Richard Spencer has decided to put American Jews on the couch, and he’s ready to reveal his session notes: Jews are not European and don’t want to assimilate to white people in the United States.
Maybe he should share his thoughts with rabbis and communal leaders, who fret about intermarriage and disengagement from Jewish communal life.
“No, Jews are not white. Jews are Jews. If we define white as European,” the white nationalist told radio host David Pakman on Tuesday. “Their consciousness is in a way anti-assimilation to Gentiles.” He added, “Jews have a contradictory relationship with Europeans, in which they sometimes define themselves as white.”
American Jews have mostly identified, and been seen by their peers, as white since the post-war era.
Spencer, who coined the term “alt-right” (a euphemism for modern white supremacy), said that he probably could be friends with Jews, but that he was talking in terms of generalities.
“On a personal level, can I get along with you? Can we get a beer? Of course,” he said. “We really need to think about these things on a communitarian basis, though.”
Spencer advocates the creation of a white “ethnostate,” from which non-whites could be excluded.
He thinks that American Jews have gotten the jump on him, because of Israel, which he calls a “Jewish ethnostate.” And that, he said, makes American Jews hypocrites, promoting civil rights and multiculturalism in the U.S., while defending the status quo in Israel. “Are Jews going to promote civil rights in Israel?” he asked.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.