Commentary Magazine


In the Matter of Pat Robertson

Is Pat Robertson guilty of the charge of anti-Semitism that has lately been hurled at him?

It is an important question, with much more riding on it than Robertson’s personal reputation alone. He is, after all, one of the most prominent Protestant preachers in America, commanding a huge daily audience on a cable-TV network (the Christian Broadcast Network, or CBN) which he himself owns. He is also the creator of and the moving spirit behind the American Center for Law and Justice, the most prominent of the various groups that have sprung up in the past few years to fight in the courts for a less restrictive interpretation of what the First Amendment permits by way of religious expression in “the public square.” Finally, and most consequentially, he is the founder of the Christian Coalition, a political organization whose influence within the Republican party, and especially its newly dominant conservative wing, has grown by leaps and bounds; and though Robertson has turned over the running of the organization to his young protégé, Ralph Reed, he remains its titular head and retains a deciding voice in its councils.

If, then, given his centrality, Robertson really is an anti-Semite, it would suggest that the conservative Christian community is still infected at its very heart with this ancient disease and is still as dangerous to Jews as many of them viscerally fear.

The most broadly based statement of the case for regarding Robertson as an anti-Semite has been made by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the controversial report it issued last year under the title The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance & Pluralism in America1 More recently the indictment has been rehashed and extended by Michael Lind in the New York Review of Books, where a follow-up piece by Jacob Heilbrunn containing additional documentation has also appeared.

It is, on the face of it, a very strong case. Robertson has singled out “cosmopolitan, liberal, secular Jews” who want “unrestricted freedom for smut and pornography and the murder of the unborn,” and he has attacked them for their participation in the “ongoing attempt to undermine the public strength of Christianity.” He has also repeatedly warned Jews in threatening tones of “a Christian backlash of major proportions”:

The part that Jewish intellectuals and media activists have played in the assault on Christianity may very possibly prove to be a grave mistake. . . . For centuries, Christians have supported the dream of Zion, and they have supported Jews in their dream of a national homeland. But American Jews invested great energy in attacking these very allies. That investment may pay a terrible dividend.

Again, referring in italics to the “outcry against a Roman Catholic Carmelite convent established in a building which has been standing outside the walls of Auschwitz,” Robertson has asked: “What perversity would lead a small embattled minority to begin highly publicized efforts all over the world to enrage and alienate the largest bodies within the 1.8-billion-member Christian religion?” And in a similar vein Robertson has declared (with the italics once more coming from him):

It is obviously one thing to ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust are never repeated again. It is equally obvious that any group should defend itself against bigotry and oppression. . . . However, it is quite another thing for a strident minority within a minority of only 5,000,000 to regard the expression of the deeply held beliefs of the majority as so repugnant that it undertakes the systematic vilification, weakening, and ultimate suppression of the majority point of view from society.

Then there is Robertson’s best-selling book of 1991, The New World Order, which is only touched upon briefly in the ADL report but forms the main subject of the much longer, more detailed, and more damning expose by Lind in the New York Review. In that book Robertson subscribes to a crackpot theory according to which bankers like the Rothschilds, Paul Warburg, and Jacob Schiff were major players in a centuries-old but still active conspiracy to take over the world. To be sure, Robertson goes out of his way to avoid identifying these people as Jews; he calls them Germans or Europeans. But every once in a while the cat slips out of the bag, as when he traces the link between the Rothschilds and the occult sect with which the conspiracy originated in the 18th century:

That same year, 1782, the headquarters of Illuminated Freemasonry moved to Frankfurt, a center controlled by the Rothschild family. It is reported that in Frankfurt Jews were for the first time admitted to the order of Freemasons. If indeed members of the Rothschild family or their close associates were polluted by the occultism of . . . Illuminated Freemasonry, we may have discovered the link between the occult and the world of high finance. . . . New money suddenly poured into the Frankfurt lodge, and from there a well-funded plan for world revolution was carried forth.

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In response to the recent charges against him, Robertson has vehemently denied that in speaking of European bankers, he is actually talking about the Jews:

I deeply regret that anyone in the Jewish community believes that my description of international bankers and use of the phrase “European bankers” in my book refers to Jews. . . . I have never intentionally used what some would describe as code words to portray Jewish business interests. I condemn and repudiate in the strongest terms those who would use such code words as a cover for anti-Semitism.

