Since Steven Bannon is going to be one of the president’s most senior aide, he and the website he runs, Breitbart News, deserve an unusual amount of scrutiny. But Breitbart, the site Bannon calls “the platform for the alt-right,” read ardently by white supremacists and anti-Semites, has launched a campaign to shut down critics who say that its longtime director is himself an anti-Jewish racist.
The Breitbart counter-offensive has come in a string of articles published this week in which Jewish writers and editors argue that Bannon cannot possibly be an anti-Semite, as his ex-wife told a court, since the site he ran until August strongly supports Israel and its far-right, nationalist government.
The testimony came from pro-Israel ideologues, who freely hurl accusations of anti-Semitism at rights activists and journalists for reporting, accurately, on abuses by the Israeli government. They are less willing, it seems, to pay much attention to the lengthy screeds posted beneath Breitbart articles by readers obsessed with the supposed plotting of Jewish bankers and financiers who fund progressive causes.
The first to write was David Horowitz, a key figure in funding Islamophobic “research” in the United States and Israel. Horowitz attempted to argue that critics of Bannon “have lost all connection to reality and are now hyping their most ludicrously paranoid fantasies,” a case he immediately undermined by repeating the conspiracy theory he’s helped to nourish, that “Obama and Hillary are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.”