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“Trump can’t be a Nazi or an anti-Semite because he’s done the most pro-Jewish thing a president has done for decades” has become the latest talking point pushed by the right-wing-media-industrial-complex to defend their Dear Leader against charges he’s a minority hating extremist.
From alt-Right Twitter trolls to Murdoch owned media outlets — tweets, headlines, and sound bites read synchronistically, “Trump is the most pro-Jewish president of all time.”
“If Trump is pro-Israel, then he can’t be an anti-Semitic, white nationalist” is the logic that underpins this new right-wing orchestrated talking point, but anyone who follows the machinations of the Israel Lobby and its cadre of Zionist organizations and individuals knows only too well that far-right, white nationalist, and even avowed neo-Nazis have long been courted as allies in their fight to permanently erase Palestinians from the ever expanding Israeli controlled territory.
In fact, Israel not only weaponizes anti-Semitism to provide cover for its brutal security state apparatus, but also it was European anti-Semitism that created the Israeli state in the first place. When Theodor Herzi, the founding architect of the “Jewish state,” brought forward his idea for creating a state in Palestine for exiled European Jews in 1896, prominent Jewish intellectuals dismissed his idea, claiming it undermined Jews who had assimilated successfully in European societies.
Dejected but not defeated, Herzi enlisted the help of the Chaim Weizmann, a prominent British Jewish figure, who, in turn, won support for Herzi’s proposed white European settler colonial project by recruiting the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, an avowed white supremacist.
“We have to face the facts,” Balfour said. “Men are not born equal, the white and black races are not born with equal capacities: they are born with different capacities which education cannot and will not change.”
Balfour also enacted anti-immigration laws that were designed to restrict and prevent Jews migrating to Britain. In many ways, Balfour’s ban on Jews was the 100 year precedent to Trump’s ban on Muslims.
In November 1917, the Balfour Declaration laid the groundwork for the future state of Israel, stating that, “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object.”
Balfour thus became a hero among Zionist Jews, who were only to happy to ignore his demonstrable record of avowed white supremacy and anti-Semitism, which brings us to where we are with Trump and white supremacists today.
During the past year, Trump has deployed anti-Semitic tropes, retweeted anti-Semitic posts, and has given cover to anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi agitators, going so far to label thousands of Nazi flag waving, “Sieg Heil” saluting thugs as “very fine people.”
In return, America’s Jew haters have praised Trump for his “honesty” and his defence of white America. What is telling, however, is the same anti-Semitic hate groups and individuals also support Trump’s decision to validate Israel’s war crime, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
You see, while Nazis and white supremacists might still hate Jews, they simultaneously also love the apartheid Israeli state.
Their open fondness is built on two premises:
- Muslims have replaced Jews as the number one target for European white supremacists, and Israel’s abusive mistreatment of a majority Muslim population inspires them greatly, and
- They love that Israel is everything they dream of: a fascist ethnocratic brute that suppresses a non-white indigenous population.
Across Europe and the US, Israeli flags now wave comfortably alongside Nazi and white supremacist banners. When 60,000 ultranationalists marched on Poland’s capital last month, Israeli flags were there. When neo-Nazis marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, Israeli flags were neatly nestled among flags of the Confederacy. Paradoxically, however, anti-Semitism remains at the heart of the platforms of all white supremacy groups that turned up to either.
Zionism and white supremacy are not strange bedfellows, but natural allies, according to Nada Elia, adding that, “Both represent a desire to establish and maintain a homogeneous society that posits itself as superior, more advanced, more civilised than the “others” who are, unfortunately, within its midst, a “demographic threat” to be contained through border walls and stricter immigration law. American fascism, then, is holding up a mirror to Zionism.”
The intersectionality between anti-Semitism and pro-Israel fervour is no accident. It was a strategy hatched and formulated by far-right, white nationalists in Britain in the late 90s before gaining traction in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
When Nick Griffin, a Holocaust denier, took the helm of the far right, ultranationalist British National Party (BNP) in 1999, he shelved his public anti-Semitism, replacing it with open hostility towards Muslim.
Having never made a public statement about Islam or Muslims previously, Griffin suddenly attacked Islam as a “vicious, wicked faith,” while also claiming the “Islamification” of his country had taken place via “rape.”
From this moment forth, anti-Semitic political entrepreneurs on the far right began adopting pro-Israel talking points to mask their naked anti-Muslim bigotry, and Griffin admitted as much when he penned a 2007 essay that stated the motives behind substituting the far-right party’s anti-Semitism with Islamophobia: “It stands to reason that adopting an ‘Islamophobic’ position that appeals to large numbers of ordinary people — including un-nudged journalists — is going to produce on average much better media coverage than siding with Iran and banging on about ‘Jewish power’, which is guaranteed to raise hackles of virtually every single journalist in the western world.”
Zionists of all stripes teamed up and leveraged the political mobilizing power of anti-Semitic far right groups. NYU adjunct professor Arun Kundnani noted that by 2008, “a group of well-funded Islamophobic activists had coalesced” in order to demonize Muslims and Islam for the purpose of gaining support for Israeli policies of occupation, segregation and discrimination from far-right voters, white supremacists, and anti-Semites.
These pro-Israel individuals began positioning themselves as “counter-jihadists,” and, in turn, became darlings of the far right media landscape, with some even making their way into Trump’s foreign policy circle. Frank Gafney, for instance, who warned the US government had been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, continues to have Trump’s ear.
So, no — Trump’s move on Jerusalem does nothing to assuage his prior expressed sympathies with anti-Semitic white supremacists. It only reminds us how deeply Zionism and white supremacy are woven into the DNA of two respective white settler colonial states: Israel and the United States.
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