The evident sincerity of this protestation raises the possibility that Robertson is unaware of the anti-Semitic provenance of some of the ideas to which he subscribes in The New World Order. Now as it happens, several decades ago I myself gave the novelists Truman Capote and Gore Vidal the benefit of precisely such a doubt when they began complaining that Jews had come to dominate the American literary world and were using their power to promote one another while excluding everyone else (except, in Vidal’s wisecrack, for an occasional “OK goy”). This was a notion bearing a striking resemblance to the charge that had been made by anti-Semites in Vienna and Berlin in the 1920’s and that had then been taken up by the Nazis. Nevertheless, I said, the taboo on the open expression of hostility toward Jews since the fall of Hitler had been so effective that Vidal and Capote, like almost everyone else in America under a certain age, were in all probability unfamiliar with the traditional ideologies of anti-Semitism; and it was this very ignorance that had emboldened them to spread an idea they would have been ashamed to embrace if they had known of its history and pedigree.

I still think this may have been true of Capote, but I learned to know better about Vidal,2 and I am wary of making the same mistake again in the case of Robertson. Sincere though his disavowal strikes me, there is no blinking the fact that some of the sources on which he relies in The New World Order (including books by Eustace Mullins and Nesta Webster) are blatantly anti-Semitic.3

Of course it may well be that Robertson has never actually read those books and that the material he draws from them was supplied without context by a research assistant. Interestingly, Heilbrunn cites several examples of passages from Mullins and Webster either quoted or paraphrased by Robertson from which the explicit references to Jews have been eliminated. If Robertson did that himself, it would mean that he was fully aware of the anti-Semitic character of his sources and still accepted them as credible. But even if a research assistant or ghost writer did it, these passages give off an unmistakable whiff of anti-Semitism that Robertson really should have been able to detect.

The conclusion is thus inescapable that Robertson, whether knowingly or unknowingly, has subscribed to and purveyed ideas that have an old and well-established anti-Semitic pedigree.

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Yet everyone, even Robertson’s most dogged prosecutors, recognizes that there is more to the story than that. For if Robertson is an anti-Semite, he is a most peculiar one. As the columnist Don Feder (an Orthodox Jew) notes:

Pat Robertson must be an entirely new breed of anti-Semite—an anti-Semite who invited an Orthodox rabbi to address his convention, has a legal-action arm that filed an amicus brief in support of hasidic Jews, and employs a Jew as his chief lobbyist.

But what to my mind is even more significant and more telling, this “new breed of anti-Semite” has also been one of the staunchest defenders of Israel in America. Even The New World Order itself, for all its anti-Semitic baggage, is peppered with friendly references to Israel; and in constructing his argument against the idea of world government (which he sees as literally inspired by Satan), Robertson makes a special point of the danger it poses to Israel:

Rest assured that the next objective of the presently constituted new world order, under the present United Nations, will be to make Israel its target. . . . A recalcitrant nation whose action does not accord with United Nations policy may be disciplined by military force.

On top of his fervent political support of Israel, Robertson has donated large sums of money to Jewish causes and organizations (hundreds of thousands of dollars just to help Russian-Jewish émigrés alone, as the ADL report acknowledges). Here is how he describes all this himself in replying to the charges of anti-Semitism that have been leveled against him:

On Christmas Day 1974, at the height of the Arab oil embargo, I interviewed then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in his office in Jerusalem. That night, while looking out on the Temple Mount, I thought of this tiny nation so isolated and vulnerable. Then I vowed to God that whatever happened, however unpopular the task, I and the organization I controlled would stand with Israel and the Jewish people.

I have kept that vow. In the mid-1970’s, I publicly denounced the United Nations resolution equating Zionism with racism. I have personally lobbied the governments of the U.S. and Britain against the introduction of high-performance armaments in the Middle East against Israel. The Christian Broadcasting Network has contributed generously to the United Jewish Appeal. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, we have also provided financial support for Operation Exodus, a resettlement effort of Russian Jews. For eight years, our affiliate humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing, has sent scores of Jewish children on Aliyah to learn about Jewish culture in Israel.

Michael Lind, Frank Rich (who has turned his column in the New York Times into an echo chamber for Lind’s article), and a number of others have compared Robertson to the Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, presumably because both subscribe to off-the-wall conspiracy theories involving the Jews. But the comparison is intellectually absurd and morally outrageous. Farrakhan attacks Israel while Robertson defends it; and whereas Farrakhan calls Judaism a “gutter religion,” Robertson speaks throughout The New World Order with the greatest respect of the faith of “the God of Jacob.”

None of this cuts any ice with Robertson’s critics, and neither are they in the least impressed with his fervent denial that he is an anti-Semite. Farrakhan, too, they rightly point out, denies that he is an anti-Semite; and so, I would add, do Gore Vidal on the Left and the political commentators Pat Buchanan and Joseph Sobran on the Right.

But consider the differences here. When Buchanan was charged with anti-Semitism, he answered with a snarl, defiantly refusing to “retract a single word” of the offensive things he had written about Israel and its Jewish friends in America.4 Sobran’s response to the same charge was to become even more offensive and more openly anti-Semitic.5 Over on the Left, Vidal adopted the strategy of heaping abuse on his critics and casting blame back on them for arousing anti-Semitism; and in another part of the forest, Farrakhan “demonstrated” that he was not anti-Semitic by getting out his violin and playing the Mendelssohn concerto.

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By contrast, Robertson could and did offer the powerful rejoinder just quoted above, and he could point as well to earlier statements condemning anti-Semitism which there could be no suspicion of his having been pushed by Jewish pressure into making. Thus, for example in his book, The New Millennium (1990), in a chapter entitled “The Rise of Anti-Semitism,” which expressed anxiety over a “a rising tide of anti-Jewish feeling the world over,” he wrote: “Intolerance in any quarter is wrong, but inasmuch as we are able, we must ensure that the trend throughout the 1990’s remains in favor of a Jewish homeland in Israel and not for the elimination of the Jews.”

In a typically smart-alecky piece in the New Republic, Michael Kinsley—the same Michael Kinsley whose sharp eye was conveniently unable to spot any anti-Semitism in the writings of his television partner Pat Buchanan—makes easy fun of this sentence through “close textual analysis.” But clumsily written though the sentence is, the fact remains that it clearly reaffirms a determination to fight for the survival of Israel against all who wish to destroy it—something, to put it mildly, that neither Buchanan nor Sobran nor Vidal nor Farrakhan has ever done (and anyone in search of a good laugh might try to imagine any of those people giving money to the United Jewish Appeal).

Since Robertson’s support of Israel is undeniable, the usual tactic of those who wish to convict him of anti-Semitism is to denigrate that support by explaining that in his apocalyptic theology, the return of the Jews to the Promised Land is a necessary prelude to the second coming of Jesus and their ultimate conversion to Christianity. But surely in politics it is actions and not motives that count. And in any event, since Jews do not share Robertson’s belief in Jesus, why should they worry about what he thinks will happen after the second coming, in which they also do not believe?

In The Real Anti-Semitism in America, a book written in 1982 in collaboration with his wife Ruth, the late Nathan Perlmutter took up the question being raised even then as to whether the friendship of Christian fundamentalists for Israel was “nothing more than a patiently played conversion ploy.” Perlmutter, who was national director of the ADL—an ADL rather different from the one of today—did not think that the Christian Right was leading an “assault on tolerance and pluralism in America,” and his way of looking at the theological underpinnings of its support for Israel is still relevant:

Fundamentalists do indeed interpret Scripture as predicting the messiah risen when Jews are returned to Israel and in time promising the acceptance by Jews of Jesus Christ. It is neither our intention to be flippant nor disrespectful when we say, When that day comes, we’ll see. Meanwhile, however, we need all the friends we have to support Israel. . . . If the messiah comes, on that very day we’ll consider our options. Meanwhile, let’s praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

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So much for the doubt cast by Robertson’s critics on the value of his support of Israel. But what about his attacks on Jews in present-day America? The ADL report cites these attacks without further argument as more evidence of anti-Semitism, and many would just as easily agree. Yet the case is not quite so clear-cut as all that. For unlike his paranoid historical fantasies about Jewish bankers (and unlike his equally paranoid conception of how the Establishment in America works today, not to mention his demented estimate of the power wielded by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission), the substance of what Robertson says about the Jewish community in contemporary America is on the whole accurate and within the bounds of fair comment.

After all, it is the simple truth that most American Jews are liberals (about 75 percent, if their voting behavior is taken as the yardstick) and that, as such, they have lined up behind policies that are repugnant to the conservative Christian community. Indeed, from the veritably religious passion many Jews have lately invested in the currently most fashionable of these causes, one might think that the only commandments Moses brought down from Sinai were “Thou shalt not oppose abortion” and “Thou shalt not oppose gay rights.”

Furthermore, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, which are not, strictly speaking, Jewish but whose most visible spokesmen are often of Jewish origin, have also taken the lead in the fight against efforts to control the unrestricted spread of pornography, while organizations like the American Jewish Congress, explicitly claiming to speak in the name of the community, have been in the forefront of the campaign to enforce an interpretation of the First Amendment that would bar any and all religious expression from the public square. The result of such efforts, writes Judge Robert H. Bork, is that

The Ten Commandments are banned from the schoolroom, but pornographic videos are permitted. Or, as someone has quipped about the notorious sculpture by Andres Serrano, a crucifix may not be exhibited—unless it is dipped in urine, in which case it will be awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Far from concealing or making light of all this, liberal Jews are proud of it, often congratulating themselves on their great contribution to the liberal movement. They even link their commitment to that movement directly with the prophetic tradition and the moral imperatives of Judaism, to which they are convinced they are being loyal in being liberal.

By what right then is the cry of anti-Semitism raised when someone like Robertson targets them for criticism? Can it honestly be claimed that Robertson is wrong when he accuses secular liberal Jews of fighting “to undermine the public strength of Christianity”? Is he lying when he charges that “Jewish intellectuals and media activists” have ridiculed and vilified the religious beliefs of the Christian majority, and especially of the fundamentalists?

These questions answer themselves, but they still leave open the issue of Robertson’s threatening tone—and here I think he deserves to be castigated. He has every right to criticize Jews for taking positions he considers immoral and dangerous and to characterize those positions in the most unflattering terms. But in resorting to intimidation, as he for all practical purposes does when he warns of a Christian backlash against this “strident minority,” he lends credibility to and reinforces the fear that Christian fundamentalism still inspires in many Jews and that helps account for their stubborn adherence to some of the very policies against which he inveighs.

It is a genuine fear with a great deal of history behind it (a history, incidentally, that Robertson sometimes seems unaware of, as when he claims that “for centuries” Christians “have supported Jews in their dream of a national homeland”), and it is kept alive by the talk about America as a “Christian nation” that is occasionally heard among evangelical Protestants.

But if it is true that Robertson’s threatening tone feeds this fear, it is also true that he has at the same time tried to dispel it by vigorously and unequivocally affirming his dedication to the separation of church and state:

Despite claims to the contrary, I have never suggested or even imagined any type of political action to make America a “Christian nation.” While it should never mean that religious ideals and ideas are to be excluded from political discourse, I agree that church and state should be separated because the separation of church and state is good for religion, religious institutions, and the religious liberty of believers.

And for good measure he adds:

These are not merely words of acquiescence to the acrimonious writings of a few—they are the enunciation of my most personal beliefs and my most fundamental convictions.

It goes without saying that Robertson’s conception of what separation entails is not the same as the one held by most Jews, on—to take only the most neuralgic controversy of the present political moment—the matter of prayer in school. But here I must confess to a blind spot, since this issue, which exercises the passions of so many people on both sides, strikes me as of little importance one way or the other.

In my opinion, Christians are sadly mistaken if they think that saying a prayer will immunize their children against the influence of the lesson they will immediately afterward be given in the classroom next door on how to use condoms. On the other hand, Jews may well be justified in worrying that their children will feel excluded if prayer is reinstituted in the schools; there is much testimony to this effect from Jews who grew up in small towns in the South and the Midwest. Yet I can offer conflicting testimony from having gone to a public school in Brooklyn in the 30’s. Every morning in that school we sang a hymn that concluded with the words, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,/ God in three persons, blessed trinity.” It is hard for me to accept that singing these words made any impact on us, since neither I nor my classmates (a mixed bunch of Jews, Italians, and blacks, all with parents relatively fresh from Eastern Europe, Sicily, or the American South) had the slightest idea of what they meant. It was only as an adult, when I chanced to hear the hymn sung somewhere, that I realized to my astonishment—and amusement—what I had been belting out every day for so many years.

