Con Inc. Tries to Smear Pat Buchanan as an Anti-Semite Once Again

On Nov. 26, National Review published an article attacking Pat Buchanan for statements Buchanan has made concerning America’s relationship with Israel. Some of those statements are more than 30 years old.

The author, Jack Butler, suggested that Buchanan’s remarks represent a “a reflexive hostility,” even a “particular animus,” toward Israel. 

In contrast to Buchanan, Butler noted the “noble intent” of a march on Capitol Hill organized to stand against anti-Semitism and in favor of the state of Israel in the wake of Hamas’s savage, bloodthirsty attack on the Jewish state. And according to Butler, “To stand with the crowd that assembled on the Mall … is to stand against Pat Buchanan.”

Nowhere in his column does Butler show that any of Buchanan’s statements were incorrect. Nor does he dispute the central fact that the Iraq War was a comprehensive disaster for America, as Buchanan warned it would be.

For Butler, having the right thoughts about foreign policy is more important than actually being right about foreign policy. And being right about foreign policy is no justification for entertaining unapproved thoughts on foreign policy.

That alone is enough to show that Butler’s charge against Buchanan is not a serious one. But several other National Review writers have come to appreciate the man their magazine slandered for years, because, unlike Butler, they recognize that being right is more important than being politically correct.

In June 2017, George W. Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully asked:

Reading the various accolades directed lately at Pat Buchanan, including a New York Times column declaring the author of A Republic, Not an Empire nothing less than “the most influential public intellectual in America,” who will deny him a claim of vindication? 

On July 18, 2022, Nate Hochman wrote a delightful article for National Review noting Buchanan’s appeal to working-class Americans and concluding, “Blessed are the guys with shaggy biker beards, for they shall inherit the GOP.”

More recently, Michael Brendan Daugherty wrote a warm tribute to Buchanan when Pat retired from his column.

Most significantly, however, in May 2018, National Review‘s current editor, Ramesh Ponnuru, noted the same disagreement between Buchanan and Trump on Israel, analyzing much of the material relied upon by Butler.

Republicans are now more pro-Israel, and more tightly allied with the Likud party, than they were when Buchanan made his first presidential run. President Trump is less Buchananite on this issue than George W. Bush, who in turn was less so than his father. To his credit, Buchanan is sticking to his guns rather than kowtowing to his political heir.

Ponnuru, no fan of Buchanan’s, would not have given him credit for sticking to his views on American policy toward Israel, if he thought Buchanan was motivated by “animus” or “reflexive hostility.”

Buchanan’s views on America’s relationship with Israel are based on his assessment of the facts and rooted in his American patriotism. Just as they pose no danger to America or Americans, they evince no hostility toward any ethnic or religious group. Buchanan’s criticisms of Israel’s “Amen Corner” were always focused on individuals, not groups. Suggestions that Pat Buchanan has ever blamed “the Jews,” collectively, for anything, are obscene.

If Pat Buchanan’s warnings against invading Iraq had been heeded, the United States today would be vastly richer, many lives that were lost or diminished would instead be restored and whole, and many Christian communities dating back nearly to the time of Christ and using a liturgical language closest to the language He spoke would still exist.

Unfortunately, the Amen Corner is now more powerful than it has ever been. The new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, made sure everyone knew that his first act as Speaker was taken on behalf of Israel: Johnson introduced a bill pledging to give Israel whatever support it might need to defeat Hamas. The measure passed overwhelmingly. 

And congressmen were warned that failure to jump as high as Israel wanted, whenever Israel wanted them to to jump, was grounds for expulsion from the House. Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) stated:

If you cannot stand with Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East, a beacon of democracy, hope and freedom, you do not belong in this body—those members should resign in disgrace.

The Johnson bill pledging America’s unlimited support for Israel was not a spending bill, though. Virtually every member of Congress expressed support for appropriating an additional $14 billion for Israel, on top of the $3 billion Israel already gets each year. The only question was whether the new gift to Israel would be voted on as a standalone measure. 

Contrary to the path charted by their purported hero, Ronald Reagan, many so-called Reagan Republicans insist that not putting Israel at the head of the line with a standalone appropriations bill was a grave insult to Israel. Almost no Republican worried about what sending $14 billion to a wealthy foreign nation might mean to Americans whose communities would benefit if that money were spent here. 

Even worse, on Nov. 28 the House voted 412 to 2 to recognize that Israel was a “Jewish state” and that anyone who did not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state was guilty of anti-Semitism.

Of course, a measure describing America as “Christian nation” would be defeated by almost as large a majority, and roundly condemned as anti-Semitic. Similar fates would befall measures recognizing any European nation as a Christian nation or as a nation belonging to its dominant ethnic majority.

In the world being created by House Republicans, it is anti-Semitic for any nation with a white Christian majority to define itself as a white Christian nation, and it’s also anti-Semitic to regard Israel as anything other than a Jewish nation.

At the pro-Israel rally itself, Speaker Johnson stated:

It is my hope that this gathering today serves as a reminder to the entire world, but also to those within our own borders, that the United States stands proudly with Israel and the Jewish people forever….

There are few issues in Washington that could so easily bring together leaders of both parties in both chambers but the survival of the state of Israel unites us together and unites all Americans.

House Republicans have come to see America as a nation united by the proposition that Israel is the only nation in the world with an ethno-religious character it is entitled to preserve. According to them, what unites Americans is our love for Israel, and our purpose as a nation is to defend Israel forever. 

As crazy as that is, it’s not as crazy the Republicans get about Israel.

The biggest cheerleader for Israel on the day those driven only by “noble intent” showed up on Capitol Hill was the rotund Rev. John Hagee of San Antonio, whose devotion to Israel is such that his office features a photograph of every Israeli Prime Minister. Years ago, Hagee told an interviewer that his favorite Israeli Prime Minister was Menachem Begin, who shamed his nation as leader of the terrorist paramilitary group Irgun during the Arab-Israeli War.

Hagee is a crackpot, pure and simple. In 2008, John McCain had to decline Hagee’s endorsement after the latter’s views on the Catholic Church, among other things, came to light. 

But those views remain substantially unchanged, except that Hagee now generally refers to the Catholic Church as “the Roman Church.” Hagee’s view of the history of the West, as one of unremitting oppression, is so negative that he would fit in quite well in many faculty lounges—that is, if his fellow despisers of Western civilization were able to overlook his Texas drawl.

Hagee’s list of villains and calamities includes Constantine, St. John Chrysostom, the Council of Nicea, the Crusades, Ferdinand and Isabella, the Roman Church, and Martin Luther. All are part of what Hagee sees as the defining event in the history of the West, Christianity’s “war against the Jews,” a war that persisted until John Hagee came along. 

Hagee is considerably more sanguine about the future. Soon, Vladimir Putin will lead a 200 million man army against Israel. The Russian army will be joined by Iran and China, but to no avail. God will kill all the invaders, by burying them alive, melting them, and the like. Hagee happily describes the carnage to his congregation, which applauds God’s gruesome destruction of Israel’s enemies. 

As for himself and his congregation, Hagee is unconcerned. Before things get too bad, Hagee and his followers will all have been Raptured.

Shortly after Hamas’s horrific attack on Israel, Hagee began urging that the United States attack Iran

Taken together, the demonization of a sober patriot like Pat Buchanan, an alarming number of Republicans who think America’s raison d’etre is to unquestioningly support Israel in whatever it does, along with the mainstreaming of a figure like Hagee is a recipe for disaster.

One wonders what today’s House Republicans would make of the author of this statement:

In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.

If George Washington were a member of Congress, how long would it take for Mike Johnson to expel him as an anti-Semite?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.