Staring Evil in the Eye

Alan Dershowitz recently published his impressions of Durban 2:

Last week I came face to face with evil, as I stood just a few feet away from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We were both staying in the same hotel in Geneva. He was there to be the opening speaker at Durban II, a review and reprise of Durban I, the United Nations sponsored conference on racism that had turned into a racist hate fest against the Jewish people and the Jewish state. I was there–along with Elie Wiesel, Irwin Cotler and others who have devoted their lives to combating bigotry–to try to prevent a recurrence of Durban I.

Some of us, upon hearing the word “evil”, cringe in fear–not of the evil, mind you, but of the use of such a polarizing term. It’s one of those words that has gone out of fashion. It’s one of those words that has been consistently overused in order to defeat ideological enemies. I remember reading in one of Oriana Fallaci’s post-9/11 books (the ones that turned so much of the world against her, as if she had been the author of the attack on New York) her memory of having “met” Osama Bin Laden in a Beirut hotel lobby in 1982. She described (I’m writing from memory) having looked into his eyes and “known” that she was looking into the eyes of evil: calm, determined, almost laughing eyes.

On 9/11 that memory came hurtling back to her in all its prophetic gloom.

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