The Fascists’ New Spin on the Exploitation of Antisemitism

Karl H Christ
3 min readFeb 5, 2024

Israel and its supporters use the label of antisemitism to denigrate and discredit anyone that criticizes the actions of their government and military. Weaponizing claims of antisemitism against critics of Israeli policies and actions, regardless of whether the critics have said anything disparaging against Jewish people or may in fact be Jewish themselves, has been a tactic for many decades. A newer phenomenon is the weaponization of antisemitism by right-wing bigots, people who likely are, or definitely demonstrably are, antisemitic, against intellectuals and members of minority groups whom they intend to remove from positions of esteem and authority. The worst, most entitled, racist crackers this country has had the misfortune and shame to produce have been knowingly misusing the cudgel of antisemitism, a very real, despicable, and dangerous prejudice against a historically persecuted and marginalized people, to attack and disenfranchise other historically persecuted and marginalized people.

Claudine Gay was the first Black president of Harvard University. She was one of very few Black women in US history to hold such a prestigious position. She was forced out of her job by a campaign led by right-wing activists cynically charging her with antisemitism. Darkly comedic in its hypocrisy, the most visible face in the McCarthy-esque campaign against Gay was US Representative Elise Stefanik, a known racist and xenophobe and almost certainly an antisemite. In addition to being allied with the Trump-figureheaded neo-fascist agenda, Stefanik has echoed the “great replacement theory,” conspiratorial nonsense that is deeply racist and has foundational aspects rooted in antisemitism. The irony of such a person accusing a black woman of bigoted prejudice.

Claudine Gay made an arguably poor and overly legally cautious defense for herself and Harvard when she was grilled by congress. But, from the start, she was not targeted because she’s antisemitic; she was targeted because a faction of fascist, racist, sexist US elites can’t stand to see a Black woman in a position of authority. They fear and loathe any social and economic progress being made by non-whites. But it’s not safe for them to come out and publicly state this, so they pretend to give a shit about Jewish people and use antisemitism as a blunt instrument to bring down their perceived enemies, opponents of white supremacy.

It’s not a big stretch for American fascists and racists to ally themselves with the government of Israel. Israel’s government is alarmingly right-wing, racist, and bursting at the seams with fascist tendencies. They’ve got a lot in common. But it is an allyship of convenience, selfish on both sides, each of them taking aid and using the other for domestic interests and personal benefits. As in any such situation, however, the sides are not equal. The US is more powerful than Israel, its fascists more powerful than their Israeli counterparts. The more powerful side risks less than the weaker. The risks to the Israeli fascists is that once the US fascists are done using them, they’ll cut and run, particularly those of the evangelical “end of days” ilk. For those folks, supporting Israel means simply keeping Jewish people in charge there just long enough to spark an Armageddon war, ring Jesus’s alarm bell, and kick off the Rapture, at which point all non-Christians will go to hell.

This might be an obvious statement, but it’s dangerous to make allies with people who view you as a pawn for earthly domination and holy sacrifice. More so than for Israelis, it is dangerous for American Jews to take part in or consent to this alliance. Jewish US citizens tend to be more liberal than Jewish Israeli citizens. If not for a false and cynical conflation of criticism of Israel or anti-zionism with antisemitism, many of them would never ally themselves with these racist and antisemitic US fascists. It would be a mistake to do so, because make no mistake, they are only participating in this antisemitism-flavored McCarthyism for their own fascist agenda, and will stab Jewish people (Israeli or American) in the back and sell them out as soon as is convenient. In the meantime, the right-wing’s antisemitism-exploiting rhetoric is only being used to attack critics of Israel and supporters of Palestinian human rights. They are doing nothing to actually protect Jewish people or fight actual antisemitism. And they won’t. Because it doesn’t benefit them. Because they don’t want to. Because they are fascists, racists, and antisemites.