Horowitz, a prominent conservative writer, spoke in Carroll Hall on Monday to an audience of about 100 people — with police officers on duty.
He runs the Horowitz Freedom Center, a think tank that claims it “combats the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values.” He’s also a critic of academia who has written books that name American professors who he believes teach radical ideologies.
After playing a 10-minute video that attempted to give background to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Horowitz addressed students, faculty and community members directly.
Most professors on university campuses indoctrinate their students with leftist views, he said, adding that student groups such as the Muslim Students’ Association and Students for Justice in Palestine are connected to terrorist organizations.
“The goal of SJP, the MSA and the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Fatah, and Iran and Hezbollah is to kill the Jews, to push them into the sea,” Horowitz said.
He argued that activists who claim to be defending the human rights of Palestinians are really attempting to erode support for Israel. He believes these activists are persuaded by Muslims and the Arab states surrounding Israel to attack the Jewish state, saying that, “Arabs are racists.”
Although the name of the speech referred to “paths toward peace,” Horowitz said that the existing peace process being pursued between Israel and Palestine is fiction.
“The Japanese set records for war atrocities during the second World War ... then the United States dropped two atomic bombs on them and turned them into pacifists,” he said. “That’s the way the world works.”
Tali deGroot, a UNC junior and co-chairwoman of J Street UNC, an advocacy group devoted to peace between Israel and Palestine, spoke up during the question-and-answer session, raising a problem with Horowitz’s categorization of Muslims as backward and violent.
“(Horowitz) blatantly ignored the realities on the ground in the Middle East,” deGroot said later in an email. “He claimed that to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinians had to be killed and coerced into fear until there would be peace. Palestinians are being killed and are ruled by a military occupation, and there is no peace.”
Frank Pray, chairman of UNC College Republicans, helped bring Horowitz to campus, along with Christians United for Israel and Young America’s Foundation.
Pray said more attention needs to be given to reforming the MSA and SJP in light of Horowitz’s assertions about connections to terrorist groups.
“I think it’s important to have a variety of views on college campuses,” he said.
Pray said police were present because there have been past threats directed at Horowitz — but no such threats were made on Monday.
UNC freshman and Muslim student Soumaya Lansari said that Horowitz’s allegations about the MSA are “extremely absurd.” Lansari also responded to other claims that Horowitz made, including that women are oppressed under Islam.
“From my experience as a Muslim woman living in America and overseas, I would beg to differ,” she said. “I don’t know where he gets his information from or how many Muslims he’s even spoken to.”