Steve King goysplains how anti-Semitic Jewish Democrats are

[UPDATE: The original title of this post referred to Steve King’s comments as “Jewsplaining.” As King is not Jewish, “goysplaining” is more accurate. The title has been updated to reflect this.]

On Friday, Iowa Congressschmuck Steve King told Boston Herald Radio that he’s frustrated at how anti-Semitic so many of American Jews are:

Here is what I don’t understand, I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their President…

…anti-Semitism is a component of this and just plain liberalism is another component. I mean the president wants the world to be, he thinks somehow he can force the world can be the world he myopically believes it is.

In an interview with Buzzfeed on Sunday, King doubled down:

“I think many of them no longer have ties to Israel,” said King. “They are secular, they are Democrats by political affiliation and by their nature they are leftist.”

“Many are leftists first,” he said.

He added, “those who regularly go to synagogue…” support Israel. “That’s not the case with those who align themselves with the political left.”

That’s some pretty epic goysplaining, even for King. In asserting that “real Jews” hold the same racist, nativist, anti-Democratic sentiments toward Palestinians that he holds for immigrants, and that that’s what constitutes “support” for Israel, King exposed how little he, an evangelical Christian, knows about American Jews and American Jewish culture.

As Kaili Joy Gray wrote last year:

Here is one truth upon which many of us could probably more or less agree: Jews do not need to be told how to Jew. The secular ones, the orthodox ones, the “Hey, I go to shul on the High Holidays” ones, the uber-hawkish-like-some-kind-of-white-evangelical ones, the every-other-kind-of-Jew-who-can-Jew ones. We all Jew in our own way. We certainly don’t need advice on how to Jew from evangelical schmucks (that’s Jewspeak for stupid penis)…

As I’ve written before, a lot of Jewish people in America, myself included, place a particular emphasis on the “ish” with respect to their faith. According to a 2013 Pew survey, 23 percent of all Jews and over a third of Millennial Jews don’t believe in God, so King is onto something when he says that some of us are secular. And seven in ten Jews identify as Democrats, so King’s also right when he says that lots of American Jews are liberal.

But American Jews aren’t “Democrats first and Jews second.” As their name implies, they are Americans first and Jews second. When J-Street polled the Jewish electorate just before Election Day in 2014, they found that American Jews’ priorities lined up pretty well with the rest of the country. Only eight percent picked Israel as their top issue. The top three? Economy, healthcare and the social safety net. Go figure.

King complains about these facts as if they’re a problem, throwing around the words “secular” and “liberalism” as if secular, liberal Jews are doing Judaism wrong. They aren’t. With respect to the way each views hierarchy and oppression in society, liberalism and Judaism line up really well: If your people spent literally thousands of years as an persecuted minority, you’d be all for a system of government that protected against majoritarian tyrannies. As the Jewish Journal noted when they analyzed the Pew survey:

The poll shows that even among the irreligious, Jewish identity is intertwined with feelings of obligation to society and remembrance of how Jews have been persecuted. Jews worry about the underdogs, who are on the difficult road that they, their parents or grandparents traveled.

That probably has something to do with why Jews were the religious group most likely to say that homosexuality should be accepted in society, with roughly 80 percent support.

And, not for nothing, Israel has (excellent) socialized healthcare and (heavily regulated) taxpayer-funded abortions.

But it doesn’t matter what Jews actually believe, because Steve King’s stance on Israel has very little to do with Jews. Instead, it has everything to do with evangelical Christians’ apocalyptic hope that if only we can get all of the Arabs out and all of the Jews in, then Jesus will come back and teleport him to heaven.

Of course, all of the Jews get left behind in this story, which doesn’t sound all that much like “support” to me.

Regardless, this explains why evangelical Christians are way more “supportive” of Israel than American Jews. They are twice as likely to say that Israel was given to the Jews by God, and while six in ten Jews believe that a two-state solution is possible, 50 percent of evangelical Christians do not. This being the case, Steve King’s frustrations over where Jews come down on Israel says less about Jews and more about him.

Seemingly forgotten in all of this is America’s official position in favor of a two-state solution, a position that recently-reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flipped the bird to during the overtly racist tail end of his campaign. In guaranteeing that there would be no Palestinian state so long as he was in office — a statement that he’s tried to Etch-A-Sketch away since winning — Netanyahu has done massive damage to the peace process, as no one has any reason to take him seriously at the negotiating table.

King’s defense of Netanyahu’s nativism doesn’t hold sway with the majority of American Jews who support a two-state solution; it just proves that he’s an evangelical Christian first and an American second.

It also makes him a schmuck.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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47 Responses to “Steve King goysplains how anti-Semitic Jewish Democrats are”

  1. stacibutters says:

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  2. Olterigo says:

    The reason you get accused of antisemitism is because you use words like “Shoah” (aka Holocaust) to describe a fourfold increase since 70’s up to now in Palestinian population, when for the Jews it meant death in the millions.

    For the last year I’ve been wondering whether I should keep voting Democratic. Then I come here and I am reminded what’s on the Left.

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  4. barada says:

    Poisoning the air with lies and division are the 2 things rightwingers do
    with the most talent, creativity and conviction.
    Like Mozarts of hate.

  5. barada says:

    Aw, c’mon. Stop euphemizing and just say how you feel.

  6. Baal says:

    Fuck you asshole, eat shit and die. This is all I have to say to Steve King.

  7. Bill_Perdue says:

    zionist colonists should end their colonial adventure in Palestine and return Palestinian land to Palestinians. They should agree to abide by the decisions of Palestinians regarding the absolute right of return of Palestinians and the return of land stolen from them.

    They should end their practices of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, agree to pay lost
    wages, at high trade union levels of pay and agree to make huge settlements for those killed and maimed by IDF thugs. Oh, and they should stop buring children alive and otherwise murdering them.

  8. Houndentenor says:

    Teavangelicals love Jews so long as they are in Israel ready to be slaughtered in Armageddon.

  9. Houndentenor says:

    Low information conservatives straightsplain to me almost every day. I feel solidarity with women who get mainsplained and Jews who get goysplained and all the other splainees out there.

  10. Houndentenor says:

    So Israelis should do what exactly?

  11. Houndentenor says:

    It was true when there was a Republican president. Any criticism of W was denounced as treason. Now that it’s a Democrat, it’s okay to trounce the man and the office. So yes, this is exactly his intention.

  12. Houndentenor says:

    People straightplain something to me almost every day. They’re almost always wrong or at best based on incomplete information that they just read in a headline yesterday online. I try to keep that experience in mind when talking about any group that I am not or never have been part of. ***splaining can only get you in trouble.

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  14. DRoseDARs says:

    Aw, it was funnier when it was “Jewsplaining” but you’re a mensch for changing it. ;-)

  15. emjayay says:

    The Christian rock band that apparently did the warmup was a little closer to the student’s taste. Some song about how my God is the strongest, my God is the greatest….my God-daddy can beat up your God-daddy.

  16. emjayay says:

    It’s the way authoritarians think. But of course, Obama can’t be MY Big Daddy because, well, obviously.

    (I know I’ve mentioned this Lakoff kind of stuff before, but his analysis really did provide a structure to hang a lot of what passes for political thinking on for me. And I only read one easy to read book.)

  17. BeccaM says:

    Well, if nothing else, we now know they consider fertilized eggs and fetuses to be human life, but not so much anything after that. Especially not the forced-pregnancy incubators aka ‘women.’

  18. BeccaM says:

    Yeah… If Ted Cruz’s presidential bid announcement was anything other than a 100% match for “wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross” — i.e. how fascism comes to America — I don’t know what is.

    Basically he’s running on a platform of instituting New Gilead.

    This country really is well and truly fucked, when one party’s candidates are openly running as anti-Constitution Christian Dominionists…and the other party is too scared to say anything negative about that.

