Far-right firebrand and vocal Donald Trump supporter Ann Coulter says she is fine with Jews being in the United States just as long as their numbers remain small relative to the population as a whole.
She made this and other astonishingly bigoted comments against Muslims, Somalis, Mexicans and just about anyone else who isn’t a wealthy Christian of European ancestry, in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today program on 18 May.
“Americans don’t want immigration,” Coulter said, demanding a complete halt. “They don’t want any more. Why can’t we have a home?”
BBC interviewer James Naughtie challenged her: “If someone had said that about Jewish immigration into New York a century ago, would you have approved of it?”
“Oh God, not the Jews again,” the exasperated Coulter exclaimed.
“That’s like two percent of the population,” she added. “That did not overwhelm our culture.”
So Coulter is happy to have Jews in the country, just not too many.
Where it was mentioned in passing, more attention was given to the fact that Coulter called the BBC interviewer “babycakes.”
This is far from Coulter’s first anti-Jewish outburst, and yet she continues to find no shortage of media platforms.
But how does she keep getting away with it?
During a Republican debate last September, Coulter expressed her frustration at the number of times presidential hopefuls mentioned Israel.
“How many f—ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” she tweeted.
A series of tweets about alleged inflated Jewish influence prompted accusations of bias.
The Anti-Defamation League called Coulter’s tweets “ugly, spiteful and anti-Semitic.”
But Coulter dismissed the concerns as “totally fake outrage from frauds who want to continue the dump of third-worlders on the country, including Muslim Jihadists, and voted for the guy who just gave a nuke to Iran.”
“Anyone with a pulse knows I am pro-Israel and against the enemies of the Jewish people,” she added. “I have a whole chapter in my current book praising Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s the people attacking me who couldn’t care less about Israel or Jews.”
Defenders of anti-Semitism
Despite Coulter’s refusal to apologize for the tweets, one could still find staunch supporters of Israel willing to defend her.
In a piece for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, for instance, Dennis Prager, editor of the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, jumped through all sorts of hoops to excuse Coulter’s history of anti-Jewish remarks, including a previous statement that the world would be a better place if all Jews converted to Christianity.
“Ann Coulter is not an anti-Semite,” Prager declared.
“We are very right to be worried about hatred of Jews and Israel,” Prager added. “But Israel hatred and anti-Zionism – today’s expressions of anti-Semitism – aren’t coming from Ann Coulter or her side of the political spectrum. They are almost always to be found on the left – in America and everywhere else outside the Muslim world. Our universities, for example, are the center of Israel hatred in America.”
Similarly, Seth Lipsky, the founding editor of the English edition of The Jewish Daily Forward, took to Israel’s Haaretz to declare that “Ann Coulter is not behaving like an anti-Semite so much as like a Democrat.”
Lipsky was willing to give her a pass because “Ann Coulter’s candidate for president – Donald Trump … has what the headline writer in The Jewish Daily Forward calls ‘the strongest Jewish ties of all [Republican] candidates.’”
Lipsky also noted Trump’s warm praise for Netanyahu. He reasoned that Coulter couldn’t be so bad because she is backing a candidate who – allegedly unlike President Barack Obama – is a staunch supporter of Israel.
In other words, at least for some pro-Israel hardliners, it is excusable to express anti-Jewish bigotry just as long as you are not critical of Israel or – heaven forbid – an anti-Zionist.