociologists who share your admiration for the universities, and my fellow intellectuals, you will find that one of the things they say is that when young people come to college, they have their assumptions and the ones they brought from home, shaken up, and they learn to look at it critically. and this is often applied to both jewish professors and jewish students. but the plain truth of the matter is that most jewish kids nowadays come to college already having liberal ideas and assumptions. and rather than being taught to question them, they are simply
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taught how to reinforce them and how not to entertain any opposition to them. so this much critical spirit which, you know, exist certainly in the bible. yes, abraham argues that god, moses argues with god, job argues with god. but most academic people, students i know will not even argue with her professors. because because they agree about everything. [applause] >> i mean, i think this is a demonstrable truth. i went to columbia in 1946 under 17% quota. nobody admitted the quota existed. harvard had a big one but it wasn't as afraid of being overridden by jews as columbia
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was. and in those days, the affect that the sociologist i am referring to ascribed to college education did actually occur. i mean, i was totally transformed by my four years at columbia, having come from a slum in brooklyn. but i don't see that columbia itself, for most of the major universities, have that character any longer. i find them conformists, slavishly conformist. and tolerant, incapable of entertaining positions on the other side, and dogmatic about their beliefs rather than critical. and i think that has been well documented by studies of the contemporary university's.
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>> how are you doing, sir? i have two questions for you. i believe abraham lincoln once told us that a house divided will not stand. that was recently displayed in black and white in new york with the psychopolitical division between the republicans rep and the conservative rep. and in the end, two of them became -- >> who are you talking about? >> the election in new york, for the congress. >> are you talking about new york 2003? >> gas and at the end they became politically helpless and useless. so within 24 hours, you had the democratic winner playing an important role.
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so that is the question on division. the last question to you, just monday i believe, the prime minister of israel, made a bold statement, stating that the un show displeasure with his government in terms of power was horrible but he went on to tell us that obama almost became a non-false prophet. him aside. because obama fully supported israel which rejected flatly the decision of the un health
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colling this use of power in relationship to palestine. so my question to you, how do you explain those two cycles that i gave you? >> the new york race which i think your .2 is an example of division among republicans and conservatives. incidentally, there is a recount going on and it may turn out that the democrat did not win. we don't know yet. so the whole premise may be false. and that so-called division is not as dramatic as it seems. the woman who was nominated by the local county chairman as a republican was almost indistinguishable from the liberal democrat and all the positions she took. and that is why she was challenged. there was no primary, qc, and
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there was no chance for there to be a primary challenge to her which was nominated by what we used to call the boss is in the smoke-filled room. so the challenge that was mounted in the last minute was an expression of the anger of people in that district, among other places, at the high hand in this arbitrariness of her selection. as for i think you're talking about the goldstone report, i am not sure. as i said earlier, it is a no-brainer. the united states did in fact condemn it, but i saw it did so and i thought it did so in a rather weak language as compared to the past. and i still think that and i think netanyahu, the prime minister, is obligated for obvious political reasons to paper over as much as possible the differences that have opened
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up with the united states since the obama administration took office, as they themselves want to put some daylight between us and israel. and that daylight, which had no boon to israel, but the prime minister is trying very hard not to let it spread to the point where a possi
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