Why is conservative media defending anti-Semitism?

Does the reaction to Kanye West’s statements show that American Jew-hatred has been mainstreamed?

Candace Owens speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 22, 2018. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.
Candace Owens speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 22, 2018. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.
Sam Levine

Kanye West’s descent into anti-Semitic hysteria has been a clarifying moment for American Jews. We have found out who our friends are from their reaction or non-reaction to Kanye’s appalling statements. Unfortunately, not enough conservative and Republican leaders have spoken out. The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens’s incoherent defense of Kanye, who is a friend of hers, was disappointing. Hopefully she will reconsider and put some distance between herself and Kanye.

Much worse, however, is the case of Jason Whitlock. A black Christian conservative with 600,000 followers on Twitter, Whitlock works at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze and frequently appears on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show. He is not only defending Kanye’s anti-Semitic outbursts, but also engaging in anti-Semitism himself, attacking Jewish people with rhetoric one would expect to find only on a fringe neo-Nazi website.

In an article at The Blaze defending Kanye’s comments about Jews having too much power and controlling black lives, Whitlock wrote, “I’m not going to entertain the lie that progressive secular elites—black, Jewish, LGBTQ or feminists—wield no power in the United States. Miss me with that ‘trope.’ Denial of the mass power they’ve collected is just one of the many lies they use to avoid accountability.”

“On the surface, progressive secular black people, Jewish people, LGBTQ and feminists seem united in their hatred of white people,” he continued. “It’s not white people. It’s a hatred of Christianity that unites them. That hatred compels them to try to destroy anything that Christianity created, including the patriarchy, Western civilization and the United States of America.”

Blaming Jews for trying to destroy Christianity is one of anti-Semitism’s oldest libels, and it has led to centuries of Christian violence against Jews. Moreover, why single out Jews for promulgating left-wing policies that Whitlock believes are harming America? Are there no progressive Christians or Muslims in the U.S. who wield political power? Has Whitlock ever heard of former President Barack Obama? Current President Joe Biden? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi? They all routinely cite Christian doctrine to promote left-wing values.

Has Whitlock ever heard of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or uber-progressive Muslim members of Congress Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib?

No. The only religious enemy Whitlock can see is the Jewish one.

Whitlock isn’t slowing down. Over the last few weeks on Twitter, he appeared to refer to Jews as “puppet masters” and defended Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who once called Hitler “a very great man.” Whitlock also liked a tweet that read, “Funny how everyone calls Kanye West anti-Semitic, but never discuss who owns these record labels that are blatantly anti-black.”

This is nothing new for Whitlock. After comedian Dave Chappelle made a tasteless joke about “Space Jews” in a Netflix special, Whitlock went on an anti-Semitic rampage in support of Chappelle.

“A black man from middle America declared war against the left’s evisceration of masculinity in general and black, male, heterosexual masculinity in particular. Chappelle argued and quipped that Jews, feminists and the LGBTQ movement are standing on the backs and necks of black men—preferably dead ones—to seize power,” Whitlock wrote.

He added, “Chappelle cleverly and correctly argued that Jews, feminists and the LGBTQ movement have seized power by covertly camouflaging their power-grabs as selfless fights for racial equality” and lamented “Chappelle is being accused of anti-Semitism for his two ‘Space Jews’ jokes that imply Jewish people rule the world and that they have gone from oppressed to oppressor.”

This kind of direct anti-Semitism at a mainstream conservative outlet is deeply disturbing.

It’s puzzling to see this anti-Semitic invective under the banner of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. I have always thought of Beck as a friend of the Jews. About 10 years ago he received an award from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the U.S. In his acceptance speech, Beck condemned anti-Semitism and spoke in defense of Israel. In fact, I wrote an article back then praising Beck’s support for the Jewish people.

Has anti-Semitism now become so mainstream in America—even on the political right—that a philo-Semite like Beck doesn’t even shrug his shoulders when one of his employees engages in blatant anti-Semitism?

Sam Levine is a pro-Israel activist living in the Bay Area of California.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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