The notion that the Alt-Right is full of hatred and bigotry against Jews is one complaint that is echoed almost equally across both the Left and Right. Even many mainstream conservatives who oppose the Alt-Right but would never agree that the Alt-Right is racist because of its perspectives on race still accuse the Alt-Right of being anti-Semitic because of its perspectives on Jews.
In an article called “You Can’t Whitewash the Alt-Right’s Bigotry“ at The Federalist, Cathy Young spends the larger portion of the article talking about the Alt-Right’s relationship with Jews: “The trolls of the Alt-Right are well-versed in anti-Semitic tropes such as Jewish control of the media.”
As she notes, Milo Yiannopoulos (who is Jewish) “bafflingly waved [this] aside as a mere statement of statistical fact.” To let Yiannopoulos speak for himself, here’s what he said:
. . . the Jews run everything? Well, we do. The Jews run all the banks? Well, we do. The Jews run the media? Well, we do . . . It’s a fact; this is not in debate. It’s a statistical fact . . . Jews run most of the banks; Jews completely dominate the media; Jews are vastly disproportionately represented in all of these professions. That’s just a fact. It’s not anti-Semitic to point out statistics . . . It’s not anti-Semitic to point out that these things are true.
Is he right? Well, of course. Jews, who are 2% of the American population, make up about 30-47% of the CEOs, founders, presidents, and chairmen of major media companies. There is no debating it. And what goes for the media goes for the halls of academia as well: In Charles Kadushin’s 1974 work The American Intellectual Elite, Jews represented nearly half of Charles Kadushin’s full sample of elite American intellectuals.
In the 1995 Harvard publication Jews and the New American Scene, Seymour Martin Lipset (who is Jewish) discusses his concerns about whether “American Jews [will] survive their success . . . [or] the United States’ uniquely hospitable environment [will] lead inexorably to their assimilation and loss of cultural identity[.]” Note that Mr. Lipset here equates maintaining one’s cultural identity against threats of assimilation—into a uniquely hospitable environment, no less—with survival. To identify with the mainstream of the very society which allowed one such great success would then be annihilation. Destruction. Death. These are precisely fears that whites are deemed paranoid racists for expressing in the context of whites’ impending minority status in the United States within the next few decades. And Mr. Lipset is afraid of this happening not because of rising crime, or racist policies that single out Jews out of prejudice, or anything else that almost everyone would agree is bad, but rather because Jews in the United States are so successful that they might forget to identify themselves in contrast to the society which has allowed and enabled that very success. If it’s racist paranoia for whites to worry about becoming a minority in the first place, then just exactly what are we supposed to call this equation where success as a minority is literally twisted to mean annihilation?
But Jewish authors won’t be condemned for it. Indeed, authors like Lipset have no qualms about discussing the fact that Jews (who again are around 2% of the American population) represent “26 percent of the reporters, editors, and executives of the major print and broadcast media, 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the 50 top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series.” Critics like Cathy Young will never rise up to chastise them for passing off “anti-Semitic tropes” for talking about it. Not even as Lipset goes so far as to state that “American exceptionalism [e.g. the social arrangements allowing Jews such tremendous economic and sociopolitical success] may threaten the future of Jews even more than did anti-Semitic hostilities of the past.”
Surprisingly, Marilyn Mayo—who tracks the Alt-Right at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism—actually goes so far as to admit that “You can have some of the ideas of the Alt-Right, which is anti-immigration, anti-multiculturalism, and anti-globalism, without it being anti-Semitic.” However, she goes on to emphasize that “a good deal of the people who are talking about the ideology of white identity, white culture, focus on Jews as part of a problem for them.” The implication is supposed to be that this is so obviously inherently bigoted that no further discussion whatsoever is necessary to calmly explain just exactly why these individuals are wrong. Is it to be classified as automatic bigotry by default when people who are talking about “the ideology of [black] identity, [black] culture, focus on [racist whites] as part of a problem for them”—as takes place, say, in basically any discussion about “cultural appropriation” that has ever taken place?
