Only in 2016 would the phrase “Renegade Jew” be trending everywhere. This came after a somewhat surprising headline from Breitbart, in which David Horowitz called the prominent conservative Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard a “Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew.”
The Republican party has traditionally been the pro-Israel party, and the Democratic party has been hostile to Israeli interests, but it is clear that the times are changing on the right side of the aisle. Horowitz has essentially argued that if you’re a Jewish conservative, Trump is your man, and if he’s not, you aren’t properly Jewish.
Horowitz himself is Jewish, though he is not religious. Ben Shapiro, an orthodox Jew, was an editor-at-large at Breitbart and wrote for Horowitz’s site, Truth Revolt. Shapiro responded to Horowitz on his own site, the Daily Wire, where he tied the rise of antisemitism in the Republican to the Trump movement. Horowitz confirmed Shapiro’s thesis in a piece published later that day, as he stated he would not apologize for the article.
Indeed, Horowitz wrote the original piece as an attack on the #NeverTrump movement that is proposing to mount a campaign for a third-party candidate, of which Kristol is a part. He clarified his conviction to write against Kristol:
“…splitting the Republican vote and electing Hillary is a betrayal of the Jews in an hour in which their backs are to the wall. Hence the designation renegade for those who are planning a third-party run, and for which I make no apologies.”
Here, Horowitz makes it clear that the “shibboleth” for Jewishness is support for Trump. This is an interesting take on Trump, considering he said months ago that he would remain ‘neutral’ in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Additionally, one of the louder demographics of his supporters is the “alt-right”, who espouse the white nationalist views of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. This is not to say that all of Trump’s supporters are racists, or that Trump himself is racist. But this demographic does loudly proclaim the name of “Donald Trump” as their fearless leader.
This sort of “identity politics” has no place in the conservative movement. No one gets to say that one candidate or position is proper for a particular group. We have, and have always been about the ideas that lead to liberty of the mind, regardless of what that might look like.