The Magazine

Is the Alt Right Anti-Semitic?


Relations have never been good between the conservative movement and the neocons, on the one hand, and the traditionalist, “paleo,” or far Right, on the other. Wars of words pitting National Review, Commentary, and FrumForum against The American Conservative, Chronicles, VDARE, and, most recently, AlternativeRight have become legendary. There are no signs that anyone thinks a rapprochement is possible or desirable.

Among other venomous things said, the mainstreamers and neocons have often accused the traditionalists of harboring “anti-Semitic” sentiments.

As someone who’s written for both Alternative Right and VDARE, I decided to put together a symposium in order to confront these accusations head on. I submit that Jews and the traditional Right have a chance at reaching an understanding and reconciliation. And in order for this to occur, there must be a frank and open discussion about the relationship between the traditional Right and the Jews.

I decided to find out and asked for the frank opinions on the matter of three men who are synonymous with traditional American conservatism and the far Right: Taki Theodoracopulos, Srdja Trifkovic, and Paul Gottfried.  I hope this is the start of a productive dialogue on this all-important topic.

The first question I asked is a simple one: Is the traditional right anti-Jewish?

-- Eugene Girin

More Sinned Against than Sinning

By Taki Theodoracopulos

Yes, the traditional Right does have some anti-Semitic tinges, as it should. Pro-Israeli groups, and especially the loathsome neocons, have painted people like Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, Thomas Fleming, and Peter Brimelow as Nazis, as outrageous charge as there is. The powerful lobby that runs American foreign policy decided long ago on a policy of "apostomasis" against anyone who dares challenge Israel's policies of oppression and occupation of Palestinian lands and people. Anyone who protests on humanitarian grounds is immediately painted as an ant-Jewish bigot and a modern fascist. I personally have been called this by scum like Frum and weasels like Podhoredz and Kristol.

So why shouldn't we be anti-Jewish, especially now, with 1.2 million dead following the Iraq disaster that was hatched up by people like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, and cheer-led by the men I just mentioned. AIPAC and the above mentioned have plumbed the depths of dishonor and character assassination and indecency and fabrication of falsehoods. Israeli Likudists and neocons are the ones who should be charged with an anti-Christian and traditionalist crusade, not we with anti-Semitism. They are the very bad guys who for much too long have been getting away, literally, with murder.

Survival Strategy

By Srdja Trifkovic

To claim that the traditional Right is “anti-Jewish” is to imply that it is gripped by an irrational prejudice. Such accusation is untrue and unfair.

It is true, however, that the traditional Right is inevitably antipathetic to certain modes of thought and feeling, to a peculiar Weltanschauung and the resulting forms of public and intra-communal discourse, which are quite properly perceived as specifically Jewish.

Historically, Talmudic Judaism’s insistence on the Jews’ racial uniqueness -- emphasized by the ritual and dietary laws of Talmudic Judaism and on its view of Christians as idolaters -- has ensured that a Jew steeped in his own tradition could not view traditional European or American conservatism with sympathy. His tradition was a form of elaborate survival mechanism based on the zero-sum view of a world divided into “us” and “them.” The Gentile was "the Other" ab initio and for ever.

In addition, since the late 1800’s the Jews have had a disproportionate impact on a host of intellectual trends and political movements which have fundamentally altered the civilization of Europe and its overseas offspring in a manner deeply detrimental to the family, nation, culture, racial solidarity, social coherence, tradition, morality and faith. Spontaneously or deliberately, those ideas and movements -- Marxism (including neoconservatism as the bastard child of Trotskyism), Freudianism, Frankfurt School cultural criticism, Boasian anthropology, etc. -- have eroded “the West” to the point where its demographic and cultural survival is uncertain. The erosion is continuing, allegedly in the name of propositional principles and universal values, and it is pursued with escalating ferocity.

Only one group and one nation-state remain exempt from the dictates of pluralism and diversity, and from the condemnation (heading towards criminalization) of any form of group solidarity based on blood, culture and faith.

In our own time, however, the process of erosion has reached the stage where it is to be expected that increasing numbers of Jews -- those who love their own people more than they loath what the traditional Right loves -- will realize that, in the long term, their only viable survival strategy is to support the principles and objectives of the traditional Right.

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 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.

Subversives and Shills

Paul Gottfried

Taki is entirely correct that there is no reason for the traditional Right to feel any affection for most Jews in American public life, and least of all for those Jews who dominate the misnamed “conservative movement.” Kevin MacDonald is right that American Jews have used whatever leverage they exercise on the media and political system to push the U.S. leftward. Moreover, to whatever extent Jewish influence has been felt on the American Right, the result has been to infantilize as well as misdirect would-be American conservatives. Even a cursory glance at the (predominantly) non-Jewish half-wits whom the neocons have put in charge of their appropriated publications would show that they have scooped out the brains of the American Right.

In foreign policy, neoconservative powerbrokers have rebuilt conservatism around an essentially leftist program of exporting human rights and “democratic revolution.” At the same time, they have turned Zionism into the main tenet of their transformed Right. This is not to vilify the Israelis but only to underline that Zionism and American conservatism should not be the same thing. It is only by twisting the former into looking like the latter that the two have become identical.