Okay, so if we were to grant that Jewish authors like Seymour Martin Lipset—not to mention the raw numbers—are right that Jews do in fact have disproportionate influence over the American media and academia, what then? Marilyn Mao apparently accepts that one actually can oppose things like immigration, multiculturalism, and globalism without being “anti-Semitic.” But supposing one does accept these positions, how would this effect one’s relationship with Jews? The core of the problem is not that the Alt-Right hates Jews for being Jewish. The core of the problem is that, in practice, no one will actually admit what Marilyn Mao just did: that one can oppose immigration, multiculturalism, and so forth without being “anti-Semitic” (or otherwise deserving of an equivalent amount of deep moral condemnation). The entire point of the Alt-Right’s talk about Jews is to call attention to the fact that Jews have led the effort historically to the present day to condemn anyone who holds these positions.
Demographically, Jews skew significantly to the Left of American politics. Whether we’re talking about abortion, pornography, premarital sex, gay marriage, or feminism, Jewish views (particularly on social issues) have long been to the left of the American mainstream. Nathan Abrams, a Lecturer of Modern American History at the University of Aberdeen, quotes Al Goldstein, publisher of Screw, as stating: “The only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don’t believe in authoritarianism.” A study in 2012 found that Jews, along with Buddhists, were by far the most likely to report having had premarital sex (with Christians and Hindus much less so, and Muslims by far the least). While just shy of half of all Jews support the legalization of abortion without any restriction or qualification whatsoever, no other group exceeds 25% support. Whereas 93% of Jews support legalizing abortion in all or most cases, the next-closest group (white Protestants) only reaches 59%, while black Protestants and Catholics are at 50% and 48% respectively.
Whereas white Americans skew about 54-40 in favor of the Republicans, American Jews skew about 64-26 in favor of the Democrats. And while the counter-examples of Communist persecution in places like China and North Korea make it impossible to view Communism as a whole as “Jewish project,” Jews have been disproportionately likely to join Communist movements (as Ilya Somin, a Jewish Professor at George Mason School of Law, freely admits).
All the way back to the beginning of the 20th century, Jews were at the forefront of efforts to fight restrictions on immigration.
As the progressive eugenicist Edward Alsworth Ross wrote in the 1914 book The Old World in the New, “The systematic campaign in newspapers and magazines to break down all arguments for restriction and to calm nativist fears is waged by and for one race. Hebrew money is behind the National Liberal Immigration League and its numerous publications. From the paper before the commercial body or the scientific association to the heavy treatise produced with the aid of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, the literature that proves the blessings of immigration to all classes in America emanates from subtle Hebrew brains.”
Or, as Representative Scott Leavitt stated on the Congressional record in 1924 in defense of the 1924 Immigration Act,
The instinct for national and race preservation is not one to be condemned, as has been intimated here. No one should be better able to understand the desire of Americans to keep America American than the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Sabath], who is leading the attack on this measure, or the gentlemen from New York, Mr. Dickstein, Mr. Jacobstein, Mr. Celler, and Mr. Perlman. They are of the one great historic people who have maintained the identity of their race throughout the centuries because they believe sincerely that they are a chosen people, with certain ideals to maintain, and knowing that the loss of racial identity means a change of ideals. That fact should make it easy for them and the majority of the most active opponents of this measure in the spoken debate to recognize and sympathize with our viewpoint, which is not so extreme as that of their own race, but only demands that the admixture of other peoples shall be only of such kind and proportions and in such quantities as will not alter racial characteristics more rapidly than there can be assimilation as to ideas of government as well as of blood.
Or as Hugh Davis Graham writes in the 2002 book Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America,
Most important for the content of immigration reform, the driving force at the core of the movement, reaching back to the 1920s, were Jewish organizations long active in opposing racial and ethnic quotas. These included the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, and the American Federation of Jews from Eastern Europe. Jewish members of the Congress, particularly representatives from New York and Chicago, had maintained steady but largely ineffective pressure against the national origins quotas since the 1920s. . . . To the public, the most visible evidence of the immigration reform drive was played by Jewish legislative leaders, such as Representative Celler and Senator Jacob Javits of New York. Less visible, but equally important, were the efforts of key advisers on presidential and agency staffs. These included senior policy advisers such as Julius Edelson and Harry Rosenfield in the Truman administration, Maxwell Rabb in the Eisenhower White House, and presidential aide Myer Feldman, assistant secretary of state Abba Schwartz, and deputy attorney general Norbert Schlei in the Kennedy-Johnson administration.
