The Right’s Jewish Problem

August 27, 2015

Multiple Pages
The Right’s Jewish Problem

South Park loves taking shots at Hollywood leftists, and never was that done with more skill than in the episode “Smug Alert,” in which liberal self-satisfaction, personified by George Clooney and his 2006 Oscar acceptance speech, forms a giant cloud of “Smug,” a deadly combination of smog and smugness, that threatens to blanket the entire West Coast.

Well, noxious “Smug” is hardly unique to left-wing celebrities. In fact, if you happen to live in the North Hollywood/Burbank section of L.A., I’d recommend not venturing outside without a gas mask on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 29, because a stage 1 Smug alert has been issued, courtesy of Hollywood conservatives. Now, I’ll say this up front—my column this week is colored by my own experiences and motivated by personal anger. No need to call me out on that; I’m copping to it willingly. But I do hope to make a larger point, beyond my own specific beefs.

This Saturday night at the Hilton Universal City Hotel, Friends of Abe, the “underground” group of Hollywood Republicans, is honoring author and columnist Mark Steyn at its annual summer bash (with an opening act by 1990s country has-been Deana Carter, because apparently Lee Greenwood has wash to do that night). I’m certain that Mark Steyn needs no introduction to most Taki’s readers. He’s the brash Canadian expat who’s not too keen on Muslims and Mexicans but quite supportive of white women “breeding” in great numbers. A skilled writer, Steyn gets away with saying a lot of things that would get a lesser intellect in trouble. And having been hardened by skirmishes with Canada’s draconian “human rights” commissions and tribunals, he’s completely unafraid of censors. And good for him. I probably agree with him about 85% of the time, and 100% in any fight that involves opposing censorship, governmental or otherwise.

“Strutting, self-congratulatory conservatives become waiflike Southern belles fainting from the vapors at the mere mention of any criticism of Israel.”

But the ominous Smug cloud of which I warn will come not from him, but rather from the Hollywood conservatives and local GOP functionaries who will be honoring him. I can assure you that the echo chamber of this closed-door event will be throbbing with the deafening cacophony of back-patting and arrogant, self-satisfied, “aren’t we brave?” rhetoric from the assembled members and VIPs. A month after hosting Donald Trump, Friends of Abe is honoring a man whose rhetoric might be too rich for even The Donald. “America has more Mexicans than anybody needs, and then some” is a recent Steyn bon mot. “Why do immigrants rape out of all proportion to their numbers?” is another. Oh, and it should be pointed out that, according to the Ontario Human Rights Committee, Steyn’s fans (no, not Steyn himself, but people who applaud his work) “called for the mass killing, deportation or conversion of Muslim Canadians.”

What bravery the Hollywood conservatives and L.A. GOP will be displaying in honoring Steyn! What a stand they shall be taking against political correctness! Against “minority” pressure groups! Against censorship! And against holding an author responsible for the ravings of strangers who consider themselves fans.

Except…the very people who are honoring Steyn are the ones who banned me because of work I did 25 years ago that raised questions about whether or not Auschwitz was an extermination camp. After five years as a member, I was banned for life from Friends of Abe without being given the opportunity to explain my views, and I was banned solely on the grounds that certain other members were offended. The people who expelled and disowned me were my friends. These were people I’d worked with on a daily basis. They celebrated my political writings, they collaborated with me, they attended my events. Indeed, I was considered a liquor-affected voice of reason in their circle. But it all came to an end when my past as a Holocaust revisionist was “outed” on April 20, 2013, by National Review’s Michael Walsh (also an FOA member). From that point on, I was worse than persona non grata. I wasn’t just to be ignored, but fought. To this day, over two years later, mainstream sites that hire me are hit with trolling and threats from my former colleagues.

And those who couldn’t find fault with my work faulted me for what people I never knew, “fans” I’d never met, thought of my work. “You might not be a white supremacist, but racists like your work, which makes you just as bad.”

