Jewish Pundit Hounded by Black Lives Matter, White Supremacists Says He’s Received More Antisemitic Tweets Than Any Media Peer
Calling himself “more conservative than [President-elect Donald] Trump on every issue,” yet the bane of the alt-right, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire — who has the distinction of being “one of the few people who has managed to unite the Black Lives Matter movement and white supremacists in protest against him” — told the UK-based J-TV that he has received more antisemitic tweets in the past year than any of his colleagues in the media.
On the program “Current Affairs” — moderated by the UK-based Henry Jackson Society founder and executive director Dr. Alan Mendoza — Ben Shapiro, an American political author, pundit and Orthodox Jew, who resigned from Breitbart News Network in March after a widely publicized incident involving reporter Michelle Fields and former Trump staffer Corey Lewandowski — said nevertheless that he does not believe that the incoming administration in Washington will be antisemitic.
“I’ve been a very critical voice about Donald Trump and about [former Breitbart editor] Steve Bannon, his White House chief strategist, in particular,” he said. “[But] I don’t have any evidence that [either is] antisemitic. I think that both are willing to pander to some of the worst people in the world on the alt-right in order to advance their agenda on particular issues, but there is no evidence that Trump is particularly anti-Israel, and Breitbart has never been an anti-Israel site; it’s always been a very pro-Israel site, so I’m not deeply concerned about antisemitism in the Trump administration as much as I am about the emboldenment of antisemites through a kind of patting on the head… But as far as policy [is concerned]…I think it’s going to be a more pro-Israel administration than the Obama administration was…”
Shapiro, author, most recently of A Moral Universe Torn Apart, was referring to Bannon, who has been the focus of ongoing debate since leaving the leadership of Breitbart to work for the Trump campaign and, more recently, when he was appointed to be chief White House strategist.
Though a fierce opponent of the alt-right — a group he said he hadn’t even heard of until it reared its head in the last year — Shapiro said that it is a reaction to the extremism of the Left, which bases its policies on “multiculturalism and multi-ethnic diversity — the idea being that America is a terrible place for black people, for gay people, for Asian people, for Mexican people, for people of various stripes. And those people can band together and take over the system.”
And though an equally fierce opponent of Trump’s, Shapiro said, “If you read the alt-right sites, you’ll see that they say Trump isn’t one of us, but he’s made us feel more comfortable.”
Why, then — asked Mendoza — have there been such strong responses to Shapiro’s campus appearances, with students considering his views, like those of the alt-right, to be beyond the pale? In fact, Mendoza added, Shapiro is one of the few people who has managed to unite the far-left Black Lives Matter movement and the alt-right in protest against him.
Only because they’ve never listened to anything I’ve said or read anything that I’ve written. I’ve been banned on campuses for speaking about free speech and about diversity of thought and against racism, and in these speeches, I explicitly rip the alt-right, white ethnocentrism, white superiority and any concept of it.
At California State/Los Angeles there was essentially a riot when I arrived, professors were telling their students that I was a KKK sympathizer. KKK sympathizers not only don’t wear yarmulkes, but KKK sympathizers don’t dump a candidate like Donald Trump specifically over his failure to smack down the KKK on national TV.
Giving his take on the rise of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement across US campuses, Shapiro said it has to do with the overall philosophy of the political Left. “If they see someone in a room with $5 and someone else with $1, they assume that the person with the $1 was screwed by the other,” he said. “The same thing holds for international affairs. They…see that Israel is rich and prosperous and free and…the Palestinians are poor and repressed. And…that must be Israel’s fault, and therefore, [we] shouldn’t do business with Israel.”
This, he said, “gives students a feeling of unearned moral superiority. It also means you’re going to end up siding with some of the worst people on earth, because a lot of the worst people on earth are poor and living in dire circumstances, specifically because of the philosophies they impose or the choices that they make. So, the campuses that are willing to countenance BDS or have ex-terrorists debate — DePaul was willing to have an ex-Palestinian terrorist — are the same campuses that will actually send a police force to block me from speaking about BDS, for example.”
Shining a spotlight on this issue is the “best antidote,” Shapiro said, because “most people don’t pay much attention to campus affairs,” and pressure on administrations actually has an effect.
He also dismissed the notion that it is possible to mobilize all students, Jewish or otherwise, against the phenomenon. Most, he said, are too busy “studying or drinking or having sex.” However, he added, “The ones who are engaged should know how to fight, and there I think there is a bit of a disservice done. A lot think that the best way to counter [BDS] and have their views heard is to be nice and cordial, when unfortunately that’s not the way it works on campus.”
Finally, Mendoza asked Shapiro about the possible role that Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, might play in negotiating a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
No one is going to do this, Shapiro replied, “because it’s essentially a religious conflict that is incapable of bridging so long as one side of the conflict is interested in destroying the other… The best thing the Trump administration could do is be hands-off and allow Israel to defend itself.”
J-TV is a new, global Jewish YouTube channel, featuring weekly segments on current affairs and Jewish culture.
Watch the interview with Ben Shapiro below: