American Jews view a Muslim ban as a threat to the ideals they cherish, yet they also believe that too many Muslims in Israel is a direct threat to the Jewish people.
In early December, just a month after the election of Donald Trump, American alt-right leader Richard Spencer sat down for an interview with Al Jazeera. Speaking to Kristen Saloomey, Spencer, who brought his white supremacist views along as he was catapulted into spotlight over the past year, railed against the “great erasure” of the “white world,” diversity, and the underrepresentation of American whites in corporate America, among other things.
Spencer has made a career out of adroitly tapping into the teeming rage of a white America after eight years of President Obama. He has successfully suffused public discourse with anti-Muslim, anti-black, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic sentiments that at least felt like they were in check under Obama. For years Spencer has been promoting a view of the world undergirded by the belief in both white, European supremacy and its negative: that people of color are not only inferior, they are dependent on the greatness of the master race for any success they may have found. And all this under the cloak of a genteel smile, an affable personality, and a hipster haircut.
The most interesting part of Spencer’s interview, however, focuses on his ideas regarding immigration. While he unsurprisingly opposes illegal immigration and supports Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexican border, Spencer is actually far more interested in how “legal immigration” shapes the demographic makeup of the United States.
“The real issue is the demographic change that occurs through legal immigration,” Spencer tells Saloomey. “These people come, they’re here to stay — at least for a long time — they’re coming by the millions, they’re voting, they’re certainly integrated into the welfare system. That is the big problem. We just have to say: this is not your country.”
For liberals, Spencer’s obsession with demography is an affront to the very ideas that underlie their country. After all, they say, the United States was founded on the backs of immigrants. For the alt-right, this means a last-ditch effort at preserving white domination.
Spencer’s view of the world poses a challenge for mainstream American Jewry. The vast majority of American Jews, who lean left and vote Democrat, likely view him as their enemy, and for good reason. On Friday, Spencer retweeted...Read More