Every now and then someone writes an article so blindingly tone-deaf and stupid it must be seen to be believed. There was “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt Right” by Milo Yiannopoulos (or his interns) from March of this year, which attempted to portray the racist alt-right as a group of well-meaning nationalists who post anti-Semitic and pro-fascist memes just to get a rise out of the stuffy, political elites. Yiannopoulos, who is both gay and Jewish, received mixed reactions to the article, with Neo-Nazis like Andrew Anglin and Joe Roper denouncing him as an untrustworthy “degenerate.” Now, we have a useless thinkpiece from Joshua Seidel at The Forward — a progressive, Jewish magazine.
In his article “I’m a Jew, and I’m a Member of the Alt-Right,” Seidel, a Trump supporter, explained his rejection of leftist identity politics while — at the same time — justifying his embrace of the white identity politics of the alt-right. He wrote that the movement is “the most aggressively offensive political movement in existence” and even admitted that it “often targets the Jewish community,” but says that he “enjoy[s] the nasty talk in the alt-right.” Nasty talk that often involves jokes about Jews being made into lampshades and soap, or liberals being hurled from helicopters à la Pinochet. But he excuses that because he enjoys spending “rhetorical time” with “people who might otherwise hate me.”
Besides, Seidel had long grown disillusioned with liberalism. He grew tired of talk of “white privilege” and was turned off by left-wing politics after having watched liberals “attack” Israel in the 1990s. Which, I suppose, is just as good a reason as any to throw your lot in with people who call Jews “kikes,” threaten them on social media, and say things like “Israel makes the Nazi state look very, very moderate.” He even tossed the alt-right a bone with his denunciation of neocons and Wall Street — both of which are synonymous with Jewish to anti-Semites.
And much like Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, Seidel underwent a political transformation that he credits to the death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman:
The Trayvon Martin case had more to do with the growth of the Alt-Right than any individual event. I remember the initial reports of the incident, suggesting Zimmerman had used racial slurs, tracked down and shot an innocent child. As more and more evidence came out challenging this narrative, something was happening to my “liberal” friends.
They refused to pay any attention to the facts. George Zimmerman was guilty, a racist, a terrible person not deserving of a fair trial… and why? Because the mainstream media said so. That’s it. What happened that night was as irrelevant to them as the text of the Affordable Care Act was to the Tea Party. This was a shock. Liberals were supposed to stand up for the unpopular, for rational inquiry, calm deliberation, and the basics of due process! Why was every value that educated people claimed to believe in being thrown out the window because two violent men got in a fight?
Because of events like the Trayvon Martin case and the left’s condemnation of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, Seidel realized that “liberals no longer cared about the truth.” (Which, again, is why he’s siding with Holocaust deniers and revisionists.) He instead aligned himself with the far right, even if many of the people on that end of the political spectrum were “overtly anti-Semitic.” Paying homage to racist conspiracies peddled on fringe websites like Stormfront, Seidel wrote that Jews “seem to think this concept [of white privilege] will serve to shut the mouths of middle and working class whites in flyover country, while liberal Jews hold the clipboards and direct victorious POC in a dismantling of ‘whiteness.'”
At this point he’s only a stone’s throw away from accusing George Soros of paying off Black Lives Matter to burn down neighborhoods and assassinate police officers, as many alt-right figures seem to genuinely believe.
He condemns Jews for “put[ting] so much effort into combating the Alt-Right for cartoonish memes” while praising white nationalists for their perceived honesty in discussing whether or not Jews are “overrepresented in this great western push” for racial and religious diversity. Again, Seidel ignores the anti-Jewish hatred emanating from the alt-right while denouncing anti-Zionist student groups. Citing a case from Texas wherein a group of high schoolers took down Israeli flags and replaced them with Palestinian and Iranian flags during a cultural festival, Seidel argued that this was real anti-Semitism.
The Jerusalem Post, which highlighted the story, quoted a Jewish student, Eliav Terk, as saying the students were “[running] around school wearing Hamas-affiliated scarves” — by which he meant keffiyehs, which are just Arab headdresses and nothing more. The one truly anti-Semitic thing that anyone was accused of during this incident appears to have been a single student posting a Jewish caricature on Twitter. And while that is hateful and crude, it is by no means worse than anything alt-right members have routinely tweeted at Jewish journalists.
If Seidel wants to condemn those students for their behavior, for inflicting “institutional discrimination” upon Eliav Terk, he should do so. But sneering about why the ADL hasn’t gotten involved there while defending a collective of white supremacists doesn’t bolster his point. It weakens it. And it offers no real reason as to why, if identity politics are so “toxic,” he has decided to embrace those politics when they’re coming from hateful Internet trolls hiding behind Pepe avatars.
I’m not buying Seidel’s explanation. And neither, it seems, are his, ahem, fellow alt-righters. In the comments section of the article, EthnoSwede wrote “Alt-right is explicitly white and jews are NOT white. You´re not welcome.” SeventhSonOfA, one of the hosts of The Daily Shoah, declared: “You are not part of the Alt-Right. You are not wanted. You are not welcome. If you’d like to help the Alt-Right, live out your days in Israel, convince as many of your people to go with you, and stay out of The West’s affairs.” FashyGoy4You agreed, informing Seidel that he was welcome to be a nationalist, so long as he remained in Israel.
Sassenach wrote that there “is no such thing as a Jewish ‘alt righter'” because the alt-right “is centered around the fundamental truth that Jews have been a cancer upon European civilization since the classical era.” And Hyperborean Shitlord warned that “genocide” will save the white population and that this time the “Shoah will be real.” And Alan S. Nackbarr (a terrible pun) said it was “nice” to see a Jewish alt-righter, adding, “Since you’re versed in the alt-right I assume you’re going to put yourself in the oven?”
Perhaps Mr. Seidel should think more carefully before he dives headfirst into another political fad.