On November 29, 1974, David Horowitz wrote a letter to King Hussein of Jordan on the question of Jordanian-Israeli relations. In the letter, Mr. Horowitz referred to past correspondence he had with Hussein’s late grandfather Abdullah Ibn al-Hussein. The correspondence between the two continued for several years following World War II and dealt in detail with the common heritage shared by both peoples based on the Bible and the Koran. A few copies of the past exchanges were included in the letter to the King.
Mr. Horowitz concluded the letter by saying: “I hold the strong view that Allah-Jehovah would surely want you to assert yourself, not as a bystander, but to seek a common understanding for a settlement on the whole Palestinian question with the children of Jacob-Israel. My prayer is that Allah inspires you to act according to His will, as based upon the written word.”
In less than two weeks, Mr. Horowitz received a response dated December 11, 1974 written on the Jordanian royal stationary.
The message read: “Dear Mr. Horowitz, upon personal instruction from His Majesty King Hussein I, I have the honor to write you conveying a message of thanks and gratitude for your thoughtfulness and sincerity shown to His Majesty in your letter of November 29, 1974. Your genuine concern for peace and justice is very much shared by His Majesty and under his leadership Jordan continues to strive towards that goal. With my highest regards and very best wishes, yours sincerely, (signed) Marwan Kasim, Secretary-General of the Royal Hashemite Court.”
The story of David Horowitz’s correspondence with the Emir of Trans-Jordan, Abdullah Ibn al-Hussein, appeared in a previous article titled: “Dialogue with an Arab King,”
In October 1974, the Arab states decided at the Rabat Conference to recognize the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. This gave the organization an immediate political authenticity that was further bolstered by its international recognition by the United Nations, who invited PLO leader Yasir Arafat to address the General Assembly on November 13th.
The Israelis certainly weren’t thrilled with this shift in strategy. Now it would be necessary to fight the PLO on two fronts: military and political.
With this shift from strictly terrorist activities to waging a diplomatic war against Israel it became fashionable to refer to the Arab-Israeli conflict as the cause of all instability in the Middle East. Policymakers, the press, and pro-Arab scholars all repeated the mantra that it was the root of all evil in the region, as did the Arabists at the State Department.
The problem with this view was that it was patently false as anyone familiar with Middle Eastern affairs could plainly see. Multiple conflicts were brewing or exploding that had nothing whatsoever to do with Israel or the Palestinians.
David Horowitz, the old-school journalist who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and who covered the 29th session of the UN General Assembly when Arafat spoke, called it “a shameful spectacle of a gangster chief being honored as a head of a legitimate state.” Horowitz further called it “scandalous that the terrorist organization leader would be allowed to vent his poisonous venom at a reborn Judea within these halls originally created for peace and justice.”
In another key Middle Eastern event on March 25, 1975, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by his nephew Faisal bin Musaid. Enormously popular, King Faisal was credited with rescuing the country’s finances and implementing a policy of modernization and reform. He was honored in many ways: foundations, mosques, cities and highways were renamed in his honor. He was even eulogized by lyricist Robert Hunter in the title track of the Grateful Dead’s 1975 album “Blues for Allah.”
On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War officially ended as Communist forces took Saigon, resulting in mass evacuations of Americans and South Vietnamese. As the capital was taken South Vietnam surrendered unconditionally. The long and bitter nightmare had finally ended.
Mr. Yosef Tekoah, one of Israel’s foremost diplomats and the chief delegate to the United Nations for the past seven years announced he was leaving the post to return to Israel. He had served during the stormy period of 1968-1975 and would be remembered for his sharp debates on the Palestinian question.
Speaking of Tekoah’s time as Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, David Horowitz remarked: “None can compare in brilliance and greatness of statesmanship to the dynamic and forthright Yosef Tekoah, whose seven years as the clarion voice of Israel reborn here in this world organization has now come to an end.”
In departing his post as ambassador, Tekoah also offered high praise for correspondent David Horowitz. In a letter to Horowitz dated April 25, 1975, ambassador Tekoah wrote among other things: “May I take this opportunity to express to you my heartfelt gratitude for your sympathy and cooperation and my high esteem of your important work in the cause of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.”