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Setting my own perhaps idiosyncratic experience aside, and granting that the Jewish fear of Christian fundamentalism is genuine and understandable, the question I would ask is whether it is a realistic fear in the America of today—an America in which, to borrow an observation from Irving Kristol, Christians seem more interested in marrying Jews than in persecuting them.

Certainly—and I have the hate mail to prove it—anti-Semitism still exists on the Christian Right (as it also does on the Christian Left, where it is usually disguised as anti-Zionism). Yet close observers of the conservative Christian world tell us that the dominant trend in recent years has been in the opposite direction—toward the repudiation of anti-Semitism and, as Father Richard John Neuhaus puts it, toward a new “understanding of Christianity’s dependence upon Judaism.” Neuhaus is speaking not only of “the Judaism of what Christians call the Old Testament, but the living Judaism that continues in mysterious relation to God’s election and unbreakable promise.”

With a rather better sense of the historical record than Robertson’s, Neuhaus readily concedes that this new understanding by Christians has “slight precedent in the two millennia of interaction between Jews and Christians.” But he assures us that it is real, that it is spreading both among Roman Catholics and among evangelical Protestants, and that it bodes well for the security of American Jews:

All too obviously, there have been predominantly Christian societies in which Jews have been anything but secure. But the argument is that Christianity in America really is different, that it has internalized the imperatives of tolerance as a matter of religious duty, and that, more recently, it has come to see Judaism as an integral part of God’s purposes in history.

If Neuhaus is right—and my own contacts with the conservative Christian world tend to confirm his diagnosis—Jews as Jews have little cause to worry about the growing influence of the Christian Right. But liberals are another matter; and to the extent that Jews are liberals, they have every reason to be deeply troubled about a movement that has dedicated itself to undoing many of the things they have supported—and, to repeat, are proud to have supported—in the past 30 years.

Since many Jews have great difficulty in distinguishing between Judaism and liberalism, they also seem unable to detect any difference between anti-Semitism and the anti-liberal Christian conservatism of a Pat Robertson. Some of Robertson’s accusers, however, are less confused than devious, rather like the woman in the Yiddish saying who tries to get away with criticizing her daughter-in-law by pretending to be talking about the girl’s mother (zi zogt di shviger, zi meynt di shnir).

For instance, Michael Lind (who is not Jewish) is undoubtedly more exercised by Robertson’s cultural agenda—and most of all his opposition to gay rights and abortion—than by his fantasies about Jewish bankers in the 18th century. But in the campaign Lind has joined to stigmatize the Christian Right as fascist, concentrating on those fantasies has turned out to be a far more effective weapon than focusing on issues that are not (at least not outside liberal circles) self-evidently incriminating.

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For Lind, playing the anti-Semitism card has brought another and not so incidental benefit. Until quite recently this energetic and prolific young intellectual from Texas was a member of the conservative camp. After graduating from Yale he had gone to work for William F. Buckley, Jr. and then Irving Kristol, and most of the writing he did was published in magazines like National Review, National Interest, Public Interest, and COMMENTARY. But by his own account, he had become more and more unhappy over the surprising willingness of his intellectual patrons and mentors to associate and cooperate with members of the conservative Christian community. They claimed to be doing so because they had come to see that community as a valuable ally in the effort to halt and perhaps even reverse the moral decline of American society. But the only threat of moral decline Lind could see in America came from the Christian Right itself, which wanted to roll back all the wonderful gains made by the gay-rights and feminist movements. Indeed, to him the Christian Right represented nothing but the redneck repressiveness of the incipiently fascist culture from which he himself had fled and against which he had expected his mentors to fight. It was this sense of betrayal that eventually drove him out of the conservative movement and into the arms of the liberal Left.

Soon after his defection, Lind made it public with an article entitled “How Intellectual Conservatism Died,” in which he attributed the alleged death of the movement to the post-cold-war shift of its attentions from foreign affairs to social and cultural issues. This piece went nowhere, partly because it was so clearly driven by an offstage animus and partly because of its crassness and intellectual vulgarity. (As an indication of how thoroughly he had signed on with the Left, Lind revived one of its most ignoble traditions in charging that it was out of the lust for foundation gold and political power, and not out of principle or moral concern, that conservative intellectuals had become friendly toward the Christian Right.) But the main reason the article fell flat was that it had the misfortune to appear (in the socialist magazine Dissent) just when the movement he was pronouncing moribund had enjoyed a spectacular political vindication in the elections of November 1994.

