Documenting Anti-Semitism Within the Libertarian Movement

Anti-Semitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. The term was coined by non-Jews in late 19th century Europe as a more scientific-sounding term for Judenhass ("Jew-hatred"). In recent years, as the libertarian movement has grown, so has the anti-Jewish movement within this clan of activists supposedly concerned with promoting liberty and freedom for all of humanity.

The word libertarian comes from the root word "liberty" and refers to individuals who favor less government intrusion and are distrusting of government power. In the U.S., the libertarian movement, broadly speaking, consists of think-tanks, Ron Paul activists and organizations, and those affiliated with the Libertarian Party.

The anti-Semitism in the libertarian movement has manifested itself in all three categories at alarmingly high levels. It's difficult to imagine how any libertarian activist or scholar can envision success for their movement with such anti-libertarian sentiment and malicious bigotry in its midst.

Alibi Jews in the Libertarian Movement

The libertarian movement is ripe with Alibijude, or alibi Jews. Their job is easy: If someone is accused of anti-Semitism, the alibi Jew is brought in as a defending witness. In a movement with so few genuinely Jewish individuals, it is easy for the alibi Jews to get away with just about anything. They are free to bash Israel, defend anti-Semitism, promote the idea that a non-interventionist foreign policy would have been wise from 1939 to 1945, and misinform people about Jews and Judaism. It's an easy and worthwhile endeavor for the Alibijude, because they help anti-Semites get away with their crimes while warding off any anti-Semitic images within the libertarian movement.

Some prominent examples of alibi Jews in the libertarian movement are the self-hating anti-Jewish late economist Murray Rothbard, non-religious Jewish-born Ron Paul activist Walter Block and Jewish "boycott Israel" activist Sheldon Richman. These men promote the idea that Jews are anti-Israel, anti-religious, and tolerant of Jew-hatred. Of course, simply because they accept these principles does not mean that the Jewish community tolerates them, or that other Jewish libertarian activists will remain silent while their lies are spread.

These are just a few of the alibi Jews. There are many others, too, who justify anti-Semitism in the various branches of the libertarian movement with the claim, "It's not anti-Jewish. I know, because I am Jewish". It is unlikely they are Jewish in any meaningful sense of the word. Do they observe the Sabbath? Do they read Hebrew? Did they have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? The answers are almost certainly not.

Libertarian Think-Tanks and Anti-Semitism

Libertarian think-tanks are notorious for pushing an anti-Israel agenda. Of course, one can distrust the Israeli government while also holding no hard feelings toward Jewish individuals. But it is difficult to imagine that U.S. think-tanks would focus so much on Israel when one considers the small percentage that foreign aid constitutes in the United States federal budget. (Less than one percent of the federal budget goes toward foreign aid.) Four "libertarian" think-tanks do exactly that -- and much worse.

Justin Raimondo, the prime mover-and-shaker behind the antiwar.com website (and whose main source of income is antiwar.com), blames Israel for the attack of September 11, 2001. Of Jews, Raimondo says, "The savage mind, however, works differently. Shorn of what we would recognize as a moral sense, the savage glories in his capacity for pitiless violence. It's a survival mechanism: in his world, red in tooth and claw, instilling fear in your opponent means winning more than half the battle. As a survival strategy, it's like the one inmate who mutters ominously to himself while exhibiting all the characteristics of a violent psychotic: the other prisoners give him plenty of space because they think he's liable to do anything. So, too, in the case of the Israelis, who are signaling their willingness to go to any lengths in order to instill the fear of their wrath far and wide." He also calls Israel a racist theocracy and a "shitty little country".

A Raimondo colleague at antiwar.com, Tom Engelhardt, asserted in 2006 that a "Jewish Hitler" was about to rise to power. His assertion proved not only false, but off the deep end of Jew hatred. Yet antiwar.com continues, on a weekly basis, to promote hatred of Jews and Israel. The libertarian movement is silent -- they concur.

Mary Theroux, Vice President of the California-based libertarian Independent Institute (and wife of its president and founder, David Theroux), blames Jews for the death of Jesus in an article entitled "Easter Lessons, Revisited". Her organization encourages readers to purchase books such as "How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success" by neo-confederate Thomas Woods, which asserts that the world would be a "dark ages" had followers of Jesus remained Jewish. The Independent Institute website also encourages its readers to purchase "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" and "The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering", which they refer to as a "worthwhile read" and "a valuable reference".

At the Future of Freedom Foundation website, its President, Jacob Hornberger, blames Nazi anti-Semitism on Hitler's father abusing him. Of course, Mr. Hornberger (like his mentor Ron Paul) doesn't believe that the U.S. should have done a thing to save the Jews in the Holocaust. He says, quite falsely, "With respect to the European Jews, virtually all of them were dead by the end of the war. World War II did not save them from the Holocaust." He then concludes that Hitler was not an "aberrant monster" but an "every man". There were more than six million Holocaust survivors (as well as six million victims), according to a post-war estimate by the company Barrington James. Hornberger's colleague Richard Ebeling, a professor of Economics at the Christian-based Hillsdale College, discusses the causes and consequences of World War Two in an article he wrote in 1991. Mr. Ebeling mentions the words "Jew" or "Jewish" just twice. In one of the mentions, he actually attempts to minimize the number of Jews that died in the Holocaust.

