#39 Bill O’Rielly Has it Wrong About Ward Churchill
Originally published on FEBRUARY 10, 2005
BILL O’REILLY HAS IT WRONG ABOUT WARD CHURCHILL
In a recent TV “Memo” on Ward Churchill, Bill O’Reilly quoted Churchill as writing that Jewish scholars stress the Jewish Holocaust story in order to “construct a conceptual screen behind which to hide the realities of Israel’s ongoing genocide against the Palestinian population.”
When I read that, I wonder: “Yes, Billy? And your point?”
It is common knowledge that Israelis, and those in America who put Israel before all other matters on the planet, use (exploit) the Holocaust story to morally justify everything that Israelis do in Palestine to Palestinians.
As a matter of fact, the so-called “Holocaust” is used to morally justify the original invasion and conquest of Arab land in Palestine by European Jews. What other “moral justification” could there possibly be? I want what you have. Give it to me?
O’Reilly says: “He [Churchill] also says that the murder of European Jews was not a fixed policy objective of the Nazis.”
And? It’s possible that Ward Churchill has looked into the first great “weapons-of-mass-destruction” fraud-the German gas-chamber tales. The same people who created the German WMD fraud, put together the Iraqi WMD fraud, that is, Israeli-Firsters. The first WMD fraud got them Israel. The second WMD will leave them without any front-line Arab enemies in the Middle East.
Now that the ACLU has come out in support of Ward Churchill’s right to criticize US foreign policies the around the world, and at home, Billy O’Reilly suggests that “Jewish ACLU members might want to ponder” their membership in the ACLU.
O’Reilly believes that all Jews should think alike with regard to Israel, and to put “Jewish” interests ahead of American interests. This is a line of thought that is contemptuous of Jews on the one hand, and misunderstands both specifically Jewish, and American interests at the same time.
“The ACLU of Colorado calls upon the regents, legislators and the governor to stop threatening Mr. Churchill’s job because of the content of his opinions. The governmental interference with the content of Mr. Churchill’s constitutionally protected opinions tramples on fundamental American liberties.”
O’Reilly says: “At this point, I will let you decide whether Churchill has abused his free speech rights by sympathizing with terrorists who have killed Americans.” O’Reilly says that “Some might call this treason.” Some might. Others might call it “patriotism.”
What is the difference between a terrorist and a patriot, other than geography? Or politics? Arab fanatics in the service of Islamic idealism intentionally killed a few thousand Americans on 9/11. It was a horror for those who were there.
American patriots in the service of democracy intentionally killed 65,000 innocent Japanese civilians ONE MORNING at Hiroshima. And that was only the tip of the iceberg. Who cares? Bill O’Reilly? A few tens of thousands of Japs are neither here nor there to the Billy O’Reillys.
Yes, I can sympathize with young Arab men who volunteer to sacrifice their lives for a cause they believe in. Their deeds may be brutal, bloody, and barbaric, but that’s what we do, all of us, when we believe in a cause. When Americans believe in a cause, we kill anyone-and I mean anyone-who gets in the way. Nagasaki? Dresden? Hamburg? Tokyo? Iraq?
That’s part of what Ward Churchill is saying. He’s right.
O’Reilly suggests that what Churchill says might be called a “gross dereliction of his duties as a teacher.” Or, it might be exactly what the kids should hear. They hear what the Billy O’Reillys have to say from the majority of their teaching staff. Churchill offers them something different. It contributes to an open and free debate. That’s not an evil, it’s a good. Even the professorial class agrees with that, in theory.
“To put forth that Israel’s perpetuating a Holocaust and that 9/11 victims were like the Nazi Adolf Eichmann is flat out false. There’s no two sides to the story.”
In fact, there are two sides to the story. Eichmann facilitated the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Eastern and Central Europe, which was a catastrophe for the Jews.
We, all of us, facilitated by our quiescence, the “sanctions” against Iraq in the 1990s which resulted in perhaps half a million (!) dead Iraqi children. All of us. You, and me, and Billy O’Reilly, and the folk working at the World Trade Towers. I would not make the same argument that Ward Churchill makes, but that does not mean that there are not “two sides” to the story. It means that there are three sides. Or a hundred.
O’Reilly says: “Many Americans believe Churchill’s words prove he is demented. Would CU allow the ravings of a demented person in any classroom?”
Do the Billy O’Reillys really believe that academics should check in with “many Americans” to find out what they should and should not teach in their classes, and what opinions they should and should not express publicly?
How many Americans should Ward Churchill canvas before he will have the right to teach what he teaches, and say what he thinks? A dozen? A thousand? Six million? Or should he just ask a couple radio talk show hosts to find out what they believe is the right way for him to think, the right way for him to teach?