Curiously, though Lind complained in that piece about the defense of Pat Robertson by a number of conservative intellectuals, he said almost nothing there about anti-Semitism. It was only a little while later, when he repaired the omission in his article about The New World Order in the New York Review, that he hit pay dirt. With the enthusiastic help of a gaggle of liberal columnists led by Frank Rich, his account of that book was very widely publicized, embarrassing Robertson along with all those in the conservative movement and the Republican party who had failed to dissociate themselves from him, and most particularly the intellectuals at whose feet Lind himself had only yesterday sat. In the process of publicizing his New York Review piece, a number of these columnists sweetened Lind’s revenge by going back and exhuming his scurrilous Dissent article, which they then gleefully used to heap even more obloquy on his former mentors.

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Perhaps because I was never among those mentors, I pretty much escaped being named by Lind and his new political friends. But I will now definitely add myself to their enemies list by saying flat out that in my view Robertson’s support for Israel trumps the anti-Semitic pedigree of his ideas about the secret history of the dream of a new world order. In this, mutatis mutandis, he resembles Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who about ten years ago was also accused of anti-Semitism because of some of his ideas about the role of Jews in the past. I for one argued then6 that Solzhenitsyn’s bitterness over the contribution made by revolutionaries of Jewish origin in bringing Communism to Russia was overridden by his consistently fervent support of Israel at a time when Israel had become the touchstone of attitudes toward the Jewish people, and anti-Zionism the main and most relevant form of anti-Semitism. So much was this the case that almost anything Solzhenitsyn might think about the role of Jews in the past became academic by comparison.

Like Solzhenitsyn, Robertson, too, befriended and defended the state of Israel when it was under relentless moral assault everywhere, and not least among liberal Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, who more often than not participated enthusiastically in the orgy of vilification. Hence I would apply much the same reasoning to him as I once did to Solzhenitsyn, even though his ideas about Jewish bankers derive from a lurid paranoid fantasy while Solzhenitsyn’s ideas about Jewish revolutionaries are based on an uncomfortable historical reality.

There is even a rabbinic warrant on which, with a bit of pilpulistic stretching, one might analogically draw in Robertson’s case. According to the Talmud, a food permitted by the Jewish dietary laws becomes contaminated if a forbidden ingredient gets mixed into it. But under the rabbinic rule of batel b’shishim, if the contaminant has slipped in accidentally or unintentionally, and is no more than one-sixtieth of the whole, it is neutralized and the food can be lawfully eaten. There is, of course, no precise standard by which to measure the relative weight of Robertson’s actions with respect to Israel today as against some of his words about Jews in the past; and as I have already indicated, the anti-Semitic passages in The New World Order are not exactly accidental (though they may in some sense be unintentional). Taking it all for all, however, I would still maintain that the contamination represented by those passages, when set within the context of Robertson’s record as a whole, can be considered batel b’shishim, and that Robertson can and should be absolved on that basis of the charge of anti-Semitism.

If only the same thing could be said of the other Pat, the secular one, who has now, alas, become rather more prominent on the Right than Robertson himself.


Footnotes

1 See the discussion by Midge Decter in “The ADL vs. the Religious Right” (COMMENTARY, September 1994).

2 The whole story is told in my article, “The Hate That Dare Not Speak Its Name,” in the November 1986 issue of COMMENTARY.

3 Prodded by Lind's article, I have read Robertson's The New World Order, and though I have not subjected myself to a first-hand acquaintance with Mullins and Webster, the many quotations dug up from their works by Jacob Heilbrunn speak loudly and clearly for themselves.

4 A detailed account can be found in “Patrick J. Buchanan and the Jews” by Joshua Muravchik in COMMENTARY, January 1991.

5 The story of Sobran is also told in “The Hate That Dare Not Speak Its Name.”

6 See “The Terrible Question of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn” (COMMENTARY, February 1985) and “The Solzhenitsyn Question” (Letters from Readers, COMMENTARY, June 1985).

About the Author

Norman Podhoretz has been writing for COMMENTARY for 56 years.




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