On Sunday, Breitbart News posted an article by conservative thinker David Horowitz. The headline: “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew Prepares Third Party Effort To Block Trump’s Path To White House.”
This is surprising coming from Horowitz.
It’s unsurprising coming from Breitbart News.
I am a former employee of both Breitbart News and David Horowitz. I left Breitbart under rather public circumstances thanks to their overweening allegiance to Donald Trump, which led to them treating decent people like trash. I founded the website TruthRevolt under the auspices of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and I consider David both a mentor and a friend.
But this article is garbage.
Hillary is a terror for Israel and Jews. Trump is awful, too – and unlike Hillary, he’s carving out the heart of the truly pro-Israel party in the name of isolationist Pat Buchananism (another true friend of the Jews, there).
But according to David Horowitz, you’re a “renegade Jew” if you don’t back Trump.
Horowitz’s whole article is a specious, dishonest defense of Trump on every score, from his conspiracy-mongering about Ted Cruz’s father killing JFK (“what we have here, obviously, is not a theory, but some Trumpian campaign mischief”) to his attempts to downplay Mike Tyson’s rape conviction (“Mike Tyson had a dramatic change of heart following his release from prison”), from his pandering to dictator Vladimir Putin (“Attempting a serious re-set – a re-set from strength – would seem reasonable and prudent”) to his incoherent Middle Eastern policy (Trump’s policy, writes Horowitz, would only be “described as a ‘national retreat’ by a very unprincipled – and careless – individual”).
All of that pales in comparison with Horowitz’s last paragraph, celebrated in glowing orange font by Breitbart’s headline:
I am a Jew who has never been to Israel and has never been a Zionist in the sense of believing that Jews can rid themselves of Jew hatred by having their own nation state. But half of world Jewry now lives in Israel, and the enemies whom Obama and Hillary have empowered — Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, ISIS, and Hamas — have openly sworn to exterminate the Jews. I am also an American (and an American first), whose country is threatened with destruction by the same enemies. To weaken the only party that stands between the Jews and their annihilation, and between America and the forces intent on destroying her, is a political miscalculation so great and a betrayal so profound as to not be easily forgiven.
Not to get personal, but Horowitz does not speak from a position of strength here. He’s an avowed agnostic; he doesn’t observe Jewish ritual law in any way, or believe in any of the basic principles of Judaism. That doesn’t make him a bad person, of course, but it makes it rather ridiculous for him to sit atop the Pentateuchal high horse. And opposing Donald Trump for all the failures listed above doesn’t make you a “renegade Jew.” It actually makes you a “renegade Jew” to simultaneously reject all the fundamental principles of Judaism, then cite Judaism as a reason to embrace a candidate who rejects basic moral principles up to and including disassociating from anti-Semitism at home and abroad.
That said, David’s article isn’t anti-Semitic. It’s just wrong.
That’s how you end up with “RENEGADE JEW” running in giant letters on your front page in order to rip Jews who won’t support Donald Trump. David Horowitz throwing out the term “renegade Jew” to describe those Jews who oppose Trump on pro-Israel and conservative grounds is bad enough; Breitbart using such language in order to drive the septic-system segment of its base is worse.
None of this is totally unexpected. But all of it is deeply depressing to me personally. People I once admired, people with whom I was once friends, have clarified where they stand – and just as importantly, with whom they are willing to stand. And it’s ugly.
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