Former deputy assistant to President Trump and recently named Fox News security analyst Sebastian Gorka came to campus Monday to discuss U.S.-Israel relations and Middle Eastern foreign policy at the invitation of UNC’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) chapter. Gorka’s lack of real expertise and experience in the field, as well as his ties to pro-Nazi white nationalist groups and his overt Islamophobia, make him an awful candidate to discuss any of these issues.
Prior to serving in the White House, Gorka was fired from his post at the FBI for his extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric. Those who attended his lectures at the FBI said Gorka instructed them that every Muslim is either radicalized or waiting to be radicalized. In May this year, 55 members of Congress urged President Trump to immediately dismiss Gorka from his counterterrorism advisory role, saying Gorka “is clearly unfit to serve in any position of responsibility in your administration,” due to his “public support and membership in several anti-Semitic and racist groups in Hungary.”
Ironically, when you google ‘Sebastian Gorka on Israel,’ you will find articles of him defending himself against accusations of antisemitism followed by articles of him accusing liberal Jews of being antisemites.
The fact that a political figure with longstanding ties to a fascist, Nazi-associated organization is able to be deemed ‘pro-Israel’ simply by being anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian and anti-liberal is mystifying. Unfortunately, Sebastian Gorka’s beliefs reflect those of a far larger group of politicians on the right, both at home and abroad, who seek to exploit fears rather than offer solutions.
These fears feed a dangerous narrative perpetuated by the Israeli right-wing government and are pervasive in many powerful American institutions and now our own campus. Ensuring Israel’s security means supporting never-ending occupation and the erosion of democratic norms. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has portrayed his far-right coalition as representing the beliefs and values of not only Israelis but Jews around the world. He has attempted to convince Americans, liberal and conservative alike, that he and he alone is acting in the best interest of the Jewish people and that those who dissent are both anti-Israel and antisemitic.