Tel Aviv (GPA) – In the wake of a recent interview with Alt-Right “intellectual” Richard Spencer on Israeli television, it’s time we break down why some members of the “Alt-Right” support Zionism.
In a recent interview with the Israeli news outlet Channel 2, Richard Spencer, one of the leading figures of the new US far right movement – commonly known as the Alt-Right – espoused his admiration for Israel as a country and their ideological anchor that is Zionism. In this interview, Spencer told the reporter that Isralies “should respect me,” due to his image of himself as a “white Zionist.”
In the US, Spencer advocates a number of far right positions but his most notorious and repulsive is the classic idea of ‘white separatism’. Spencer’s ideal vision for the United States in his own words is as a white ethnostate. Spencer’s ideas of how to achieve this goal change depending on who he’s talking to but it typically ranges from “self-deportation” of ethnic minorities to possible genocide.
Now obviously the mainstream Israeli media took offense to this claim, touting Israel’s credentials as a “liberal democracy” with some measures to protect Jewish identity in their stolen homeland. One voice who came out to make this point was the pro-Zionist McGill University history scholar Gil Troy.
In an op-ed for Jerusalem Post following Spencer’s interview, Troy defended Israel’s system of segregation by arguing that it isn’t “based on race” and “that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is national, not racial.”
The Israelis and Race
According to Troy, it’s impossible to compare the Israeli system to those such as apartheid in South Africa because the Palestinian conflict involves “some dark-skinned Israelis and light-skinned Palestinians.” Now, this claim may seem unbelievable since positions of power in Israel seem to be overwhelmingly held by the descendants of European Jews, or Ashkenazi.
While it may seem like nobody in Israel is complaining about this, if you ask those Israelis who have African or Middle Eastern heritage, they would be likely to tell you this is because their voices have been silenced. This has changed somewhat over the years but continues to be a problem, as can be seen when more left-leaning Israelis come out to protest what they view as obvious Jew on Jew discrimination, especially concerning Israeli citizens of Ethiopian descent.
This racism against Jews of African descent was also recently highlighted in a report by the TeleSUR program: The Empire Files with Abby Martin. In a recent episode, Abby spoke with several African Jews who had fled to Israel seeking financial and physical security, only to find that upon their arrival, they would be staying in several “migrant centers” that are, for all intents and purposes, prison camps.
Video: The Empire Files – TeleSUR English
The Empire Files episode also chronicled several instances of what appears to be US-style racist policing tactics by Israeli authorities, as well as policies that attempt to curb reproduction by African Jews, i.e. eugenics. And this is only the racism inside of the official borders of Israel targeting other Jews, but it gets even worse when you take even a quick look at the treatment of the men, women, and children on the other side of the Israeli Defense Forces’ border checkpoint.
An Apartheid State
Despite Troy’s depiction of Israel as an “inclusive” state, there is still the issue of the overall goal of the country to stand as a “Jewish homeland.” Nowhere is this contradiction more evident that the treatment of the Palestinians (yes, even those “light skinned” ones) that is carried out based on the policies of the Ashkenazi powers in Tel Aviv.
This can be seen in the outright attempts by Israel to basically carry out a sort of “soft genocide” that would make Richard Spencer blush, on both territories of Palestine – Gaza and The West Bank.
Gaza is of course currently under a blockade imposed by Israel and their friends in Egypt, that is currently going on its 10th year. The reason for driving Gaza into abject poverty as an attempt to force submission? The Palestinians there “had the nerve” to democratically elect the militant organization Hamas to run their own territory. While Hamas may not be made up of peace loving moderates, the treatment of the other area of Palestinian control – The West Bank – controlled by the Palestinian Authority (Israel’s peace negotiation counterparts) isn’t treated any better.
While The West Bank may not be under a direct blockade by Israel, it is still subject to a long list of policies that, to any outside observer, would also rightfully appear to be an intentional destruction of Palestinian society. Whether it’s the Israeli settlements built on stolen land (found to be illegal by the UN), a brutal economically strangling military occupation or punishment via deprivation of essential resources such as, uh, water, Israel is clearly punishing Palestinians in the West Bank just as much as in Gaza, if only with different tactics.
Troy, of course, defended all this by somehow claiming Israel is different from dreams of men like Spencer because Jews “constitute a people, not a race.” In Troy’s mind, this is no different because “many national flags have crosses or crescents, because religion remains relevant,” despite that any of those nations with crescents on their flags that happen to be too close to Israel are constantly called threats by Tel Aviv, while those nations with crosses on their flags always provide cover for Israel’s genocidal regime.
It’s precisely this pairing of Zionism with “western values” and Christianity that leads to the flag of Israel being flown alongside US symbols of hate, such as the Confederate Battle Flag. This makes perfect sense when you look at the reality of both the movement of Zionism and the ideas held by some of the Alt-Right and their shared aims of enforcing a purity set out by the ideologues of both movements.
Even the Son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yair, has expressed that he thinks the anti-Zionist left is much more of a threat to Israel’s place as a top US ally than the far right would ever be. While Yair didn’t sympathize with the far right as Spencer wishes he would, he still stated that he was more concerned that “the thugs of Antifa and [Black Lives Matter] who hate my country (and America too in my view) just as much are getting stronger and stronger and becoming super dominant in American universities and public life.”
This makes sense, seeing as these groups that make up the US left oppose systems of religious and racial hierarchy, and it’s eventual spiral into ethnic cleansing. Yair’s concern is probably shared by at least half of the Jewish Israeli population that a recent survey shows to be in favor of ethnic cleansing of their “homeland.” Much like Spencer’s proposals for oppressed groups in the US, this half of the Israeli population was found to favor the “expulsion or transfer” of non-Jews from the state of Israel.
So the next time you hear the Alt-Right screaming that “Jews will not replace us,” remember that while they may play the role of anti-Semites they still wish to draw their strategy from the most efficient ethnic-cleansers of this century in Tel Aviv.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.