Brexit and the Jews
“Britain’s anti-EU ‘Leave’ campaign has helped create a public discourse of prejudice and fear, couched in a parochial nationalism, that Jews in Britain must challenge.”
Dr. Ilan Zvi Baron, Durham University, England
Although delighted by the advent of Brexit, I’ve forfeited participation in the celebrations and wistful speculations indulged in by many in our movement. I don’t deny that we’ve achieved a helpful success in the war to save our people. Nor do I deny that many of our enemies have been given a long-overdue dose of nationalist ‘shock and awe.’ Of more pressing interest to me, however, is the observation and anticipation of enemy counter-measures, as well as the assessment of just how much of a victory we have actually achieved. The following analysis of Jewish responses to Brexit will further illustrate not only the priorities of organized Jewry, but also the limitations of our achievement. It is hoped that this will result in a deeper understanding of the true significance of recent events in the context of the greater battle to reduce Jewish influence in our nations, and assist in the forward march to racial-national renewal.
It’s tempting at first glance to imagine that all Jews are against Brexit. This instinctive prediction arises in the nationalist mind due to the conflation of Jewish identity with liberalism and its modern globalist and ‘social justice’ corollaries. In many respects, of course, this is a helpful conflation that assists with accurate predictions. However, what the instinct neglects is a vast historical context in which the relationship of Jews with liberalism is very complex indeed, and in which such easy predictions lead to a facile and naive understanding of Jewish strategies. In brief, history indicates that Jews have fluctuated in their attachment to liberal and even globalist causes.
The reason for these fluctuations is that although Jews may swarm around issues like gun control, gay marriage, immigration legislation, and supranational government, these causes are not ‘ends’ in the same way that they are for deluded Whites. For misguided Whites, these causes are the ‘ends’ that will cumulatively shape ‘a better world.’ For Jews they are only ever means; the ‘end’ always being the best possible outcome for Jews, and the final victory of Judaism. Thus, within every significant popular debate, one often finds a lively discussion within organized Jewry on whether it is ‘good for the Jews.’ This means that Jewry is often very tactically flexible, adjusting its ideological sails in response to changing social, political and economic winds. While the priority of the group is always undisputed (the furtherance of ethnic interests), there can be disagreement on how this can best be achieved. As political, economic and social contexts are dynamic, Jewish discussions are always built around the assessment and ongoing evaluation of all potential outcomes and their potential impact on Jewish interests. Such debates and evaluations are ceaseless within organized Jewry.
These sometimes lively debates and arguments are often highlighted by Jewish apologists eager to present an image that contradicts the ‘clannish canard.’ After all, how much unity can exist in a group that is apparently always squabbling? This question might persuade the shallow thinker to abandon the Jewish Question, but the answer is, of course, that an extreme amount of unity can exist in such a group. Tactical discussions, arguments, and even fist-fights can occur within a football team — but the team is always united in its desires and goals. They want to win, and no animosity within the team will ever even remotely match the sense of rivalry they feel for their opponents. The collectivist Jews have never allowed their internal debates to escalate into civil war and fratricidal mania in the same way that the individualistic Europeans have done since the dawn of history.
In the same way, the political spectra that preoccupy Europeans are not a feature of the Jewish mental landscape. For Jews, ultimately there is no Left or Right; no Capitalism or Communism; no nationalism or globalism. There is only one spectrum: what is bad for the Jews and what is good for the Jews. This spectrum represents the very pinnacle of ethnocentrism, and each and every aspect of host nation life is evaluated according to this spectrum and this spectrum alone.
With this understanding, we can move to a more accurate prediction of Jewish responses to Brexit. Rather than assuming overwhelming negativity, we can predict that these responses will vary, that there may be some level of disagreement on Jewish priorities, and that above all they will be most concerned with what is good for the group rather than Britain.
One of the first significant Jewish anticipations of Brexit was published three months ago by the Jewish Chronicle. The article, written by Jewish political historian Geoffrey Alderman, explicitly asked the question, “Will Brexit be good for us Jews?” Alderman is one of those pompous members of the Jewish community who is often outspoken and explicit on the subject of Jewish interests, often to the annoyance of his more discreet co-ethnics. In the past he has self-described as a ‘communal gadfly,’ and I personally found his 1983 monograph The Jewish Community in British Politics to be so startlingly direct in its exploration of Jewish machinations at Westminster that I deem it required reading for anyone interested in the Jewish Question.
