The Corner

Pat Buchanan, Arafat & Me

Last night on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, I had to take my friend Pat Buchanan to the woodshed. He made the most extraordinary moral equivalence between Yasser Arafat’s murderous terrorism and the post-WWII Israeli battles for independence against Britain, that were led by Menachem Begin, and other Jewish freedom fighters. There is no moral equivalence. The Israeli homeland concept, rooted in Biblical history, was always based on the principles of freedom and democracy. Yasser was always a totalitarian.

The former was always a just war, the latter an unjust war. As I told Buchanan, you may as well equate Yasser Arafat with the colonists in the American Revolution. They fought hard, sometimes resorting to terrorism, but their cause of freedom and democracy was just. Next thing you know, Buchanan will morally equate Yasser Arafat with George Washington. This is fruits-and-nuts stuff. And Bill Buckley was absolutely right, years ago, to blast Buchanan, in a long essay in NR. As many may know, I grew up as a Jew. I was bar mitzvah’d. Later in life, as I went through my own personal crucible, I became a born-again Catholic convert. But as one who believes even more strongly today that it is God who gave us our freedom, and it is Jesus who died for me, for my recovery and redemption, I will yield to no one in my admiration and steadfast support for the principles of freedom and democracy everywhere, and, in particular, for the daily struggles of the tiny state of Israel, which, by the way, remains America’s greatest ally.


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