Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Are Jews Part Of Steve King’s ‘Western Civilization’?

Image by Wikimedia Commons

Comments made by Congressman Steve King over the weekend — including his statement that he’s a “champion of Western civilization” — echo ideology espoused by prominent white nationalists or supremacists across the country. And for most of them, Jews are decidedly not part of that civilization — and are viewed as a distinct threat. King could not be reached immediately for comment.

After sharing an article by Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, King tweeted.

White supremacists praised the language; they see in it an endorsement of their vision of restoring an imagined, once-great “Western Civilization” in America.

“Steve King is getting at a root nationalism in the real sense of the word and I am very proud of him for doing that,” Richard Spencer, “alt-right” figurehead said in a YouTube address to his followers.

Spencer elaborated on his idea of Western Civilization and exactly who fits — or doesn’t — into this worldview. Spencer does not view Jews as white and previously said, “Jews are not white. Jews are Jews.”

“Many people seem to imagine we could find a black African and dress him up in a Harris tweed vest or give him a pipe or some snuff and a bowler cap and he’ll become an Englishman,” Spencer said with visible sarcasm.

Infostormer, a neo-Nazi website devoted to “destroying Jewish tyranny,” praised King’s comments.

“Whites built America … so there is nothing un-American about what King said,” the post read. “What’s un-American is unlimited immigration, multiculturalism and this Jewish agenda that has destroyed the original intent of what America was supposed to be.”

Former Ku Klux Klan head and Louisiana politician David Duke also praised King in his regular radio address and said that criticism being leveled against him was “evidence of Jewish power.”

“King said the same for us that Zionists say about Jewish birthrate in Israel & diaspora. But the Media loves Israel right? Hypocrisy!” Duke wrote on Twitter.

Duke compared the fight to “preserve Western Civilization” as being no different than demographic concerns in Israel, which Duke described as a Jewish ethnostate.

“How can the … media say that Europeans wanting to preserve Wester Civilization don’t have that right?” Duke said. “If people want evidence of jewish power its right there in front of you.”

Email Sam Kestenbaum at [email protected]

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.