Not to be outdone, fundamentalist Christian scholar Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, accuses Israel of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes in a series of articles between 2003 and 2013. Cato Institute scholar Leon T. Hadar, similarly, asserts that the Jewish state is an apartheid state. The Cato Institute never mentions support for Jewish self-determination, or supporting a place for Jews to live either in or outside of Israel -- only opposition to Israel blanketed with unfounded anti-Semitic accusations.

The Ron Paul Movement and Anti-Semitism

Savvy readers already know about Ron Paul's long-time ties to neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. It's no surprise, then, that the movement surrounding him promotes the same age-old propaganda about Jews and Israel. But the real question, asked by The New Republic's James Kirchick in 2011, is "Why Don't Libertarians Care About Ron Paul's Bigoted Newsletters?" Kirchick concludes that "the benefit of indulging in" the idea that the U.S. is on the verge of bankruptcy and collapse "is that it sets the stage for the arrival of a savior". Each libertarian think-tank, organization, or politician are setting themselves up to save the day. Fake conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve, Jewish Elders of Zion, and evil bankers assist libertarian leaders in their narrative that the world is collapsing around us.

Ron Paul's long-time ally Justin Raimondo's problems with the Jews is outlined above. Another close associate of Paul, former chief-of-staff Lew Rockwell, now runs The Ludwig Von Mises Institute in Alabama. There, eager young students are indoctrinated in Austrian economics -- an anti-mathematics brand of economics that favors cultural conservatism, anti-interventionist foreign policy, and the gold standard. And Jew-bashing. The Ron Paul newsletters, approved by Paul and likely written by Rockwell, talk about Jewish conspiracy theories and Israel in newsletter after newsletter. Subsequently, these publications as well as fundraising letters from Paul were sent to mailing lists of the anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying mail list of Willis Carto's tabloid, The Spotlight. Willis Carto is one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists of the past 50 years. Mr. Paul has never acknowledged or apologized for what everyone knows to be the truth. Lew Rockwell was paid as a Ron Paul staffer from the late 1970s until at least the mid-1990s. He was the operations man behind Paul's efforts to demonize Jews and Israel. Additional specifics about Paul's anti-Semitic activities, which were encouraged by Rockwell, are provided here.

Ron Paul's organization, a (c)(3) educational group called the Campaign for Liberty -- whose Board of Directors is comprised of various Paul family members that financially benefit from its successes -- permits its users to promote anti-Jewish conspiracy theories at its website. Campaign for Liberty activist Clay Douglas has been promoting "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", an anti-Semitic hoax purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination, at the organization's website since 2008. Larry Flinchpaugh, another Paul cultist, has been busy promoting himself at the Campaign for Liberty website. Flinchpaugh is the author of "Secrets of Our Hidden Controllers Revealed", which reveals how international bankers financed global wars and advocates abolishing the "Global Anti-Semitic Review Act" that makes it "illegal to criticize the country of Israel or individual Jews." Flinchpaugh wants other Campaign for Liberty supporters to buy his book, of course. These are just two examples of over 600 posts about Jews by the users of Campaign for Liberty's website.

Ron Paul's newest organization, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Liberty, is no better than the Campaign for Liberty, although its board members are not family members. Several of the board members of his newest organization are conspiracy theorists or outright anti-Semites. These include 9/11 truther Eric Margolis (who is not Jewish despite his last name), anti-Israel propagandist Michael Scheuer -- who curiously worked as a CIA agent for most of his career (I thought Paul opposed government intervention around the world?) -- and Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who blamed Israel for Syria's chemical weapons attacks on its own citizens.

Several Ron Paul followers have become celebrities in their own right while promoting anti-Semitism:

  • Connor Boyack, a "Mormon anarchist", founded an organization in Utah to lay out his vision for America. The organization, called the Libertas Institute, is now being promoted by the State Policy Network, a mainstream right-leaning network of think-tanks. They are probably unaware of Mr. Boyack's hatred for Jews and Israel. At his blog, "Connor's Conundrums", he's been talking about how the people of Israel are fake, how Israel steals money from the U.S., and how Israel will not survive in the future. Boyack's opinions about Jews and Israel are far from factual.

  • Anti-war activist Adam Kokesh, a former congressional candidate in New Mexico and Ron Paul promoter, targeted Jews in Florida because the final 2012 presidential debate took place in Jewish-populated Palm Beach County. The Israel Lobby, the Jews of Florida, and the Presidential Debate Commission -- according to Kokesh in an October 2012 video -- worked together in a grande Jewish-backed conspiracy to prop up Israel in the final presidential debate.

  • Kokesh ally and Russian propagandist Abby Martin, an American who is a host for the Russian state TV propaganda network Russia Today, accuses the descendants of Holocaust survivors, the Jews of Israel -- of using "Hitler's methods to maintain a Jewish majority in Israel".

