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Hitchens


Because anti-Semitism is the godfather of racism and the gateway to tyranny and fascism and war, it is to be regarded not as the enemy of the Jewish people alone, but as the common enemy of humanity, and of civilization, and has to be fought against very tenaciously for that reason. Most especially in its current, most virulent form of Islamic Jihad.

Daniel Pearl’s revolting murderer was educated at the London School of Economics. Our Christmas bomber over Detroit was from a neighboring London college and was the chair of the Islamic Students Society. Many pogroms against Jewish people have been reported from all over Europe today as I’m talking, and we can only expect this to get worse, and we must make sure our own defenses are not neglected.

Our task is to call this filthy thing, this plague, by its right name, to make unceasing resistance to it, knowing all the time that it’s probably ultimately ineradicable, and bearing in mind that their hatred towards us is a compliment and resolving some of the time at any rate to do a bit more to deserve it.”

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The closing of Christopher Hitchens’s fantastic Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture, given in March 2010.

Daniel Pearl, one of the first Americans killed at the hand of Islamic extremism in the post-9/11 era, was murdered 13 years ago this month. His death looks more and more like our most stark, literal harbinger of the kind of barbarism we now see everyday in the Middle East and around the world.

As a supplement to Hitch’s talk, I recommend reading Bernard-Henri Lévy’s Who Killed Daniel Pearl?. In it, BHL argues convincingly that Pearl was murdered not only for his Jewish/American roots, but also because he had uncovered hidden connections between the Pakistani nuclear program and al-Qaeda.

Daniel Pearl