Nonetheless, for the sake of balance, it may be necessary to add some shading to Srdja’s and Taki’s spirited and courageous assessment. Not all Jews in all times and places have behaved in the way that Kevin MacDonald describes the dominant characteristics of American (or for that matter Canadian, Western European, or Australian) Jewish elites. More often than not throughout their long history, Jews have had to survive collectively in generally unfriendly environments. Furthermore, when they did become citizens or full subjects of Western governments in the 18th or 19th century, most of them worked hard to fit in. Helmut Rumpler in his (more or less) definitive study of the Danubian monarchy underlines that the majority of Austrian and Hungarian Jews in the 19th and early 20th centuries were ardent Habsburg monarchists. Although there were Jewish socialists and republicans at the time, those radicals were distinctly in the minority.

Most of Franz Josef’s Jewish subjects, including the agnostic pioneer in psychology, Sigmund Freud fervently supported the Austro-Hungarian monarchy -- and came to incarnate bourgeois social institutions. Having grown up in a Jewish community that was an extension of the one depicted by Rumpler, I don’t ever recall meeting a Jewish leftist among my parents’ friends. My first rude, wholesale encounter with such odious people came in graduate school at Yale. And I noticed that my WASP professors liked these unpleasant Jews and treated them with extraordinary interest. Indeed, they favored them when it came to finding entry-level positions for new PhDs.

Certain historical circumstances must be taken into account in order to understand the Jewish influence that Srdja, Taki, and other contributors to this symposium properly deplore. The traditional Protestant elites lost their sense of confidence or will to rule, at about the same time that large numbers of Eastern European Jews were settling in Anglophone countries. Because of their ambition, networking and natural smarts, the Jews climbed to the top of the greasy pole, but did so while bringing along lots of baggage. While successful Jews promoted the sciences and contributed to commercial prosperity, they profoundly disliked the Christian and even bourgeois residues of the societies they were allowed to dominate.

In this respect they were essentially different from the Sephardic and German Jews who came to America earlier and who in many cases intermarried and then joined Christian churches. Eastern European Jews were largely different from these older Jewish communities in the US. They survived longest as a people apart and have combined typically Jewish high intelligence and social drive with abhorrence for traditional gentile culture. Part of this can be traced back to the continuing sense of marginality among those Jews who entered the Western world last; but part of this behavior also stems from carefully preserved memories of bad experiences with Christians in the old country. Jewish immigrants dragged these impressions with them and magnified any discrimination they suffered here. In fact they treated any slight they suffered it as part of an unalterable pattern. Of course, Jews were not alone in doing this and much of their paranoia coupled with leftist politics seems equally characteristic of Irish Catholics.

But what made the predominantly Eastern European Jews different from Irish immigrants is that their phobia was never limited to Protestants. They feared Christians in general. Jewish fear of Christian society should not be underestimated, no matter how irrational it now seems. Many times while growing up I heard Jews of my age say: “It happened in Germany; it could happen here.” What was common to these countries beside the fact that Jews did well in both places at different times, was their onetime European Christian character.

Christianity meant and means for many Jews anti-Semitism; and presumably the less Christian or “Judeo-Christian” a Western society becomes, the less likely it is to massacre or expel Jews. By now this fear is so integral to the American, Canadian, or continental European Jewish mindset that it may be genetically hard-wired. But I doubt it’s a mere ploy to extract concessions from the goyim. The average Jewish professional or journalist in the U.S. is only three generations removed from an Eastern European ghetto and grew up with stories about how Christians caused the Holocaust. If I believed what they believed -- and what Jewish organizations like the ADL convince Jews is true, I’d be terrified as well.

Jewish neocons could never have done the awful things they pulled off without lots and lots of gentile cooperation. As someone who lived through and was professionally ruined by the neocons, I remain appalled by the non-Jews in the conservative movement far more than I am by the Jews who took over. The confrontation was never exclusively between bad Jews and nice Christians. My friend Sam Francis was purged at the Washington Times by the paper’s Southern Protestant editor-in-chief, perhaps to hide the fact that Wes Pruden’s family included ardent segregationists. Pruden was goaded on by two Catholics, who dug up dirt on Sam, in an effort to curry favor with their neocon patrons. A former Israeli military officer, who wrote regularly for the Times, Amos Perlmutter, tried to intervene for Sam, without success.

Although Jewish neocons poisoned the wells for the onetime candidate for the NEH directorship, the Southern conservative scholar M. E. Bradford, it was two Catholics, Bill Buckley and Ed Feulner who went to President Reagan to discourage any continued support for Bradford. Both turned on a longtime friend, who mistakenly believed they were going to the president to aid his cause. The candidate whom they managed to put in Bradford’s place, and who became a tool of neocon dominance was another non-Jew, Bill Bennett. And throughout the conservative wars of the 1980s and 1990s, Jews served with distinction on the traditionalist side, unlike the vast majority of self-identified Christian conservative activists. I suspect the percentage of conservative Jews who rallied to the anti-neocon cause (of which I was a leader) was far higher than the percentage of non-Jewish conservatives who opposed the neocon takeover.

My memory of some of these treacherous or cowardly non-Jews remains painfully vivid. Contrary to the naïve impression I conveyed in the first edition of The American Conservative Movement, most non-Jewish conservatives I encountered in the late 1980s were not well-meaning victims of neocon wiles. They were delighted to serve their new masters and ghoulishly turned on their comrades. Had the WASP elite not gone soft in the head, then the Jewish Left would not have swallowed up American culture and American education. And if the conservative movement had featured men with honor, then our side would be running the conservative movement. The neocons did not act alone. Their enablers, who were numerous, were and are far worse.