Kevin MacDonald is the ultimate ‘scholar’ for the “Jews secretly run the world” types on the alt-right. His variation on classical antisemitism as been to toss in evolution and depict Judaism as an evolutionary strategy. This whole theory, one suspects, came about because his academic career wasn’t as successful as he might have wanted it to be. But he certainly has a niche audience on the Unz side of the web.
Tablet decided to interview him and in the process, Kevin MacDonald shows that he knows very little about Jews. That’s not a handicap for an antisemite, but a bit of a handicap for a guy who claims to have made a scholarly study of Jews.
Jewish organizations, like their strong organization in France, I forget the name. And in America, you know, beginning in the early 20th century, you had the ADL and other Jewish groups. And the immigrants coming from Eastern Europe were mainly Orthodox and were very clannish, I would say, especially when they first got here. I think they retained a sense of identity and a sense of group cohesion, despite the lack of community control.
And of course, some Jews didn’t like that. They married somebody else. They decided they wouldn’t even want to be Jewish, and they left. But that certainly didn’t apply to the mainstream.
It’s understandable that MacDonald would zero in on the ADL. He’s probably had run-ins with it, but back then the ADL was set up to fight negative depictions of Jews on the stage, mostly by Jewish theaters. It didn’t become influential until much later.
And the vast majority of Jews who came to America stopped being Orthodox. That was quite mainstream. Intermarriage and leaving the community didn’t take that long to become mainstream either.
I don’t ever want to say there’s a top-down master plan here or something. But, my view is that organizations like the ADL are where you have to look for influence. Or take the Israel lobby. In other words, there are groups of Jews who do pursue these strategies.
This is practically Bidenesque.
The only Jewish organization that MacDonald seems to have heard of is the ADL. After that all he can do is name the “Israel Lobby”. Can’t he even at least memorize the name AIPAC.
The ADL has no influence these days. And it’s not especially Jewish either. But Kevin MacDonald has spent a long time catering to an alt-right audience that doesn’t know any better and where he can get by with this level of laziness.
And if you look at the ADL, for example, there’s not like there’s a lot of fractiousness there in terms of the big policies, like on immigration, refugee policy, or even Israel. There’s much more unanimity of opinion. There is a consensus.
The ADL is actually not supportive of Israel.
One is about the ADL, on things like immigration policy and refugees. I can’t think of any significant group of Jews that opposes the ADL’s position—
The ZOA does. So do most Jewish conservatives. And it’s not like the ADL’s positions on refugees or immigration even matter.
Then Samuels asks MacDonald about Stephen Miller..
He’s a good example, yes. And I’m happy that he’s there, to tell you the truth. But again, if you’re looking at where the Jewish power and influence lie, it’s all in the other direction. Neocons, it’s the same way.
Miller is a close Trump adviser. How much power do the ‘neocons’ have?
Samuels then asks MacDonald about the obvious contradictions.
I think the polls at the time indicated most Jews were opposed to the Iraq war. But it is an interesting question about the neocons and the Iraq war.
At this point, MacDonald babbles about the Israel Lobby to explain how Jews were both for and against the Iraq War. And then turns out to be fond of Obama.
Obama was probably the best—the least pro-Israel president since Eisenhower, I think.
The bottom line is that Kevin McDonald is pretty shallow. Most of his knowledge about Jews in America seems to come from reading The Israel Lobby. Followed by a lot of emoting. He has no ability to reconcile even basic complexities that contradict his conspiratorial view of Jews. He opposes immigration, but, like some, he’s reduced immigration to a Jewish conspiracy, a theory that doesn’t hold up very well.