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Pat Buchanan and the Jews (2)

Reply-To: H-NET History of Antisemitism List
Sender: H-NET History of Antisemitism List

Author: "Michael R Leavitt"

Monday March 15, 1999

Comments: cc: Milton Goldin National Coalition of Independent Scholars
In-Reply-To: <199903152338.SAA17025@alum.MIT.EDU>

People on this list who fail to see Buchanan as an active antisemite are probably simply not paying attention. I've lifted the following from a web site that has his comments on many more groups than just Jews, but the following is a selection of his thoughts on Jews. It actually might be an interesting discussion to talk about the extent to which texts like these are indicative of antisemitism. What is direct vs what is coded? If coded messages like these were uttered about other groups, would the conclusions about the intentions of the speaker be different? What are the legitimate inferences one can draw from negative statements about "U. S. Jewry?" What is the relationship between anti-Israel statements and antisemitism? When is the former a codeword for the latter? Hmm. Some interesting possibilities.


Buchanan referred to Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occupied territory." (St. Louis Post Dispatch, 10/20/90

During the Gulf crisis: "There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East -- the Israeli defense ministry and its 'amen corner' in the United States." ("McLaughlin Group," 8/26/90

In a 1977 column, Buchanan said that despite Hitler's anti-Semitic and genocidal tendencies, he was "an individual of great courage...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." (The Guardian, 1/14/92

Writing of "group fantasies of martyrdom," Buchanan challenged the historical record that thousands of Jews were gassed to death by diesel exhaust at Treblinka: "Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody." (New Republic, 10/22/90

Buchanan's columns have run in the Liberty Lobby's Spotlight, the German-American National PAC newsletter and other publications that claim Nazi death camps are a Zionist concoction. Buchanan called for closing the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which prosecuted Nazi war criminals, because it was "running down 70-year-old camp guards." (New York Times, 4/21/87

Buchanan was vehement in pushing President Reagan -- despite protests -- to visit Germany's Bitburg cemetery, where Nazi SS troops were buried. At a White House meeting, Buchanan reportedly reminded Jewish leaders that they were "Americans first" -- and repeatedly scrawled the phrase "Succumbing to the pressure of the Jews" in his notebook. Buchanan was credited with crafting Ronald Reagan's line that the SS troops buried at Bitburg were "victims just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps." (New York Times, 5/16/85; New Republic, 1/22/96

After Cardinal O'Connor criticized anti-Semitism during the controversy over construction of a convent near Auschwitz, Buchanan wrote: "If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken. When Cardinal O'Connor of New York seeks to soothe the always irate Elie Wiesel by reassuring him 'there are many Catholics who are anti-Semitic'...he speaks for himself. Be not afraid, Your Eminence; just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role of defender of the faith." (New Republic, 10/22/90

The Buchanan '96 campaign's World Wide Web site included an article blaming the death of White House aide Vincent Foster on the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad -- and alleging that Foster and Hillary Clinton were Mossad spies. (The campaign removed the article after its existence was reported by a Jewish on-line news service; Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2/21/96.

In his September 1993 speech to the Christian Coalition, Buchanan declared: "Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free." (ADL Report, 1994

Mike Leavitt
Reston, VA


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