Untimely Observations

An Alliance with the Jews


In his contribution to our recent symposium, “Is the Alt Right Anti-Semitic?” Srdja Trifkovic suggests an improbable alliance,

To put it bluntly, the survival of the West, which is recognizably Christian in spirit and European in genes, is "objectively" becoming the optimal survival strategy for the Jewish community as a whole, Israel included. (I've known several Jews who understand, notably my late friend Sir Alfred Sherman.) In the postmodern mélange of races, cultures and cults still desired by the likes of Abraham Foxman, the narrative of victimhood and its associated claims will carry little weight with the brown, black, and yellow multitudes blissfully devoid of European self-loathing, guilt and shame. The results may easily exceed in ferocity and magnitude the events of 1942-45.

It’s true that Africans and Chinese are less likely to erect Holocaust museums in their hometowns, though I’d hope European identity could be advertised on something other than self-loathing and white guilt.

Srdja continues,

It is essential for the Jews to grasp that the survival of European gentile identity and institutions is a sine qua non of their own survival. It is desirable for the traditional Right to overcome its instinctive impulses, historically justified as they are, and to consider this possibility and its implications.

Srdja’s proposition is reasonable, and, no doubt, attractive to many, but when such an alliance is examined in the cold, hard light of reality, it appears highly unlikely. The least of its problems is the fact that American Jews are overwhelmingly liberal and multiculti, whereas traditionalists are decidedly neither.

The people Srdja seems to be offering to the Jews as coalition partners are American “paleoconservatives” (and related groups), some of the few who would openly define themselves as guardians of Christendom. However right their cause may be, the paleos and their ilk wield little in the way of influence in contemporary American society, and quite less in Europe. Their readership base is small, shrinking, and graying, and it’s difficult to imagine a major breakthrough occurring anytime soon.

More important, even if Jewish leaders were to take an interest in this band of cultural and literary critics, such people have developed ways of thinking that wouldn’t be particularly attractive to Jews in positions of leadership: the paleos are marked by their frequent announcements of the total futility of political or national struggles, their quasi-ideology of local attachment and participation in small-town governance, and their manifest grumpiness.

This doesn’t mean Jews aren’t interested in working with the Right. What Srdja leaves out of his essay (though he’s certainly aware of it) is that Jews already have engaged in a “Nixon goes to China” alignment with another group of Christian “traditionalists.” Indeed, Jews display great deference to this group, shower them with gifts, fly them to the Holy Land, and invite them to sumptuous junkets.

I’m, of course, referring to the “Christian Zionist.” Pastors Hagee, Robertson & Co. are out in front of this demographic, but it includes millions of Evangelical Protestants who don’t get carried away with “the rapture” and Dispensationalism but are strong backers of Israel nonetheless.

It’s worth noting that Jews haven’t “subverted” this group of mostly White Christians, or infected them with any anti-Western ideology, so much as they’ve latched on to a certain American messianism and sense of “chosen-ness” that was present long before their arrival.

In TheWar For Righteousness, his history of the American home front during the First World War, Richard Gamble describes well the ways in which American Protestants imagined their country as a “light to the nations” and tasked with spreading democracy and “Americanism” to benighted Europe. This spirit could be traced back much further, of course, to Governor Winthrop and his image of “New Jerusalem.” And it’s not hard to see how the “Americanism” Geist could be summoned to support Old Jerusalem as well.

Sad to say, from my point of view at least, this phantasm of a global democratic mission represents a much more powerful component of American national identity than any connection with European Tradition.  At any rate, there’s simply no reason why Israel-minded Jews would go looking for new Useful Idiots when the current ones are working out so splendidly.

But there will come a time, perhaps soon, when Jews will need new partners. And the fact that Allan Dershowitz and Norman Podhoretz have teamed up with Pat Robertson and John Hagee proves that anything is possible.

At the moment, American Jews generally support politicians like Barack Obama, as well as all sorts of multiculti, open-borders, and affirmative-action legislation, with the assumption that their current status won’t be affected much by it, and might be improved. But much as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice discovered, after a spell is cast, it can take on a life of its own -- and turn against its originator. The next generation of Latino politicians will likely make Obama seem like Eisenhower. And Srdja is right to point out that political multiculturalism will tend to get out of hand and become very bad for the Jews, who will be viewed by Black and Brown as a particularly annoying version of Whitey.

And here’s where a coalition could take shape. World Jewry isn’t as monolithic as some anti-Semites and philo-Semites like to imagine; and indeed, the fractions within it can be extremely mutually hostile. Speaking to the Jewish Federation in the late ‘90s, Bibi Netanyahu called America the “crematorium” of the Jews. He was referring to the tendency of Jews to migrate to the States, pick up on its ways, and never make it to Jerusalem. He could have been referring as well to the documented tendency of Americanized Jews to have a greatly attenuated connection with the Holy Land (despite efforts of outfits like Birthright Israel) and essentially become typical American liberals: childless, urban, postmodern souls who are more likely to criticize Israel for human rights violations than make aliyah. This is a trend lauded by the New York Review of Books and greeted with dismay and anger by nationalist Israelis.

Your average eastern seaboard liberal Jew, who takes his marching orders from the New York Times and reads Phillip Roth in his spare time, will likely never want to have anything to do with the far Right -- even if his life depended on it. Bibi Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are a different story.

With the prospect of American politics slipping out of control, and non-Whites commanding nuclear weapons and a massive military arsenal, Israeli hardliners might much prefer that the extreme Right were in charge of things.

Unlike the neocons and the Holy Rollers, this new group would be willing to radically reconstitute the American social order. It would extricate the U.S. military from the Middle East, and wouldn’t likely express strong opinions about who wins or who looses in various land disputes in the region. Israelis might learn to prefer such an isolationist regime, which would give them a free hand, as opposed to the ever-meddling Democrats and Republicans.

Alliances aren’t about liking your allies, or imaging that you share a common destiny or bond. Alliances are about ensuring your survival and defeating your enemies. Israel’s fruitful relationship with the South African Apartheid government, which included the sharing of nuclear intelligence and material, should serve as a model in this regard. Who knows? Israeli nationalists might want to help finance the far Right in Europe and North America. Certainly, if the two camps could grasp that their interests are complimentary, an improbable grand alliance might be in the cards.

Stranger things have happened.