So, I’d like to thank the Academy, my wife, my parents, my agent, and God Almighty for the great honor of being the top journalist target of Jew-hatred in America over the past few months, according to a comprehensive study from the Anti-Defamation League. I’m honored because being targeted by mouth-breathing idiots is a compliment – you know you’re doing something right if people who tweet pictures of gas chambers on the day of your child’s birth find you unacceptable as a human being.
Here are some quick thoughts:
1. Twitter Shouldn’t Ban Jew-Haters. As the fellow who receives hook-nosed Jew memes more than any other journalist on the planet, I don’t believe that people ought to be suspended or banned from Twitter or Facebook for posting vile garbage, so long as it isn’t openly advocating violence. I make a habit of retweeting these pieces of human feces in order to mock their stupidity and to expose the fact that people like this exist. Twitter has every right to ban people – it’s a private company. But that doesn’t mean they should. And every time they do, they grant credibility to the monstrous people who want to play victim.
2. Yes, The Alt-Right Is Anti-Semitic. There are a lot of people who consider themselves alt-right because they don’t understand what the alt-right is. You’re not alt-right just because you back Trump. You’re not alt-right because you hate the media. Alt-right means something, and it means ethnocultural “European” solidarity that has nothing to do with conservatism, the Constitution, or ideals of liberty. To read what the alt-right actually is, click here. By the same token, downplaying the alt-right’s anti-Semitism as “mischievous” and “trolly,” as people do at sites like Trump-centric alt-right meeting site Breitbart, is lying by omission and provides cover to evil.
3. No, Jew-Hatred Is Not Widespread Among Trump Supporters. The ADL report links Trump support to Jew-hatred on Twitter. There’s no question that’s true for a small but loud segment of alt-right Trump supporters. But it is small. The vast majority of Trump supporters find the sort of hate I receive reprehensible. They’re not in line with the alt-right. To overestimate their percentage of the population would be wrong and foolish.
4. A Lot of Online Jew-Hatred Is Astroturfed. The ADL study shows that Jew-hatred on Twitter spikes at certain times and cascades on itself. That means it’s being coordinated, or at least encouraged by specific Twitter personalities. I can say with certainty that the amount of Jew-hatred in my Twitter feed has dropped exponentially since Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos (a ban I opposed, by the way).
5. Trump Does Wink At The Alt-Right. As I’ve said before, Donald Trump may not be an alt-righter, but he spends an awful lot of time and effort winking at them. The hiring of Steve Bannon as campaign CEO – a guy who turned Breitbart.com from an edgy conservative site into an alt-right haven, then bragged about it – was a shout-out. Trump’s winks and nods at Vladimir Putin are part of the same pattern; his language about “international bankers” may not be intentional, but the alt-right certainly treated it that way.
6. The Media Ignore Jew-Hatred If It’s Directed Against The Right. The ADL has done an admirable job of charting the rise of Jew-hatred against conservative pundits. But the entire media largely ignored that anti-Semitism so long as it targeted the right, and only began to notice it when it hit people on the left like Julia Ioffe. We Jews on the right who opposed Trump were used to it by then. Politico Magazine did an entire piece about anti-Semitism among a segment of Trump supporters, asking, “why has the Jewish right looked away?” That’s patently insane, and demonstrates the myopia of much of the left. The left itself is replete with anti-Semitism – just check the charter for the Black Lives Matter movement.
So, what’s the future of the alt-right? If Trump wins, it’s likely to grow – the alt-right obviously feels emboldened. Even if he loses, they’ll live on at sites that now rely on their enthusiastic support, like Breitbart. A rock has been overturned; the window of acceptability has moved.