Tzvi Kahn takes on our old pal Mark LeVine once again in “The Marxist Strikes Back” in FrontPage (thanks to Rebecca Bynum). Kahn rightly denies plagiarizing me, a charge that LeVine irresponsibly made in his response to Kahn’s first piece. And he scores a few direct hits:
In his long and rambling response to my article on his blog, LeVine can’t imagine what would motivate me to call him “Marxist,” “anti-American,” and “anti-Israel,” though, echoing Bill Clinton, he notes, “the proof is all in how one defines ‘anti-.'” So before I address a few specific points of his rebuttal, perhaps some basic definitions are in order.
I call LeVine “anti-American” and “anti-Israel” because he applies a moral standard and an attitude of perverse American and Israeli exceptionalism to putative crimes against Arab populations that far exceed his indignation at identical or infinitely more horrific offenses committed by Arab countries. Yes, LeVine has, to his credit, criticized Arab governments for fomenting terrorism. Yet he insists, repeatedly, that America and Israel harbor the most responsibility for the continuation of global conflict, implicitly suggesting that the threat of terrorism from Islamic fundamentalists would be drastically reduced if America ceased its supposed imperialism and globalization. “Let’s only hope,” he writes, European leaders “will have the courage to explain to president Kerry (or even Bush) that, without both an acceptance of responsibility for past policy and the transformation of future policy toward the Islamic regions of our planet, there will be no solution to terrorism, only continued violence and war.”
Rarely in LeVine’s work do we see any discussion of Islamic fundamentalism and religious extremism that inspires terrorism. LeVine can’t imagine that Islamic terrorists might attack the West on the basis of precepts derived from religious ideologies. For him, it simply isn’t possible that Islamic fundamentalists oppose not American “imperialism,” but the values of individual rights and freedom that America stands for. Likewise, for LeVine, it isn’t remotely possible that corrupt, dictatorial Arab governments play a greater role in promoting global instability than America and Israel. Four days after 9/11, in fact, LeVine called upon Americans “to engage in the honest introspection of what our role has been in generating the kind of hatred that turns commuter jets into cruise missiles.” For LeVine, Osama bin Laden’s aggression derives not from Islamic ideologies, but from American political dominance and globalization in the Middle East….
Read it all.