The views of Katie Hopkins represent a particularly British form of fascism.
Similar in some ways to US President Donald Trump, she rose to national fame through reality TV. Both appeared on the same franchise, The Apprentice – a particularly crass example of the genre.
Hopkins appeared as a contestant in the UK version of the show. She is naturally a supporter of President Trump and of his racism; Trump, for his part, has returned the compliment. With his usual disregard for the truth, he has claimed she is a “respected columnist”.
Her time spewing violently anti-Muslim garbage for the Sun and the Mail Online mercifully lasted only a few short years. It’s an indicator of just how extreme she is that even two of Britain’s most racist publications found her too much.
Her Sun contract ended in 2015 after public disgust at a particularly bad column, in which she attacked the (often Muslim) refugees and migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe, labelling them “cockroaches”.
Her openly genocidal language continued with a tweet in which she called for a “final solution” for Muslims – an invocation of the Nazi Holocaust against Jews. This thankfully led to the end of her LBC radio show.
None of this is legitimate free speech – it is open incitement to violence and even to genocide.
Yet as with so many of the modern fascist far-right, Katie Hopkins is a big fan of Israel.
Earlier this month, Hopkins appeared on an Israeli TV channel openly calling for the expulsion of the almost seven million Palestinians who now live in the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
The i24 News channel shamefully gave this fascist a platform to call for Israel to “remove the people who don’t belong here” – the indigenous people of Palestine. This must be understood as a call for ethnic cleansing, though it more likely constitutes incitement to genocide.
Like other fascists, Hopkins has also propagated anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, tweeting that “Soros NGOs” are to blame for critical media coverage of Israel. This was a reference to Jewish billionaire George Soros, who has donated billions to his foundations supporting liberal and anti-communist causes.
As I explained in a feature for the Electronic Intifada in March, Soros has become a demonised figure for the fascist right around the world, so it is to be expected that Hopkins would jump on the bandwagon.
While there are no doubt valid criticisms of Soros (or, indeed, any billionaire – no one should be allowed to have that much money to themselves, in my view) the far-right’s attacks on Soros do not fall into this category. The attacks are more often than not openly anti-Jewish.
A government campaign against Soros in Hungary – his country of birth – was openly anti-Semitic, while right-wing attacks demonise him as a global “puppet master”, a typical Nazi stereotype of the fictional Jewish conspiracy to control the world.
All of which puts the lie to fascists like Hopkins and their claims to be concerned about anti-Semitism. Hopkins only raises the word to attack Muslims and the Labour Party on spurious grounds.
Her behaviour continues the trend of the global far-right today embracing Zionism. On one level, there’s little doubt that the attraction is sometimes a shallow one – towards Israel’s long record of mass-murder targeting a majority-Muslim population.
Yet it goes deeper than that. Israel is viewed by these racists as “a villa in the jungle”, to quote former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak – it is seen as the frontier of “Western civilization” against the barbarous Muslim hordes.
The fact that Barak was the leader of the Israeli Labor Party only goes to show how little supposedly left-wing Zionism differs from the right-wing Zionism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
While tactics and strategies differ, at the end of the day both are simply different wings of the same movement, with the same end goal – the establishment and preservation of a European Jewish settler-colonial movement in the majority non-Jewish country of Palestine, against the wishes of the indigenous people.
Fascists have always admired such racist movements, so much so that even such an openly neo-Nazi figure as Richard Spencer can call himself a “White Zionist”. Katie Hopkins, then, was in a way correct when she stated on Israeli TV that Israel is her “natural home”.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.