Yosef Tekoah returned to Israel and became president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The university was established in 1969 with the purpose of promoting the development of the Negev desert that comprises more than sixty percent of Israel.
He was elected chancellor of the university in 1981. Yosef Tekoah and David Horowitz remained friends and continued to communicate after Tekoah’s return to Israel.
Having entered its fourth decade of global activities in championing the Torah faith and supporting Israel, United Israel World Union held its 32nd annual meeting on June 1, 1975 at the Horowitz home in Manhattan.
Special guest at the meeting was the renowned radio commentator and journalist, Shelomo ben Israel, whose widely acclaimed broadcasts were heard each Sunday over New York’s radio station WEVD. Key items on the agenda were an update on United Israel’s past year activities, a review of current UN issues and the latest update on the South Moluccans progress toward attaining independence.
The Suez Canal finally reopened on June 5, 1975; it had been closed since the Egyptian blockade of the canal during the 1967 Six Day War.
In the summer of 1975, David Horowitz exchanged letters with an old friend. On July 21st, he wrote political leader Menachem Begin, updating him on various items of interest on the political front at the UN. Knowing also that Begin had been an admirer of the Revisionist Zionist, Ze’ev Jabotinsky in his youth, Horowitz included a tribute he had previously written about Jabotinsky.
Menachem Begin immediately responded in a letter dated August 1, 1975, thanking David for the political material. He also remarked: “Your tribute to Ze’ev Jabotinsky based on Mr. Gilioni’s book is very touching.” Vowing to continue his efforts to convince the people to take a firm stand against the pressures being exerted against them in Israel and thanking Horowitz again for his good work, Begin included his best wishes for continued success.
Few could have predicted the degree of Menachem Begin’s huge political success that lay just ahead, included a crowning achievement very few could have imagined at the time.
On August 25, 1975, the Brazilian Academy of Humanities Executive Council, at a session held at San Paulo, Brazil, voted unanimously to award UN correspondent David Horowitz with the “Pro Mundi Beneficio” medal along with a special diploma for his humanitarian activities and for his lifelong battle against bigotry and former Nazi war criminals.
September had arrived and it was an especially tough month for President Gerald Ford when his agenda included California stops. While in Sacramento on September 5, 1975, he survived an attempted assassination by Charles Manson follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who fired a Colt .45-caliber handgun at the president. As she pulled the trigger, Larry Buendorf, a secret service agent, grabbed the gun and Fromme was taken into custody.
Seventeen days later, as President Ford was leaving the St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco, Sara Jane Moore, standing in a crowd of onlookers across the street, fired a single round from a .38-caliber revolver at Ford, missing because of a faulty gun sight. Just as she fired a second round, retired Marine Oliver Sipple grabbed at the gun and deflected her shot. The bullet struck a wall about six inches to the right of President Ford’s head. President Gerald Ford had somehow miraculously survived two assassination attempts within three weeks of each other in the same state.
Generalissimo Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain, died on November 20, 1975 at the age of 82. He had ruled Spain for 36 years leaving a long and controversial legacy. Late in his life, General Franco took unusual and surprising actions that moved to rectify wrongs dating back to the Spanish Inquisition. There’s a most unusual and little known story behind it and it involved UN correspondent David Horowitz. The full account appeared in a previous episode titled “The Change in Spain.”
On November 10, 1975, the credibility of the United Nations was seriously damaged when the General Assembly adopted a resolution defining Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The slanderous claim was part of the Soviet-Arab Cold War anti-Israel campaign. The hypocrisy and de-legitimization against Israel would continue, highly contested, for years to come. (The dark chapter ended when the resolution was eventually repealed on December 16, 1991).
Failing in its terrorist campaign to liberate Palestine, the PLO had succeeded in adding a new diplomatic battleground to the war.
Ralph Buntyn is executive vice president and associate editor of United Israel World Union. A historian and researcher, his many articles and essays have appeared in various media outlets.
This post is the twenty-ninth in the ongoing series “Remembering David Horowitz.” For the complete archive see here.