Retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor by the Forward

Trump’s pick for German ambassador called Muslim refugees ‘invaders’

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Retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor, a frequent guest on Fox News and other conservative talk shows, has a history of racist and xenophobic comments that has prompted Jewish groups to voice their concern about the possibility that he will become the United States’ ambassador to Germany.

The White House announced MacGregors nomination last week, touting his media appearances and influence, not just with the U.S. army, but the IDF as well, as qualifications.

“He is a frequent radio and television commentator on national security affairs and his writings on military affairs have been influential in the transformation of United States ground forces, NATO, and the Israeli Defense Force,” said the press release.

In those appearances however, MacGregor has repeatedly disparaged Muslims, immigrants and asylum seekers among other groups.

“They’re coming to benefit, to consume and to establish themselves, inside other people’s countries with the goal of eventually turning Europe into an Islamic state,” MacGregor said about immigration to Europe from Muslim-majority countries, in a 2016 appearance on the Michael Ostrolenk Show.

In a 2018, appearance on radio show called Conservative Commando he referred to Germany’s refugee population as “millions of unwanted Muslim invaders.”

If confirmed by the Senate, he would represent the U.S. to a country whose population includes nearly 5 million Muslims.

“We are troubled by retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor’s past comments on “neocons” and dismissal of Iran’s threat to the U.S,” said B’nai B’rith International in a statement.

He has also used the term “neocons,” which can be a dog whistle for Jewish conservatives. In a 2012 interview with the Daily Bell, MacGregor described neocons as “making decisions in Washington that in their minds are beneficial to a foreign power.”

More explicitly, according to B’nai Brith, in another more recent interview he defined neocons as those who “operate in a variety of settings in the government and in the media, and they support or advocate, for all intents and purposes, unconditional support for whatever the Israeli government wants to do.”

“It is important that American diplomats not question the patriotism of other Americans who hold political views different from their own, especially given that questioning Jewish loyalty to America is an anti-Semitic trope,” B’nai B’rith said.

Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, was more blunt.

“This is nothing more than a repackaging of the antisemitic conspiracy theory alleging that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to the countries of which they are citizens,” Rothstein said in a statement.

Author

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein covers breaking news and international Jewish communities for the Forward. You can reach him at Klein@forward.com and on Twitter @davidianklein .

Trump new ambassador pick: Muslim refugees are invaders

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