A prominent paleo-libertarian tells what he thinks of Israel

Justin Raimondo, featured contributor at The American Conservative, Chronicles, and other paleoconservative publications, writes:

“We understand”—and we don’t care. All we care about is that shitty little country in the Middle East which is fast turning into a racist theocracy and thrives on the $3 billion of taxpayer dollars we shovel down its greedy maw every year. We don’t care about democracy, liberty, the right of human beings to live and breathe—all we care about is our narrow little tribal ambitions.

I’m reminded how, about eight years ago, an article at Vdare by the brilliant Robert Locke (who since then seems to have disappeared from the scene) proposing the non-violent transfer of Arabs from the lands west of the Jordan resulted in Locke’s being expelled by The American Conservative, where he had been a contributor. Anyone want to lay odds on Raimondo’s being expelled from TAC for calling Israel a “shi**y little country?

Locke’s “Transfer” article (which I have linked many times) was published in July 2003. Here, from January 2004, is a follow-up on Locke’s expulsion from TAC, including a circular e-mail by TAC editor Scott McConnell and my reply to him.

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Brad H. writes:

Certainly I could have missed it, but I haven’t seen any articles written by Raimondo at Alternative Right nor is he listed as a contributing editor there. The editors are Richard Spencer and Alex Kurtagic. The contributing editors are listed as Peter Brimelow, Paul E. Gottfried, Mark Hackard, Richard Hoste, James Kalb, Nina Kouprianova, Colin Liddell, Scott Locklin, Andy Nowicki, Keith Preston, and Derek Turner. Even if Raimondo has had an article published there, does that mean Alternative Right necessarily agrees with everything he publishes elsewhere? Of course not. And Raimondo is not a conservative, which you seem to acknowledge by labeling him as a paleolibertarian.

LA replies:

I didn’t say he was an editor at Alt-Right. I said he was a contributor, meaning a writer, which I thought he was. However, a google search for him at the address of alternative right, while it turns up mentions of him, does not immediately turn up references that look like articles by him. So maybe he’s never published there. I’ll change the entry to reflect this.

In any case, I was not calling on Alt-Right or TAC or Chronicles to expel him for his anti-Israel, anti-Semitic comment. It would be absurd for me to say that, since I’ve already said those publications are anti-Semitic. I was just drawing attention to the standards that govern things within the paleocon universe, namely that Robert Locke’s reasonably argued if radical article on Transfer at Vdare got him expelled from TAC, while, obviously, the paleocon world will have no problem with Raimondo’s “shi**y little country” remark.

Finally, whether or not Raimondo calls himself a conservative, he certainly is a fixture in the paleoconservative universe. As you know, many libertarians live a conveniently double life, publishing and making their living within the conservative world. So it’s silly to try to exculpate him or the paleoconservative movement by saying that he is not a paleoconservative. They’re all part of the same scene, sharing the same hatred of Israel.

Dan R. writes:

While I mostly agree with your analysis of Israel, it’s only fair to note that in all likelihood Raimondo’s description of Israel as “that shitty little country” is a deliberate though unattributed quote from either the late French ambassador to the U.K., Daniel Bernard, or, as I vaguely recall, a female British socialite who also used the term. It seems to be an in-joke among some opponents of Israel, and I recall Joe Sobran using the term once as well. The difference it makes is admittedly slight, but their use in this context does tend to soften the words a bit.)

LA replies:

Of course it is a quote of that infamous statement. But what difference does that make? It’s the same statement, expressing the same animus against Jews, as the original.

Dan R. replies:

As I said, admittedly slight. I suppose the function it serves is to give a titter to something that was shocking in its original pronouncement, thus softening the effect. A perverse side to this is that it gives legitimacy and currency to the term, so one might argue that Raimondo’s repetition is actually worse than in the original. Plus, I’m not sure Raimondo would have used the term if it had occurred to him originally. “Racist theocracy” is more his style.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 03, 2011 08:23 AM | Send

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