If they ever give out membership cards, Pat Buchanan would be a card-carrying anti-Semite. One of his favorite ways to slander the Jewish people is to blame them for inciting every American war or threat of conflict.
Last week, immediately after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech exposing Iran’s violations of the JCPOA, Buchanan was a guest on Sean Hannity’s radio program. Over the objections of the host, Buchanan argued that Iran never had a nuclear bomb program and that Netanyahu was simply trying to force the United States to go to war with Iran so that Israel wouldn’t have to.
Truth be told, Israel doesn’t want a war, and especially doesn’t want another country to fight the war for them. But a traditional Buchanan theme of is that Israel, or the Jews, are pushing American into war.
In 1990 when Bush #41 was considering using the American military to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, Buchanan said on the The McLaughlin Group, “There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East: the Israeli defense ministry and its amen corner [Jews] in the United States.” Buchanan’s apparent prejudices seemed to blind him to the facts; on the key January 1991 Capitol Hill vote authorizing the war in the Gulf, most Jewish members of Congress voted against war authorization.
After Bush #43 invaded Iraq, Buchanan wrote an article called “Whose War” that blamed the Bush action on such Jewish public figures as Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Max Boot and Richard Perle. According Buchanan, those Jews were “colluding with Israel to ignite wars and destroy the Oslo Accords. We charge them with deliberately damaging U.S. relations with every state in the Arab world that defies Israel or supports the Palestinian people’s right to a homeland of their own.”
He goes on to say, “For whose benefit these endless wars in a region that holds nothing vital to America save oil, which the Arabs must sell us to survive? Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam? Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.”
Truth be told, Bush #43 did consult with then-PM Ariel Sharon before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but unlike in Buchanan’s fantasy, Sharon warned Bush NOT to invade Iraq, arguing correctly that if Saddam was removed, “Iran, a far more dangerous player, will be rid of its principal enemy and free to pursue its ambitions of regional hegemony.” Which is exactly what happened.
In a 1991 essay, William F. Buckley wrote, “I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism, whatever it was that drove him to say and do it: most probably, an iconoclastic temperament.’
When Elena Kagan was nominated for the Supreme Court, most conservatives opposed her nomination because based on her history it was clear that she would be an activist justice who would change the meaning of the constitution to fit a progressive agenda. But Buchanan had a different reason: there were too many Jews on the Supreme Court.
“Indeed, of the last seven justices nominated by Democrats JFK, LBJ, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, one was black, Marshall; one was Puerto Rican, Sonia Sotomayor,” he wrote. “The other five were Jews: Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.”
“If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than two percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats,” Buchanan said.
On Groundhog Day 2007, Buchanan made a similar statement about the U.S. Senate while appearing on The McLaughlin Group: “If you want to know ethnicity and power in the United States Senate, 13 members of the Senate are Jewish folks who are from two percent of the population. That is where real power is at”
Buchanan is also a Holocaust denier. In a 1990 column in the New Republic, he challenged the historical record that thousands of Jews were gassed to death by diesel exhaust at Treblinka.
Apart from the Shoah, Buchanan simply believed the U.S. was wrong to fight Hitler. As the St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported on Aug 25, 1977:
“He (Hitler) was also an individual of great courage, a soldier’s soldier in the Great War, a leader steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him. But Hitler’s success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.”
In his book, “A Republic, Not an Empire” Mr. Buchanan analyzes the history of American foreign policy and questions whether Hitler sought war with the West or was driven to it, writing that “Hitler made no overt move to threaten U.S vital interests” after his initial victories across Europe in 1939 and 1940.
In a separate chapter, Buchanan repeated a common anti-Semitic canard: “After World War II, Jewish influence over foreign policy became almost an obsession with American leaders.”
Many people wonder why American Jews tend to be on the liberal side of politics. One of the reasons may be that until the early 1960’s Jew-hatred that was a big part of the conservative movement. Conservative favorites and American heroes such as aviator Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford were staunchly anti-Semitic, as were the post-war conservative anti-communist groups such as the John Birch Society and The Liberty Lobby. Many of the most famous conservative writers such as Joseph Sobran — and Pat Buchanan — pushed anti-Semitic lies.
It was William F. Buckley who changed things. He led the effort to show America that conservative policies will save the country (helping to elect Ronald Reagan). But he also attacked the anti-Semites in the conservative movement and marginalized them and threw them out of is magazine, the National Review. Because Buckley was the intellectual leader of the conservative movement, the inference was that not only was Jew-hatred bad – but it was stupid.
Through his efforts and attacks on the conservative haters in this country like Pat Buchanan, Buckley pushed anti-Semitism to the fringes of American politics where it lived for years until it joined the Democratic Party of Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Keith Ellison and groups like Ploughshares, Center for American Progress, and Media Matters. And every once in a while, Pat Buchanan climes out of his hole to add to the anti-Semitic slanders, proving that anti-Semitism doesn’t go away, it just switches parties.