Right-Wingers Take The Mask Off Their Antisemitism

Tucker Carlson
Tucker Carlson
Youtube Screenshot

Prominent right-wing commentators with major platforms and significant influence over the Republican Party spent last week airing their grievances about the Jews, an unprecedented foray into antisemitism that drew cheers from white nationalists for its explicit nature.

Right-wing commentators often promote classic antisemitic tropes in a more coded fashion. Former President Donald Trump and his media allies endorse a deracinated version of the standard, blood-soaked antisemitic conspiracy theory in which a shadowy cabal of Jews controls the heights of government, finance, and the media and uses its nefarious power to corrupt children, replace the white population with violent minorities, and destroy the fabric of society. They simply substitute Democrats, progressives, or the name of a specific (often Jewish) figure as their adversary where an out-and-out neo-Nazi would “name the Jew.”

Antisemitism surged in the wake of Hamas’ October 7 terror attack on Israel and Israel’s brutal retaliation in Gaza, with online bigotry and hate crimes targeting Jews on the rise.

Neo-Nazis and other factions of the far right are taking advantage of the situation to “push antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes into the mainstream,” Vice News reported.

Right-wing commentators maintain influence and profit by staying keenly attuned to the interests and grievances of their audiences. Last week, in the latest chapter of a very old story, some of the biggest names on the right decided to turn their attention to the problem posed by the Jews, whom they blamed for purported hatred directed at white Americans.

Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X (formerly Twitter) and a Republican Party hero for his reactionary views and his willingness to impose them on the social media platform, is one of them. On Wednesday, Musk explicitly pointed the finger at American Jews in promoting the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory cited by the Tree of Life synagogue shooter.

When a paid X Premium user on Wednesday, in explaining why “Hitler was right,” accused Jewish communities in the U.S. of “dialectical hatred against whites” and blamed them for “flooding their country” with “hordes of minorities,” Musk responded, “You have said the actual truth.” Musk subsequently clarified he was not talking about “all Jewish communities,” just those who “unjustly” attack “the majority of the West” for antisemitism rather than “the minority groups who are their primary threat.”

Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News star and GOP kingmaker, hosted popular Daily Wire podcaster Candace Owens earlier the same day to discuss her public feud over the Israel-Hamas war with her company’s founder, Ben Shapiro. (The squabble had included posting “Christ is King” during an online back-and-forth with her Jewish colleague, drawing criticism for what one conservative writer called a “coded” but “vaguely anti-Semitic attack.”)

Carlson and Owens offered up views strikingly similar to Musk’s, criticizing Jewish university donors for trying to limit anti-Israel speech on campus after previously supporting the preaching of “white genocide,” a term popularized by white nationalists and linked to the great replacement conspiracy theory.

“If the biggest donors at, say, Harvard have decided, ‘Well, we’re going to shut it down now,’ where were you the last 10 years when they were calling for white genocide? You were allowing this,” Carlson said. “And then I found myself really hating those people, actually. ‘You’re OK with that? On what grounds were you OK with that?’”

Owens replied, “And this is what I’ve been trying to explain to the pro-Israel lobby, that what you were seeing as lack of support is people that are asking the question, ‘Where were you as we have endured all of this?’”

“You were paying for it,” Carlson interjected. “You were calling my children immoral for their skin color. You paid for that. So why shouldn’t I be mad at you? I don’t understand.”

As the comments from Musk and Carlson spurred a backlash, Charlie Kirk, whose pro-Trump advocacy as president of Turning Points USA made him a key player (and a wealthy one) in the former president’s political apparatus, defended them by saying they were largely correct.

Kirk addressed Musk’s remarks on his podcast Thursday, defending the richest man on the planet from critics “calling him an antisemite.” Kirk said that it is “absolutely true” that “Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” He added that “not every Jewish person believes that,” but “it is true that some of the largest financiers of left-wing anti-white causes have been Jewish Americans.”

Turning to Carlson’s comments, Kirk said that the former Fox host is right that, in Kirk’s words, “Jewish Americans have primarily been financing cultural Marxist ideas.” He explained, “Tucker Carlson is completely correct by saying this, that the philosophical foundation of anti-whiteness has been largely financed by Jewish donors in the country.”

Musk, Carlson, Owens, Carlson, and Kirk have, to various extents, drawn criticism from other right-wing commentators seeking to establish guardrails against noxious antisemitism. But no one in the Republican Party establishment seems interested in having that fight. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis repeatedly refused to take issue with Musk’s comments during an interview on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the far-right is celebrating as its vile ideas, once confined to fringe cesspools, move closer to the mainstream.

A social media account operated by Gab.com, the platform infamous for its popularity among white nationalists and neo-Nazis, responded to Musk’s remarks by taking credit for having “successfully red-pilled Elon Musk on the [Jewish question].”

Andrew Torba, Gab’s openly and virulently antisemitic CEO, offered the following take on the week's events.

Nick Fuentes, the white nationalist activist who has called for Jews to “get the fuck out of America” and dined with Trump last year, is similarly ecstatic. On his show, he praised Musk for agreeing with “what we were saying in Charlottesville. This is like when the Charlottesville marchers said, ‘Jews will not replace us,’ I mean, that’s like a summary of that.”

Surveying the week’s developments on the right, the prominent Holocaust denier added: “Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump, Candace Owens, Charlie Kirk, Elon Musk are all regularly now talking about white genocide, anti-white hatred, and the role of Jewish elites, whether they're ADL or they're Zionists, and some even talking about this religious division as well between Christians and Jews.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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