And it’s difficult to fail to notice just how many Jews condemn the idea of strengthening border policies in the United States as the pinnacle of white racist political evil while supporting policies in Israel that not only strengthen borders, but for example actually throw African immigrants out by the thousands to keep Israel Jewish. As a matter of fact, should Trump win the nomination, the very Jewish company that built the walls in Israel would by vying for the chance to build the walls in the United States. But we still find countless examples of high-profile Jews who in one breath write articles like “White Nationalism is a Scourge that Won’t Go Away,” and in the next pen articles with headlines like “Israel’s Jewish Essence is Non-Negotiable.”
Ethnonationalist immigration policies for me—but not for thee. Are we wrong to notice that this seems hypocritical? Are we bigots for noticing? I don’t think we are.
A Facebook page titled “Open Borders for Israel” does exist, but its founders and followers are not Jews or Israelis who actually support the idea of open borders in Israel. They’re people ironically calling attention to the fact that nobody does that. And today, Kevin MacDonald notes that
Even Daniel Pipes, who is known as an “Islamophobic” critic of the Muslim community, is not supporting Donald Trump because of his stance on immigration- and diversity-related issues. This may seem surprising because one of Trump’s signature proposals has been a moratorium on Muslim immigration, while Hillary Clinton wants to ramp up the number of refugees and other immigrants from Muslim countries. . . Indeed, Pipes just quit the GOP over this issue. . . . Needless to say, this is especially hypocritical given Pipes’ status as a pro-Israel activist, since Trump’s proposals parallel the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.
Thus, even “conservative” Jews who aren’t part of the trend of Jews skewing so far to the left of the American mainstream have gone a long way to redirect conservatism away from its traditional ideals. The leading founders and luminaries of the neoconservative movement—Bill Kristol, Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Leo Strauss, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Elliott Abrams, Eliot A. Cohen, Robert Kagan, Jonah Goldberg, David Frum, and many others—are extremely disproportionately Jewish—enough that neoconservatism basically can be seen as a “Jewish project.”
Neoconservative “godfather” Irving Kristol, in a 2003 article titled “The Neoconservative Persuasion,” explains that “the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics….” And with respect to the U.S. taking military action overseas in the interests of Israel? “No complicated geopolitical calculations of [the U.S.’] national interest are necessary.” Samuel Francis’ essay “The Neoconservative Subversion” in Brent Nelson’s Neoconservatism describes Jewish/neoconservative activists’ “efforts not merely to debate, criticize, and refute the ideas of traditional conservatism but to denounce, vilify, and harm the careers of those Old Right figures and institutions they have targeted.” (All emphasis mine—and note that Francis here uses “Old Right” to refer to prototypical paleoconservatives, and not as Greg Johnson does to refer to fascists, national socialists, and related movements ) And as Stephen Sniegoski argues in The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, the neoconservatives aren’t just responsible for pushing the United States into the Middle East, but how those conflicts have played out has often been tailored to the interests of the state of Israel as well.
Thus, the neoconservative transformation of American politics has evolved into the promotion of a kind of “invade the world, invite the world” strategy. First, the U.S. military gets involved in war in the Middle East (an effort that simply is in fact disproportionately pushed by Jews); and next, after we’ve dropped bombs on all of their relatives and givven them more than enough reason to hate us, the U.S. then invites refugees to come over to visit for tea (another effort that also is in fact disproportionately pushed by Jews). Surely, this strategy has something to do with the significant upsurge in domestic Islamic terror attacks since 9/11.
In contrast, what the Alt-Right stands for is policies that place “America First” by not bombing foreign countries when we have little to gain from doing so, yet also not trying to invite them over for tea afterwards. As a friend in Russia tells me, all of the Chechen Muslims he knows seem to think that that’s actually a pretty good deal. They weren’t clamoring to come relocate to the States, anyway. But an end to the bombs would be nice.
And yet, guess what the Jewish activists at the Anti-Defamation League think of the phrase “America First” when Trump adopts it as a campaign slogan? They think it’s “anti-Semitic.”
So Jews are, of course, not a monolith. There are plenty of Jews who share, or at least can respect, the basic core values of the Alternative Right. Some do hold socially conservative values; some do oppose allowing demographic changes through unchecked immigration.
Some even consider themselves members of the Alt-Right [cite Jonathan Siedel]. But nonetheless, Jews have been so heavily disproportionately involved in efforts both to fight those values and to condemn anyone who holds them that if we subtracted all Jewish influence from the equation both for and against us, the entirety of U.S. history would unquestionably have proceeded very differently. The norms and values we fight to re-establish today were only deconstructed decades ago because of efforts to fight them that probably never could have succeeded without Jewish efforts at all.
Had Jews not been able as a group to exert as much influence over the course of U.S. political policy as they have, the alt-right would not today be a fringe effort to restore classical values and policy preferences. Because it wouldn’t have to be: those values and policy preferences would have remained at the core of the American mainstream for the last century.
Aren’t Jews Just White People with a Different Religion?
The Alt-Right begins with acceptance of human biodiversity—the thesis that different human populations have evolved psychological and behavioral differences which are partially biological in origin.
Now, the argument from human biodiversity to ethnonationalism goes something like this:
1. People tend to get along better with others who are behaviorally and psychologically more like themselves.
3. Since a member of a given race is genetically more similar to the average member of his race than he is to a non-member (Lewontin’s fallacy notwithstanding) ethnically segregated societies will have proportionally more people with a greater degree of genetic relatedness between them. They will therefore have proportionally more people with a greater degree of behavioral and psychological similarity between them, and they will therefore tend to have more social trust and civic participation, as well as stronger interpersonal bonds and relationships.
4. Since these are all positive values that we all ought to encourage, for everyone’s sake, peaceful movement towards ethnostates is something that members of all races have good reason to support.
Indeed, studies have confirmed that people tend to form close relationships with people who are about as genetically similar to them as fourth cousins, and a mountain of studies have established the claim that increases in racial diversity do in fact result in decreases in social trust, civic participation, and altruistic or co-operative social norms.
Furthermore, it is now known both that Jews are genetically distinct enough to qualify as a “race,” and that despite a significant degree of European admixture, Jews are in fact genetically more closely related to Palestinians than they are to European populations. Some scholars, including Kevin MacDonald, have speculated that Jews’ greater levels of ethnocentrism compared to whites is one genetically influenced personality difference between whites and Jews. As evidence for this hypothesis, he points to a chapter titled Monographs for the Society for Research in Child Development in the anthology Growing Points in Attachment Theory and Research. In the chapter, the authors point to research in which Israeli infants were shown to have much stronger fear responses to being left with strangers than any infants from any other race—with infants from North Germany showing the least fear of all. In fact, the fear responses from the Israeli infants were often so severe that the experiments were frequently cut short altogether.
In any case, the result is that the Alt-Right tends to extend its conclusions in favor of ethnonationalism towards support for Zionism—both of a means of providing Jews with an ethnic homeland of their own (consistent with its support for ethnonationalism in general), and as a means of humanely creating an ethnic homeland for whites free of Jewish social and political predominance as well.
However, as Kevin MacDonald says in his acceptance speech for the 2004 Jack London Literary Prize, titled “Can the Jewish Model Help the West Survive?” the reality is that I greatly admire Jews as a group that has pursued its interests over thousands of years, while retaining its ethnic coherence and intensity of group commitment. There have been ups and downs in Jewish fortunes, to be sure; but their persistence, at times in the face of long odds, and their spectacular success at the present time are surely worthy of emulation.” Other members of the Alt-Right have at times even framed their political philosophy as a call for a “sort of white Zionism.”
Framing the Alt-Right as “anti-Semitic”, when in so many ways its political philosophy is nothing other than an exact mirror image of Jewish Zionism, seems just a little bit odd. Don’t you think?
As Betsy Woodruff writes for The Daily Beast in an article titled “Alt-Right Leaders: We Aren’t Racist, We Just Hate Jews,” “Bad news, Jews: You don’t get to be part of Richard Spencer’s white ethno-state.” But Diaspora Jews aren’t spending millions of dollars to try to bring Israeli Jews out to Europe and the United States. Israeli Jews are spending millions of dollars to try to bring Jews to Israel from places like Europe and the United States. And websites like Judaism 101 tell us that “Living outside of Israel is viewed as an unnatural state for a Jew. The world outside of Israel is often referred to as “galut,” which is usually translated as “diaspora” (dispersion), but a more literal translation would be “exile” or “captivity.” So the Alt-Right’s answer to Mrs. Woodruff’s comment is: why should they want to be? They already are expressing their desire for their own ethnostate. And the standards of political correctness that condemn whites for even daring to think about the subject already freely allow Jews not only to express their desires for, but to actually have, their own ethnostate.
Newsflash: Whites don’t “get to be” part of Benjamin Netanyatu’s Jewish ethnostate, either. Will The Daily Beast use that fact to condemn the Jews behind Zionism? Of course not.
But, funny enough, the Alt-Right doesn’t either.