There are people on the Right from whom we should properly distance ourselves. The twerpy Nick Fuentes, for instance, really does have THE JOOOS on the brain. Real Jew-hatred is sinful in itself and also a canary-in-the-coal-mine indicator of other depravities.
But the estimable Douglas Murray overreacted recently when he went after Pedro Gonzalez as an anti-Semite. Gonzalez, who writes for Chronicles among other places and is familiar to readers of American Greatness, is certainly not engaged in a genteel effort to win over liberals. He has a take-no-prisoners Twitter persona.
But Murray, via Bari Weiss’ Substack, wrote an essay reacting to a couple of Gonzalez’s recent tweets, titled “When the Right Plays with Jew-Hate,” that’s more than a little overwrought.
Gonzalez was attacking, in his usual rough idiom, a left-wing economist at Microsoft named David Rothschild, who has drunk deeply of the “insurrection” Kool-Aid:
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. https://t.co/u5LaINMlE7 pic.twitter.com/ifYOZmm0gh
— Pedro L. Gonzalez (@emeriticus) December 30, 2021
But what really seems to have irked Murray was Gonzalez’s follow-up tweet, which read, “That Rothschild physiognomy is pure nightmare fuel.”
Now, mocking political opponents for their appearance is sophomoric, but it’s hardly unheard of, or grounds for excommunication. (I refrain from it myself, both out of principle and because, well, let’s just say GQ hasn’t called lately.)
But Murray wasn’t merely criticizing Gonzalez for bad manners. Instead, he wrote that Gonzalez “unmasked himself, boringly and yet still wretchedly, as an anti-Semite.” Because the lefty’s name was “Rothschild” and because Gonzalez referred to his “physiognomy” (a word I don’t think I’ve ever typed before today), Murray interpreted the tweet as a “deliberate dance” with “execrable motifs and notions that recall Nazi eugenicists and their obsession with uber and untermenschen.”
The only other piece of evidence Murray offered for Gonzalez’s alleged Jew-hatred was another use of the “physiognomy” slur against a different leftist “coincidentally named Ari Cohn.” (Emphasis in the original.)
Except that a simple Twitter search shows Gonzalez has hurled the “physiognomy” thing against lots of people not named Rothschild or Cohn, including, among others, Naval War College professor Tom Nichols, Steven Schmidt of the Lincoln Project, and National Review alum David French. To adapt the all-knowing Hank Hill, what the hell kind of country is this where I can only hate a man if he’s not Jewish?
Gonzalez’s writing, not just at Chronicles but also at Newsweek, The American Mind, RealClearPolitics, the Washington Examiner, and elsewhere, is far more serious than his slashing Twitter feed. I haven’t read everything he’s written, but I’ve never seen (including in private communication with him) any focus at all on Jews, one way or the other. Maybe he really is an anti-Semite; I have no window into men’s souls. But given the gravity of the accusation, and as someone who’s been falsely accused of it myself by the weasels at the Southern Poverty Law Center (“He said weasels! It’s a dog-whistle!”), Murray’s going to have to come up with a lot more than some silly bro banter to back it up.