Trifkovic vs. Spencer: Another Neocon Purge

March 11, 2011

Recently I received news from

Srdja Trifkovic
, author of the controversial work Sword of the Prophet,
concerning the beating he`s taken from
 the director of
Jihad Watch,

Robert Spencer
(who, despite his Anglo name, is a

Melkite Greek Catholic
who says his

grandparents were forced to emigrate
from what is

Although Spencer himself has
editorialized against militant Islam, he has been
straining to dissociate himself from

European nationalist
and from conspicuously
Christian opponents of Muslim immigration into Europe.
The groups that the squeamish Spencer is now briskly
moving away from include just about every

right-of-center anti-immigration force
in Europe,
including the now very mainstream-looking
Vlaams Belang.

From the material Srdja sent me, it
would seem that Spencer is sympathetic to a
British-based writer called
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi,
who on March 5 seemed to be defending recent, successful
attempt to bar Srdja from addressing a friendly academic
audience in Vancouver. [Anti-Jihadism
and Unholy Alliances,
March 05, 2011, by Aymenn
Jawad Al-Tamimi.]

The Canadian government, which is
quickly moving
in the direction of an

East German Communist
standard of civil liberties
despite the

smashing good grades
it receives for protecting
liberty from the

Freedom House, unexpectedly would
not allow Trifkovic to speak on its sod. It seems this
fervently patriotic Serb might have insulted the Muslim
minority in Canada, which
enjoys special protection for its privileged
sensibilities. (Insulting
is fine and dandy in

diversitarian Canada
and is not likely to land
anyone in court.)

Srdja Trifkovic, author of
Sword of the
, barred from Canada

was posted on JihadWatch, by Robert Spencer on February 25, 2011. On March
1, 2011 he posted an update in response to
Al-Tamimi`s complaint, asking if he
"endorsed the
following statements by Trifkovic"
, following it, in

usual style,
with clippings from a symposium on
AltRight, in which I also participated.

Spencer profusely

assured Mr. Al-Tamimi, that he
Trifkovic and all his bigoted work. Despite
"pro-Israel activity,"
Spencer said, he was
disturbed by some recent
" antisemitic statements"
from this critic of the Muslim world.[Robert
Spencer Responds to Aymenn Jawad
, American Thinker
March 6, 2011]

in question were posted on AltRight
(July 29, 2010) and were so terribly shocking that
presumably Spencer is taking Prozac to calm his jangled
(gentile) nerves. (See

Is the Alt Right Anti-Semitic? A Symposium,
Paul Gottfried, Taki Theodoracopulos, & Srdja Trifkovic,
July 29, 2010)

Having been part of the same
symposium discussion and having already seen these
comments, I would have to conclude that what is being
attacked is eminently defensible; nor is there any
reason to assume that there`s anything noticeably
about Trifkovic`s answers.

Trifkovic was being asked to
explain the tension between traditional conservatives
and Jewish political and cultural attitudes. In his
observations about Jewish ethnic sensibilities and the
antagonistic relations of European and American Jews to
Christian civilization, Trifkovic was saying what seemed
to me obvious, albeit in need of further clarification.
Trifkovic should have pointed out that some European
countries treated Jews quite badly, which had the effect
of aggravating the tension being described. But in any
case this anti-Christian animus has survived despite the
absence of persecution, which explains why Jews so often
pop up on the anti-Christian Left.

Although Trifkovic notes that Jews
have cultivated a sense of
reinforced by
"the ritual and
dietary laws of Talmudic Judaism,"
(this is the same
language used by the

1910 Catholic Encyclopedia
) he is also aware that
this way of life by itself would not have produced
dislike for the Christian
"Other." It
was a negative view of Christians going back to the
first and second centuries, strengthened by being badly
treated by a daughter religion, which inspired the
Jewish repugnance for an identifiably Christian world.
Jews living in the Near East
under Muslims also kept to themselves, but have shown no
special aversion to Christians.