  19. TampaZeke says:

    Trickle down racenomics?

  20. TampaZeke says:

    I think you meant “gaysplain”. It’s not quite how it works, but I get your point.

    GaysPalin would be a whole other, down the rabbit hole, conversation.

  21. nicho says:

    I would think “idiotassholesplains,” but that’s just me.

  22. nicho says:

    The fact that we’re talking about religion in the context of national politics shows how truly fucked the country is.

  23. Indigo says:

    Is that a “federal” government he’s talking about or does he mean “feral” government?

  24. gratuitous says:

    I think we all realize what Rep. King is truly talking about, but I’ll go ahead and name it: He’s identifying Israel the country with its Prime Minister. Any criticism of Netanyahu becomes criticism of Israel. Before you ask, no, the same identification doesn’t hold true for the President of the United States, at least at this time, even though the President enjoyed a far higher percentage of the vote than Mr. Netanyahu did this last time around.

  25. BeccaM says:

    Given how common the name is, I’m not surprised TedCruz was owned before. However, domains change hands all the time, often for substantial sums of money. A guy with Cruz’s finances probably could’ve acquired it, had it been a priority.

  26. FLL says:


  27. Jon Green says:

    Great call. Title and article updated, with note on the change.

  28. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Love it! That should cause a few right wing heads to explode.

  29. BeccaM says:

    No clue. But the news about the domain is going viral.

  30. Naja pallida says:

    He couldn’t, it’s been owned since at least 2004 – well before he decided to become a giant wart on the ass of the US political system. First by an Arizona law firm, and then someone snatched it up the second they let it lapse, back in ~2008ish.

  31. mf_roe says:

    Sweet! Who Did?

  32. BeccaM says:

    Off-topic: In other news, dangerous authoritarian Canadian-born demagogue Senator Ted Cruz announces his candidacy for U.S. president today. Yet somehow it never occurred to him to secure the domain

  33. BeccaM says:

    I agree. ‘Goysplain’ would be more appropriate.

  34. BeccaM says:

    Even funnier. From Raw Story yesterday:

    King replied to (Rep. Steve) Israel on Twitter, writing, “Real men make such requests
    face 2 face & man 2 man. I defend Israelis from Leftists & misogynists.

    (Emphasis added. Source:

    Yes, Rep. Steve King (R-RoundUp) apparently confused anti-Semitisim with misogyny.

    As I responded in the comments:

    Rep. Steve King “defend(s) Israel from Leftists & misogynists“?

    Does King have any f*cking clue whatsoever what the word ‘misogynist’ means? It means “someone who hates women.” Not Jews. Not denizens of Israel, whether they’re Jew or Arab, but women. Those who hate Jews are considered anti-Semitic, while those who are anti-Israel technically could be called ‘anti-Zionists’ (and no, these last two terms aren’t interchangeable either…and for that matter, anti-Likud does not equal anti-Israel/anti-Zionist or anti-Semitic either).

    But then, we are talking about Rep. King, the man who makes bags of hammers look good in the intellect department.

    Time and time again, these far-right hyper-conservatives seem to be making it clear they don’t think loyalty to America as a nation has any value. They’re telling states and locales to ignore any federal law they don’t like and to defy both federal authorities and courts. They’re constantly talking up secession, sedition, and overt acts of treason. They’re telling foreign nations that our government should not be trusted — whether it be for agreements or financial obligations. And here we have
    GOPers saying people should have greater loyalty to the interests of a foreign nation than for America’s interests.

    Really, what this comes down to for stone-cold ignorant idiots like Rep. Steve King is he and his kind are desperate for their prophesied genocidal Apocalypse to come about. And for that to happen, there needs to be ‘Greater Israel’ established in the Middle East and the rebuilding of the Temple. After that comes World War III and their Rapture event, after which they all go to Heaven where their reward is to spend all of eternity slavishly worshiping an angry and capricious war god for ever and ever and ever.