So here’s the bigger point I’m trying to make. My example proves the emptiness of the braggadocio you hear from many conservative pundits about how fearless they are in the face of political correctness: “Mexican immigrants are rapists. Palestinians are a death cult. Black Americans owe whites a ‘debt’ for being enslaved and then freed” (a gem from David Horowitz, an original FOA member). “Women in higher education will lead to the ‘abolition of man.’ White women need to breed more to overcome an invasion of uncivilized darkies. ‘Sodomites’ are waging ‘gayhad’ against straight people. Offended? Get over it, Mr. Sensitive. We’re being brave and audacious and in-your-face! Oh, but just don’t say anything that might be offensive to Jews. That’s crossing the line. Hey, look how quickly we found our sensitivity!”

When it comes to comments or positions that are viewed as offensive by large segments of the black, Latino, Muslim, female, or gay communities, the conservative line is “Let’s be fearless, impudent little outlaws, and let’s not be cowed by those who cry ‘hatred’ or ‘racism.’” And indeed that would be a brave stance, if it extended to material considered offensive to Jews. And this applies to issues more current than the Holocaust. Strutting, self-congratulatory conservatives become waiflike Southern belles fainting from the vapors at the mere mention of any criticism of Israel (and I’m saying this as a Jew and a die-hard Israel supporter who, in 26 years as a published writer, has never written a negative word about the Jewish state). The easiest way to take down a pesky “antiwar” libertarian in GOP circles is to find something in that person’s record that’s critical of Israel. All of a sudden the bold, brassy, “I don’t care who I offend” conservative pundits bring out their parasols and lace fans: “Oh, I do declare, I am evah so offended by such distasteful churlishness.”

The faux “anti-PC” bravery of many conservatives is exemplified by a political cartoon that Steyn championed on his site back in May. The cartoon, by illustrator Bosch Fawstin, shows an artist drawing Muhammad. “You can’t draw me!” screams Muhammad. “That’s why I draw you,” answers the cartoonist. I know Bosch. He was an occasional guest at Friends of Abe and at events I threw. I like him, and I entirely agree with the sentiment expressed by that cartoon. But think about what Bosch is saying: It’s important to draw Muhammad specifically because a particular group is saying we can’t. He’s illustrating a principle, that there is value in opposing those who use violence, laws, threats, and intimidation to stifle free expression.

Now, I’m not in any way suggesting that someone should adopt a particular belief simply because they’re told they can’t. I’m saying that by punishing someone because of their views on the Holocaust, by attempting to keep that person from working, by trying to keep that person’s voice out of the public square, the Hollywood conservatives have become the Muhammad in Bosch’s cartoon. And I’m not the only one to notice this hypocrisy. All across the world, the Je suis Charlie chest-beating by conservatives was met with understandable skepticism by people who wondered where these brave “anti-PC” warriors were as Holocaust revisionists and deniers were beaten and imprisoned throughout Europe and Canada. In fact, it’s only because a Holocaust denier named Ernst Zundel fought back that Mark Steyn didn’t have to face a “false news” trial in Canada that could have led to much greater penalties than what the “human rights” tribunals can currently impose (Zundel’s trial led to the “false news” law being struck down by the Canadian Supreme Court).

It’s difficult to take the “I draw Muhammad because you tell me I can’t” machismo seriously when it comes from a group of people who not only were silent in the face of decades of censorship and sanctions against Holocaust revisionists, but (in the case of the L.A. GOP and Friends of Abe) actively participated in it. Personal as my story is, it still provides the best and most direct example of the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the conservatives who seek to promote a bad-boy image as warriors against political correctness, the culture of hurt feelings, and the censorial machinations of the perennially offended. But mine is far from the only story; just ask the Tea Party activist who ran a California Ron Paul “Meetup” group in 2009. She was denounced as a “racist” by local conservative pundits and the California GOP for allowing a cartoon on the group’s page that was considered offensive to Israel. I have a feeling that if the illustrator had said, “I criticize Israel because you tell me I can’t,” it wouldn’t have done much to assuage the anger.

The ass-kickin’ bad boys of the right become choirboys with sore asses the moment “offensive” material appears to target Jews (accent on the appears, because there is nothing in my work that is even slightly anti-Jewish). It’s a double standard so blatant, the only people who can’t see it are the ones who’ll be toasting one another for their courage Saturday night.

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