A white nationalist known to harbour Nazi sympathies has given ringing endorsement to Israel’s nation state bill. In his effusive support, which critics have denounced as institutionalisation of apartheid in Israel, white supremacist Richard Spencer expressed his admiration of the controversial law in a series of tweets.
“I have great admiration for Israel’s nation-state law,” Spencer tweeted over the weekend. “Jews are, once again, at the vanguard, rethinking politics and sovereignty for the future, showing a path forward for Europeans,” he said.
I have great admiration for Israel's nation-state law. Jews are, once again, at the vanguard, rethinking politics and sovereignty for the future, showing a path forward for Europeans.
— Richard 🏴🇩🇪 Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) July 21, 2018
In his fulsome praise, Spencer railed against the “liberal media” and critics of Israel insisting that “the nation state law is the most democratic of laws”. Spencer argued that Israel was unfairly being criticised for not “balancing democracy with its identity as a Jewish state”.
Spencer was responding to the law Israel passed last week, which declared that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, something members of the Arab minority have called racist and verging on apartheid.
The white supremacist, who is known to be a notorious anti-Semite, often sings the praise of Israel and has described himself as a “white Zionist”. He has compared his brand of white supremacist ideology with Zionism.
Despite his animosity towards Jews, Spencer lauds Israel for its success in creating an ethno-state. Israel’s prowess in building a powerful state based on religious and ethnic exclusivity strongly appeals to white supremacists. For the likes of Spencer an ethno-state would be a gathering point for all Europeans. In creating their utopian white country, they have called for what they described as “peaceful ethnic cleansing;” the removal of non-whites from the USA.
During a speech at a conference in Washington, Spencer addressed the crowd showing “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” He expressed a narrative of the US that shared common themes with the Zionist narrative about Palestine: “America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity,” Spencer said. “It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”
During a controversial appearance at the University of Florida he said: “the most important and perhaps most revolutionary ethno-state, the one that I turn to for guidance, even though I might not always agree with its foreign policy decisions – the Jewish state of Israel.”
Spencer is just one of many far-right extremists to sing the praises of Israel. In recent years, the spectacle of far-right extremists combining anti-Semitic dog-whistles and fervent, even rabid, support for Israel’s current policies has become increasingly common in Europe and the United States, Haaretz pointed out. The newspaper cited dozens of figures in Europe and US that harboured anti-Semitic views while praising Israel for its insistence on being an ethno-religious country.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban. The right-wing leader of national conservative Fidesz has many strange bedfellows including members of the far-right as well as Nazis. He has been condemned by Hungarian Jews for glorifying the Nazi-allied Miklós Horthy regime and minimising the role Hungarians played in the extermination of half the country’s Jewish population. And yet Orban – denounced as an anti-Semite – was greeted with open arms by Netanyahu two days ago.