    They figure an intransigent far-right racist and war-criminal like Netanyahu is just the ticket to make it all happen.

    So anyway, support for the far-right authoritarian racist fanatic Benjamin Netanyahu and his minority Likud party becomes conflated with support for Israel, which then becomes conflated with support for the right of Jews to exist…after which time it is inevitable someone will eventually say, “Because Hitler.” Even though America’s Republicans would prefer it if people forgot they rather liked that Adolph fellow at first and argued vehemently against America’s entry into WW II.

  35. Bill_Perdue says:

    Apartheid is a real but secondary crime committed by the colonists in Palestine. Their major crimes consists of bursts of terrorist mass murder and ethnic cleansing followed by the theft of more Palestinian land, homes and businesses.

    Deir Yassin – hundreds murdered –

    Shatilla and Sabra death camp murders – thousands murdered –

    Gaza and the West Bank – uncounted tens of thousands murdered –

  36. Bill_Perdue says:

    The zionist colony in Palestine has no legitimacy and its fate will be determined by a rejection of colonialism by the settlers themselves if they terminate the settler state or by the Palestinians themselves fighting alongside the emergent Arab Spring.

    The zionist colony has always been propped up and bankrolled by Democrats and Republicans because of its utility in terrorist attacks on Arab and muslim states and because it’s the last line of defense of American and EU military aggression in the region.

    There are no real differences on this or any other major question between Democrats and Republicans. Their differences are cosmetic or tactical.

  37. moe schmoe says:

    Read Karl Marx on Jewish Capitlaistm. for a starter.

  38. Indigo says:

    Doesn’t ‘splain nuttin.

  39. goulo says:

    Yes, If King is not Jewish, then “jewsplains” is definitely not only wrong, but confusing. I honestly was confused by Jon’s use of it, and I understood it to mean that the guy was himself Jewish (and trying to say that he was a “real” Jew while the leftist/progressive Jews are not “real”), just like a man (not a woman) “mansplains”. Your comment made me realize he’s evidently not Jewish. So I looked him up, and see he’s Roman Catholic, so him “jewsplaining” makes as little sense as a woman “mansplaining”.

    Jon, please fix that. It’s misleading/confusing, and is a distracting wart on an otherwise fine article.

  40. 2karmanot says:

    Or when we gayspalin to haters on the Christian right that Mr. god doesn’t hate the sinner or the sin, or that Mr. god is a cracked-pot reality show.

  41. 2karmanot says:

    Excellent approach to this topic, which is in many instances so toxic that even the slightest criticism of Israel’s Shoah against the Palestinian peoples is subject to accusations of anti-semitism.

  42. Demosthenes says:

    With elected officials like Rep. King, one must wonder why “Jews in America” don’t vote GOP in greater numbers.

  43. therling says:

    The Republicans kept pushing a policy on South Africa they called “constructive engagement,” because allegedly having ties to the US would cause them to become more “democratic.”

    Of course, that policy did not apply to Cuba.

  44. TampaZeke says:

    Keep in mind, Republicans have never met an Apartheid they didn’t love. They strongly supported South African Apartheid even after it was ended and they’ve strongly supported Israeli Apartheid in Palestine for fifty years. They didn’t consider anything that the Africaaners did to black and “colored” South Africans criminal, no matter how immoral or horrific and likewise they don’t consider anything that Israel does to Palestinians criminal, no matter how immoral or horrific, either.

  45. TampaZeke says:

    Not Jewsplains. GOYsplains! Which is when a gentile Christian explains Judaism, Jewish things and what Jewish people “really” want and need to Jews. The same way men Mansplain women’s issues to women and White people Whitesplain race issues to black people and straight people Straightsplain gay issues to LGBT people.

  46. Blogvader says:

    I don’t understand how criticizing war crimes automatically becomes equated with Anti-Semitism.

  47. iamlegion says:

    What I can’t understand is how cowardly treasonous asshats can be Republicans first, fake Jews second, fake Christians 3rd, and Americans 4th or 5th…

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