A Rightwing Pundit’s Anti-Semitism Problem

In the past several decades, anti-Semitism has been rare in the mainstream of American conservatism, confined mostly to the extremes. But Douglas Murray points to a recent instance where it has appeared, more than once, in the twitter feed of one Pedro L. Gonzalez, a journalist currently holding a one-year fellowship at the Claremont Institute, a prestigious conservative think tank.

On the penultimate day of 2021, a left-wing economist named David Rothschild was doing what leftist activists do on social media. On this occasion, he was tweeting that “Republic intellectuals *despise* the Constitution.” Gonzalez responded to this low-grade click-bait by saying “Libs openly flout laws they don’t like—see sanctuary cities and DACA—but will still preach to you about the constitution. These people are as dumb as they are repulsive.” He added a photo of Rothschild.

There is already a certain problem here. For to accuse other people of being physically unattractive one must be either in a playground or in a position of extraordinary Adonis-ism oneself. You can Google Mr. Gonzalez and judge for yourself.

Then he wrote this: “That Rothschild physiognomy is pure nightmare fuel.” “Rothschild physiognomy.” Even reading those words in the 2020s causes a degree of whiplash. But it turns out that Mr. Gonzalez has a bit of a thing for the phrase. In responding to another tweet—this one from a lawyer coincidentally named Ari Cohn—he returned to the physiognomy question. Tweeting out the most unflattering photo he could find of Cohn, Mr. Gonzalez wrote: “Oh look another cursed goblin physiognomy.”

I think we can safely say that in these recent communiques, Mr. Gonzalez is sincerely enjoying playing with anti-Semitism. He is treating himself to some of it. Indulging in it. Enjoying it. Specifically thrilled at the opportunity to revive execrable motifs and notions that recall Nazi eugenicists and their obsession with über– and untermenschen. . . .

Read more at Common Sense

More about: Anti-Semitism, Conservatism, Rothschilds

Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria