The prominent white supremacist is given a platform on Israel’s top-rated news show, and the host doesn’t once challenge his anti-Semitism or hateful views.
By +972 Magazine Staff
Israel’s most popular prime-time television news show gave white supremacist Richard Spencer a platform to try and convince Jewish Israelis that White Nationalism is analogous to Zionism, adding that Israelis should relate to him and his ilk.
“As an Israeli citizen, as someone who understands your identity, who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and history and the experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me, who has analogous feelings about whites,” Spencer told anchor Danny Kushmaro on Wednesday evening’s broadcast.
“You could say that I’m a white Zionist in the sense that I care about my people; I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves just like you want a secure homeland in Israel,” Spencer continued.
The Israeli television host in any way challenge the comparison of white supremacist nationalism to Zionism or the attempt to get Israelis to relate to it. Perhaps more shocking, was that Kushmaro did not ask Spencer what his anti-Semitic ideology would mean for the millions of Jews in the United States.
When Kushamaro did confront Spencer about anti-Semitic chants and sentiments among the white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, he allowed him to treat it as a matter of free speech instead of addressing the anti-Semitism itself.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been roundly criticized for failing to address the gravity of such anti-Semitic and even neo-Nazi rhetoric and violence taking place in the United States, President Trump’s refusal to unequivocally condemn it, and express any concern for the world’s second-largest Jewish population. (By some counts, the U.S. has more Jews than Israel.)
The truth of the matter is that Netanyahu is relatively alone in his immensely disappointing response to the resurgent white supremacist movement in the United States. Ministers in his own government, politicians across the Israeli political spectrum, and others have been unusually outspoken on the issue.
This is not the first time that Netanyahu has shied away from criticizing the Trump administration’s attitudes toward hate crimes targeting American Jews. When Trump was confronted about his lack of condemnation of a series of bomb threats against Jewish institutions and schools, Netanyahu defended his silence by calling him “a great friend of the Jewish people.”