  • Meanwhile, libertarian lawyer Stephan Kinsella has a solution for the Jews of Israel: leave! Kinsella, a Ron Paul-supporting anarchist, proposes that Jews abandon Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and resettle in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. That's "libertarian scholarship" for you.

  • Ben Swann, a self-promoting "journalist" formerly employed by FOX 19 in Cincinnati, Ohio became notable in the libertarian movement after he began to vigorously promote Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential campaign. Swann, who is dedicated to promoting conspiracy theories, recently published several videos aimed at attacking Israel. One of the videos blames Israel for boosting up the anti-Israel terrorist group Hamas. Swann cites just one source to verify his take on the Israel-Gaza conflict, and the libertarian movement has ingested every word of Swann's misleading video hook, line, and sinker. In fact, Hamas has its origins in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement. During the 1990s and 2000s, the organization conducted numerous suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel, as Wikipedia's History of Hamas outlines in detail. Nothing mentioned in the article on the origins or history of Hamas was mentioned by propagandist anti-Semite Ben Swann in his video.

  • Ron Paul friend Mike Church, a "shock jock" talk radio host, has been sponsored by the Campaign for Liberty organization to speak at their events. Church regularly blasts Israel on his program and at his website, including linking to anti-Jewish propaganda from Michael Scheuer (another malicious anti-Semitic Ron Paul friend) and Pat Buchanan.

  • All of the individuals and organizations mentioned actively promoted Congressman Ron Paul, in spite of -- or more likely because of -- his anti-Semitism. It is no surprise, then, that each of these elements of anti-Jewishness in the "liberty movement" are working together.

    The Libertarian Party and Anti-Semitism

    Not to be outdone, the Libertarian Party also has a growing anti-Semitic wing, led by Carol Moore, Ernest Hancock, and John Jay Myers. The Texas Libertarian Party is currently in charge of the National LP. They have invited activists from CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to speak at their conventions. CAIR has connections to the terrorist group Hamas -- which has been launching rockets into Israel for the past seven years -- and the radical Muslim Brotherhood. The Libertarian Party of Texas has never invited any Jewish group to speak at their events. Because of the Texas Libertarians' prominence in the party, anti-Semites run the Facebook page of the National Libertarian Party and have purged Jews concerned with the growing anti-Semitism in the Libertarian Party from their page.

    The ironically-titled LibertyForAll website, run by the Vice-Chairman of the Libertarian Party, R. Lee Wrights, also has an anti-Semitic article posted on it. It ponders, "Why have Christians and Muslims lived in peace for centuries in Egypt with the only expulsion being Jews?" The author assumes historical anti-Semitism exists because of Jews, not because of those practicing bigotry, intolerance, and crimes against those different than themselves.

    At the "Freedom's Phoenix" website run by anarchist Libertarian Party activist Ernest Hancock, a many-times-failed candidate for office in Arizona, one can be directed to any number of vile anti-Jewish articles. Hancock redirects to an article called "The Ship Wreckers" by George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party. He also links to articles asserting that "Communism was Jewish" and "a whole, secret world -- the world of the Jews." A search of the "Freedom's Phoenix" website shows that the term "Jewish" shows up on page after page at the site. In another article at "Freedom's Phoenix", you can discover that Israel is going to "Judaize" East Jerusalem and that Jesus was a Palestinian. Mr. Hancock's website is filled with lies and misinformation. But he is treated with respect by the Libertarian Party, having been a past candidate for National Chairman, and is a frequent speaker at Libertarian Party events both nationally and in many states.

    At his website, the past Vice Presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, retired California Judge James P. Gray, advocates ending foreign aid to Israel and Israel alone. He also suggests the government investigate the death of Rachel Corrie and the attack on the USS Liberty. Jim Gray's idea of "justice" targets Jews only. Wonder why?

    Finally, when 50 activists came together to sign a petition to Libertarian Party staff and chairman Geoffrey Neale to remove the anti-Jewish posts from the LP Facebook page, the letter was ignored by Neale and LP staff members. This took place after five Jews were banned from commenting on the Libertarian Party Facebook page for opposing John Jay Myers, an anti-Jewish former candidate endorsed by the LP.

    Conclusion

    The examples above are just a few of countless examples of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and blatant lies in all three branches of the modern libertarian movement. Other libertarian leaders refuse to address the issue of the growing anti-Semitism in their movement. They maintain that Ron Paul is not anti-Semitic and say anti-Semitism is not a problem in the libertarian movement. They ignore historic anti-Semitism and actively seek to minimize the atrocities of less than 80 years ago in the Holocaust. But the libertarian movement will be in for a surprise when they never find success at the polls or in public policy due to the blind bigotry and intolerance outlined above.

    Jewish libertarians or classical liberals -- or others who are pro-equal rights (pro-decency, really) should refrain from further participation in the libertarian movement. It actively works against Jews. It is not concerned about liberty for religious minorities; rather, quite the contrary. Moreover, there is little doubt that the modern libertarian movement is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

    Milton Friedman would be ashamed.