In his treatment of the Brexit debate, Alderman is no less direct and explicit. Alderman confessed that he voted to stay in during the 1975 referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of what was then called the European Economic Community. Although he states that he “did so on grounds that were fundamentally economic,” he acknowledges (as explained above) that these grounds were nothing more than a means to Jewish ends. Alderman did indeed feel “that the fragile UK economy needed access to European markets” but the reason he was so concerned about the economy was that “this fragile economy might otherwise provide a fertile soil in which racism would grow and prosper, which would certainly not be good for the Jews.” Now that the National Front is vanquished, Alderman explained his more ambivalent contemporary attitude towards the EU. That the EU facilitated the easy movement of Jews through Europe and into Britain was undoubtedly good for the Jews, but in its present form he deemed it too large and unmanageable for Jews to finally achieve their long-desired goal of making anti-Semitism illegal across the Continent. Tactically speaking, Alderman advocates a focus on achieving Jewish goals on a national rather than supranational level. He believes that Europe is a cake best devoured slice by slice rather than all at once.
Alderman also addresses the role of Britain in the EU as a tactical advocate for Israel. Many Jews believe that Brexit will be a negative because the “British voice in Europe is on the whole a voice sympathetic to Israel; that as a member state of the EU the UK is automatically a party to various agreements between the EU and Israel, and that Brexit would bring this sympathetic voice and these agreements to an end.” Alderman dismisses these arguments by pointing to the great age of Jewish political power, and suggests that Jewish interests can be just as easily protected with Britain out of the EU. He writes that “other bilateral agreements between Israel and the UK could easily be negotiated in their stead. … British Jewry knows its way around Westminster and Whitehall. For more than 350 years, we have defended shechita and brit milah in these governmental contexts [author’s note: these are frequently employed euphemisms for much broader Jewish legislative interests]. Why should we not continue to do so? If we agree that the British voice in Europe is on the whole sympathetic to Israel and to other Jewish concerns, Brexit will of course still that voice. But there are other voices — not least that of Germany — that will continue to be heard.”
Alderman’s take on Brexit is therefore that it won’t represent a major setback for the Jews. As an older Jew and a historian, Alderman is more aware of the potency of Jewish power in national contexts than his younger counterparts. Why worry about a modern independent Britain, when Jewish interests were successfully achieved “for more than 350 years” in an independent Britain that was even more ethnically homogenous and thus better equipped to present obstacles to such interests? Why worry about losing the British voice in the EU when other major nations like Germany are also under Jewish influence and will continue to ensure the best deal for Israel? Stephen Pollard, another older journalist at the Jewish Chronicle echoed the same point in ‘Brexit: It’s a wonderful day for Britain — and its Jews’ when he remarked that “The Friends of Israel groups will have exactly the same job to do post-Brexit as they do now. No more, and no less.” The approach here is one of confidence and tactical flexibility. The EU project was merely a means to an end, and even though the context will have changed Jews will “have exactly the same job to do.”
In addition to the blasé attitude of Alderman and Pollard, some Jews have fully welcomed Brexit and the weakening of the EU. Writing for The Jerusalem Post (Brexit — So is it good for the Jews?), Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman report on a recent speech given by Palestinian President Abbas at the European parliament in which Abbas claimed that Israel was poisoning the Palestinian water supply. The journalists add that Abbas was given a “thunderous 30-second standing ovation” at its conclusion. Cooper and Brackman argue that Brexit and the sudden weakening of the EU will “derail the EU’s intense pressuring of Israel to accept — even sans direct negotiations with the Palestinians — a one-sided French peace initiative.” This attitude reflects an element within Jewry, represented also by Alderman and Pollard, that is becoming pessimistic about the value of the EU as a tool for achieving Jewish goals. As Cooper and Brackman state: “It’s been 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down. This means the EU had an entire generation to deliver on the promises of creating a new Europe that would continue and extend the progress made since World War II by instituting a common currency and encouraging economic integration, free movement between member countries, while promoting mutual respect among the free citizens of the new United States of Europe.”
