NYT: 'Ostensibly Pro-Israel Right' Is 'Home' to White Nationalists

NYT positive John Hagee is anti-Semitic but Ilhan Omar may have 'unwittingly' deployed anti-Semitic tropes

New York Times building / Getty Images
New York Times building / Getty Images
March 28, 2019

The New York Times referred to the "ostensibly pro-Israel right" as the "home" for white nationalists in a Thursday profile on the political divide over Israel and anti-Semitism in the United States.

Times writer Nathan Thrall also expressed sureness that Rev. John Hagee, the Zionist founder of Christians United for Israel, was anti-Semitic, while he referred to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) as having "wittingly or unwittingly" deployed anti-Semitic tropes about "dual loyalty" and Jewish money controlling U.S. foreign policy.

Thrall noted 79 percent of American Jews supported Democrats in the 2018 midterms, but still face anti-Semitism from both sides. It identified factions of the "progressive left," such as Women's March organizer Tamika Mallory, who has maintained support for Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan as anti-Semitic. But Thrall also lumped in Evangelical conservatives who support Israel with well-known American anti-Semites:

On the other side was the ostensibly pro-Israel right, which at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Europe and around the world is home to anti-Semitic evangelical leaders like the Rev. John Hagee (Jews "have everything but spiritual life") and white nationalists, one of whom committed perhaps the deadliest attack against Jews in American history, massacring 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October.

The Times went on to say that Democrats "have been unified in opposing anti-Semitism, they are divided over Israel," although it also mentioned the recent anti-Semitic statements by Omar. She has apologized for some—like saying Israel had "hypnotized the world"  in 2012 and accusing AIPAC this year of paying off pro-Israel politicians—but she's refused to back off her most recent statement about feeling forced to show "allegiance to a foreign country."

The piece continued to state that more Democrats than Republicans support economic sanctions for Israel, and that is likely because "some of the least pro-Israel groups — black people and Hispanics and the religiously unaffiliated, according to a 2018 Pew survey — have become a larger share of Democratic voters."

"Many blacks and Hispanics draw strong parallels between the discrimination they have suffered at home and the plight of Palestinians," The Times reported. "As the Democratic Party is pulled toward a more progressive base and a future when a majority of the party will most likely be people of color, tensions over Israel have erupted."

These tensions most recently broke when Omar suggested American Jews have an "allegiance to a foreign country." House Democrats soon passed a resolution condemning all forms of hate, but not singling out Omar's anti-Semitic comment, which had prompted the need for the resolution.

Trump commented on the situation last week: "The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party," he told reporters. "They've become an anti-Jewish party."

UPDATE: Friday, 1:02 P.M.: This article has been updated to show the Times made a distinction between Hagee and Omar by referring to the former as an questioned anti-Semitic and the latter as having perhaps "unwittingly" used anti-Semitic tropes.