Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was frequently accused of publishing anti-Semitic dog whistles when he ran Breitbart News, which he bragged in 2016 was “the platform for the alt-right.” Now some are seeing one of his latest interview as yet another call-out to Jew-haters.
Asked by the Daily Beast about his thoughts on the “spectacle” of Sen. John McCain’s funeral, Bannon responded, “This was the High Holy Days. This permanent political class, you saw them there at this funeral. This was High Civic Religion, the High Holy Days.”
Bannon continued on this theme later in the interview: “The problem I had with the High Holy Days is, look, you could hate Trump’s guts, you could think he’s the worst f—-in’ individual in the world. He just got elected president of the United States, whether you like it or not. And the High Holy Days, the problem I had with it, he’s commander-in-chief. I don’t care if you f—-in’ hate him, he’s gotta be there. You gotta invite the commander-in-chief to the funeral. You gotta invite the president of the United States to the funeral.”
Bannon has been known to use the phrase before: He told the New York Times last year on the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s election victory that the day was celebrated as “a High Holy Day.”
Some thought the reference to the Jewish holidays was questionable:
That’s weird, the High Holy Days are Jewish holidays for atonement & reflection, not Christian funerals. Why would Bannon inappropriately bring up Jewish holidays…. oh, yeah. Right. https://t.co/X0I6oMkWpg— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) September 6, 2018
why, whatever could he mean? https://t.co/IWaz6ydmpN— Adam Serwer ? (@AdamSerwer) September 6, 2018
I don’t know if this is offensive to all Jews, but it’s offensive to this Jew, who will celebrate the high holy days next week. https://t.co/34zAZwiVRB— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 6, 2018
While Bannon published many Jews at Breitbart and the site was strongly supportive of the Israeli government, a BuzzFeed investigation revealed that Bannon worked with his columnist Milo Yiannopoulos to promote the works of known white supremacists. The site frequently criticized some Jewish Trump advisors like Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn as “globalists,” which the Anti-Defamation League said was a shorthand used by the so-called “alt-right” to refer to Jews.
Bannon’s ex-wife claimed in 2007 divorce proceedings that he didn’t want his children to go to school with Jews. Bannon denied that he made that comment.