While great changes have been wrought across Europe, Jews still don’t feel secure, and the lack of EU legislation explicitly outlawing anti-Semitism continues to frustrate. Jews strongly desire mass immigration into Europe — but they also want Europeans to protect them during the volatile period of the Continent’s demographic death. The mixed-race population of the future may prove pliable to Jewish interests, but this is still a dangerous early stage in that process, and separate ethnicities remain strong and potentially hazardous to Jews. The EU has been effective in some areas, but not as effective in the area of Jewish security as had been hoped. Cooper and Brackman state that “the primary beneficiaries of this political failure are the extreme nationalist parties — Le Pen’s National Front in France, Geert Wilders’ Dutch Party for Freedom, Austria’s Freedom Party, and Fidesz and Jobbik in Hungary among them — that are now mainstream political and social actors on their nations’ social power grids. Many are the proud bearers of xenophobic, populist platforms that include whitewashing or minimizing the crimes of the Nazi era. Jews rightfully fearful of the anti-Semitism among old and new Muslim neighbors in Europe can take little solace in the specter of a fragmented continent led by movements whose members rail against Muslims but also despise Jews.”
The approach here is that the EU was “a good idea at the time,” but is becoming increasingly difficult for Jews to manage. In fact, the flaws of the EU are seen as a direct cause of the rise of xenophobic European nationalisms. Like the approach of Alderman and Pollard, Cooper and Brackman seem to suggest that a return to Jewish influence on a national rather than supranational level may be more effective at achieving Jewish goals and security in the longer term.
Dissenting voices —and these are by far in the majority — argue that Europe must be compelled to undergo its demographic death as a Continent and sooner rather than later. Supranational government in the form of the EU is seen as the most efficient means to this end. This less patient approach is more typical of younger Jews who have grown up in a multicultural environment they perhaps take for granted. For these younger Jews, the capabilities of the EU as the engine of mass immigration are simply irreplaceable and a slide into a Europe of nation-states represents an unknown prospect that they are not comfortable with. Ari Paul, writing in The Forward, states that a reversion to this scenario would be a “return to the state of affairs that gave us two world wars and the Holocaust.” To these Jews, Brexit represents a clear and present danger to multiculturalism, and thus to one of Judaism’s chief ambitions for Europe. Paul, adds in a more recent article that “Europe’s Jews are proudly part of the fabric of Western plurality and liberalism. … They should be against any agenda that seeks to turn back the clock on multiculturalism.” Similarly, Danny Rich at the Jewish Chronicle worries that the British will become less altruistic towards immigrants as the country witnesses a rise in “narrow nationalism and a mood of selfishness.” Heaven forbid that the British should develop a sense of self-interest.
Underpinning this position is a disagreement with the more confident Alderman perspective on where the biggest threat to Jews and Jewish interests emanate from, and, more generally, a heightened degree of insecurity. Jews like Ari Paul are convinced that the gravest threat in Europe is the latent nationalism of the White masses. As Paul puts it: “If the choice is between maintaining provincial nationalism and establishing transnational governance, the latter, no matter how flawed, is always the better option.” Paul rails that about European nationalisms: “Hungary’s Jobbik Party is deeply anti-Semitic, and in Greece, the Golden Dawn openly models itself on the Nazis. These parties are not pariahs and are very much the first cousins of groups like National Front and anyone else who seeks to emulate what has just happened in the United Kingdom.” Faced with the critique of Alderman, Cooper and Brackman that the EU has failed to guarantee Jewish safety in the dangerous early multicultural period, Paul insists that the focus must remain on the threat of White nationalism alone (rather than from Islamic anti-Semitism also), and advocates for a further tightening of the noose on European freedoms rather than a panicked retreat into traditional Jewish ‘holding patterns’ of the type referred to by Alderman. In the race to victory, this approach calls for an acceleration rather than cautious braking. Paul insists that “the solution is to make the E.U.’s policy more favorable to multiculturalism and migration” and that “this is a case for strengthening the apparatus of liberal governance, not for dissolving the bonds.” Never has the appearance of ‘liberal’ in a sentence appeared more oxymoronic.
