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Sean Hannity’s And David Horowitz’ Chickenhawk Diplomacy

Reported by Ellen - August 2, 2006 -

There was a real debate about Israel last night (8/1/06) on Hannity & Colmes. Or there could have been had Sean Hannity and guest David Horowitz not shrunk from one by resorting to childish name-calling and theatrical bullying in response to Professor Mark LeVine’s thought-provoking comments.

Hannity, who has neither served in a war nor lived through one, dismissed the idea of a cease fire with romantic ideas about the war he wants other people to fight for him. “Collectively the world thinks that as soon as a cease fire is put in place, as soon as the hostility stops for a moment, somehow they’re defining this as peace when I view it only as an opportunity for the enemy of free will and freedom and democracy to re-arm and fight another day.” Easy for him to say when there aren’t any bombs dropping in his neighborhood.

Grandiosely, Hannity asked LeVine “Do you not see the similarity to the rise of Nazism and the world thinking there can be peace in our time?”

LeVine responded. “I think it’s very dangerous to make historical parallels without having a real understanding of the facts.”

That was all the debate Hannity could stand before resorting to shouting and wagging his finger. “With all due respect, Mark, I have a full understanding of the facts. Keep your sarcastic comments to yourself.”

LeVine kept his composure and soon made Hannity’s ignorance plain. “To call in the Nazi analogy is just not appropriate because the historical situation’s very different.” He acknowledged that Hannity was correct in saying that Hamas’ charter advocates the obliteration of Israel. “But Hamas has long said it would be willing to live with a two-state solution if in fact it was made along the terms that Israel refuses to…”

Hannity interrupted with a ridiculous accusation against LeVine, associate professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, Culture and Islamic Studies at University of California, Irvine . “Professor, you haven’t read the charter… You need to educate yourself.”

But LeVine quickly explained that the charter is dated 1988. (You can read the charter here.) He pointed out that the current conflict with Hamas really began before Hamas captured an Israeli soldier. The day before that, the Israelis had captured two suspected Hamas soldiers. He added that the conflict with Hezbollah went back about a month before the Israeli soldiers were kidnapped, when Israel assassinated a high-level Hezbollah official. Saying that there is fault on right on both sides, LeVine thought “we” (not sure if he meant the panel or the US, as a whole) should not be taking sides one way or the other. "Our goal should be what are the facts here? What are the beginnings of this latest confrontation between the two parties and how do we get out of it?"

Alan Colmes jumped in and cited an editorial by former President Jimmy Carter in that day’s Washington Post, which said, “It is inarguable that Israel has a right to defend itself against attacks on its citizens, but it is inhumane and counterproductive to punish civilian populations in the illogical hope that somehow they will blame Hamas and Hezbollah for provoking the devastating response. The result instead has been that broad Arab and worldwide support has been rallied for these groups, while condemnation of both Israel and the United States has intensified.”

While Colmes was speaking, Hannity mumbled over him, calling Carter, a navy veteran, a decorated humanitarian and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, "the biggest appeaser..." (sounded like "in the world.”).

David Horowitz, who also never served in the military, called Carter "a moral and national disgrace." But he didn’t refute any of Carter’s allegations. Instead, he called LeVine "an apologist for the terrorists."