The Antisemite on Your TVBreaking News
tags: antisemitism, cable news
Today, Jews celebrate the holiday of Purim, a festival of revelry that commemorates their deliverance from an ancient genocidal plot. The story behind this day is recounted in the biblical Book of Esther. Traditionally, a scroll containing that book is read twice over the holiday, with listeners making noise to drown out the name of the story’s villain, Haman, a vizier who manipulated the Persian king into nearly eradicating the Jews.
Scholars date the Book of Esther back over 2,000 years, but in some ways, it could have been written yesterday. Listen to Haman’s justification for persecuting the Jews in Esther 3:8:
Then Haman said to [King] Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them.”
The Jews were sort of unleashed on American society and European society … They accepted citizenship, but they weren’t thoroughly assimilated in the sense that they didn’t think of themselves having the same interests as their fellow citizens, necessarily.
But you don’t need to go back thousands of years or to the fringes of American society to find people who espouse these sentiments today. You just have to turn on Fox News.
Douglas Macgregor is a retired U.S. Army colonel who has become Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s go-to foreign policy expert. In recent appearances on the channel, he has argued that the U.S. should not sanction Russia and that Vladimir Putin should be allowed to annex as much of Ukraine as he wants, which is why many today consider Macgregor to be less a neutral observer than a Russia apologist. What they may not know is that he’s also a longtime purveyor of anti-Semitic ideas.
“We have a huge problem with a class of so-called elites, the people who are wealthy, very wealthy in many cases and they are, as the Russians used to call certain individuals many, many years ago, rootless cosmopolitans,” he told the Serbian American Voters Alliance in an October 2021 speech uncovered by Matt Gertz at MediaMatters.
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