Although Paul is based in New York, his approach to Brexit finds significant resonance in Britain. Remain support among British Jews was almost unanimous, with Richard Verber, executive Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews commenting in the wake of Brexit that “it will be evident that the vast majority of the Jewish community voted to remain.” With the resignation of David Cameron, Jews have lost a dependable ally for their interests, and the recent devaluation of the British currency has also been an unmitigated loss for Jews: Newmark claims that “The potential or the actual damage to the economy will perhaps disproportionately hit Jewish charity groups.” A report called “Faith Matters” revealed that the value of British-Jewish in-group philanthropy is worth over £1 billion pounds a year. Since many of Britain’s Jewish charities disperse their aid in Israel or other to international Jewish causes, the dropping value of their money will make a dent in Jewish financial power worldwide.
More important, however is the fact that Jewish fear of a Brexit-inspired rise in White nationalism is becoming acute. According to Jeremy Newmark, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement and a firm proponent for Remain, Brexit “gives British Jewry and European Jewry huge cause for concern.” Newmark argues that the result “is likely to act as a massive boost and a recruiting sergeant for racist and nationalist parties” throughout Britain and the EU. He added that it could also act as a catalyst for other member states to fortify borders and refuse to allow the entry of immigrants. “The collapse of the EU itself is a real possibility on the table,” said Newmark. Much like Paul’s apprehension regarding a reversion to a Europe of sovereign nation-states, the vote, he said, “brings us very much into uncharted territory.” The blasé approach of Alderman and Pollard aside, the reaction of British Jews is overwhelmingly one of panic. Nick Cohen, a journalist for The Guardian and The Spectator, has claimed that Brexit has created “the conditions for a mass far-right movement in England,” a prospect he describes as “terrifying.” Unlike Alderman and Pollard, these Jews perceive the referendum result less as a vote against supranational government and more as a vote against mass immigration.
This is where Jewish fear reaches its apex. Cohen explains that mainstream politicians will not usher in immigration reform likely to satisfy the renewed hunger of the British people for hegemony over their own territory. The inevitable failure of the Conservatives in this regard will leave the door wide open for millions of voters to see the political establishment as a cabal of traitors. As Cohen puts it: “I fear that millions of voters and their leaders in the press and on the streets will say that the’ guilty men’ have ‘lied’, ‘betrayed’ and ‘stabbed us in the back’. The opportunities for the brutish leaders and financiers of UKIP, and the greater brutes of Britain First and the BNP appear dizzying.”
Jews are nothing if not international, and it should not be surprising that the shock waves of Brexit have further impacted Jewish perceptions of the rise of Donald Trump and, more importantly, Trumpism. The Guardian’s hate-filled Jonathan Freeland remarks that: “There are lessons here aplenty for Americans contemplating their own appointment with nationalist, nativist populism in November. They may think that there are not enough of the white, poor, angry, and left-behind to win an election. But Brexit suggests that when that constituency can be allied to a conservative cause that has millions of other, more ideologically-motivated devotees, victory is possible. It suggests that hostility to migrants, a cynical trampling on the truth, and a cavalier disdain for expertise can work wonders, such is the loathing of anything that can be associated with the ‘elite’.”
Looking at the demographic breakdown of the Brexit vote, particularly by age, I fear that this is the last roll of the dice for Europeans to assert their interests and reclaim their territories in full. But it is a comforting sign indeed that so many are turning their back on the “expertise” to which Freeland refers — the expertise of the race relations ‘think tanks,’ of the anti-racist tsars and the treasonous academics and politicians whose day in the sun is slowly but surely coming to an end. Surveying Jewish responses to Brexit we can see their priorities, their interpretations, their search for silver linings, and their fears.
There are limits to this success that our people have achieved, but we may allow ourselves to take a breath and enjoy the moment before pressing on. There is still much to do. November looms and after that a much greater task — to transform Brexit, Trumpism and all forms of European self-assertion into a movement for racial survival. What Freedland said with horror, we now say with focus, determination and joy: Victory is possible.