Over the years, I have disagreed
with my Serbian friend on a variety of issues, ranging
from the outbreak of World War One to the accountability
of Serbs for certain atrocities, some of them noted by
Al-Tamimi. Moreover, I do not share his Slavic
nationalism or his reservations about Croats or for Turks.

But Srdja has always been
exceedingly gracious and well mannered in conversation.
Even more relevant, the charge of anti-Semitism being
leveled at him is malicious and totally untrue.

Indeed I suspect that Spencer, who
owes fealty to neoconservative impresario David Horowitz
as an employee of
Horowitz`s Freedom Center,
was expressing his anger
on cue. There was absolutely nothing in Trifkovic`s
statements that could justify Spencer`s degree of
outrage. The offending Christian comes from a country
that has never persecuted Jews. When the Second World
War comes up in conversation, Trifkovic, like other
Serbs, rages against

German Nazis,
and he does so with the same ferocity

Abe Foxman

Alan Dershowitz.
If this guy is an anti-Semite, then
no goy (save possibly for a neocon employee) stands
above suspicion of being one.

This of course is the crux. For a
few months now some of the neocons, and most
obstreperously Horowitz, have been annoyed that some
spokesmen for the right (who are naturally kept off the
Fox network) have been calling for an end to foreign
aid—and most particularly to its main recipient, Israel.
Last month Horowitz

had it out
with Ron Paul-backers and other
libertarians at CPAC and
landed up calling those he was arguing with anti-…
finish it.

After all, it is important for the
neocons to make sure that followers

Last week on Fox, former governor

was asked whether she agreed with Rand
Paul that we should stop giving foreign aid.

jumped in before the question was completed to
let us know that we should never stop giving lots of aid
to "this strong
democratic ally that we have there in the Middle East."
Says `No!` on Cutting US Aid to Israel
By Gil
Ronen, Arutz Sheva, March 6, 2011.]

Sarah answered that question as she
should—with the same predictability with which Minne, my
female Dachshund, begs for table scraps.

There is a second reason that
Horowitz`s employee came down on Srdja like a ton of
bricks: The neoconservatives don`t want the anti-Muslim
cause in Europe to get out of hand.

Rightwing or decidedly non-leftist
anti-Islamic organizations like
Gates of
or even the

Vlaams Belang
, may be too edgy—and in any case don`t
focus enough on global democratic values and human
rights ideology.

Although most of these groups, like
Trifkovic, cannot really be accused of anti-Israeli
stands, they nonetheless do not show the proper
. These groups are not sufficiently
pro-feminist or pro-gay rights; or in the German case,
they may not be sufficiently anti-German and

A safe Muslim critic, from the
neocon point of view, is someone like Somali feminist
activist and crusading atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. This
critic of reactionary societies, who has been showcased
by AEI, makes all the right noises. She is a militant
secularist and pro-global democracy, and in no way
associated with traditional nationalist groups in

During the time she spent in
Holland before coming to the US, this suitably swarthy
Third Worlder was a
member of
the Dutch

"Worker`s Party"
and involved in—among other
causes—feminism. No one outside a loony bin would accuse
her of being rightwing.

Another safe anti-Muslim, until he
took gravely ill, was

Christopher Hitchens. Although Hitch has a
nasty habit of


Mother Theresa`s
and spewing hatred on all theists, (including Jewish
ones) he is
good on the things that count,
being firmly for
Israel and against Muslim theocrats. What else Hitch
believes doesn`t matter, as long as he`s not a
"rightwing extremist."

But Trifkovic and his friends just
don`t meet this standard and therefore have to be purged
from the anti-Islamic front.

The neoconservatives undertook a
mopping-up operation

they reshaped the American conservative movement.

They`re just moving their operation overseas. 

Paul Gottfried
(email him)
is Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown
College, PA. He is the author of

After Liberalism

Multiculturalism and the
Politics of Guilt


The Strange Death of