Like the movement itself, magazines and newsletters that cater to self-described antigovernment "Patriots" have usually steered clear of explicitly racial and religious animus. That way, they can train their fire on those they see as the real enemies of liberty: gun-control advocates and the "tyrannical" U.S. government.
No wonder, then, that some Patriots were nonplussed when they opened the April issue of Free American magazine and found it filled with an epic-length anti-Semitic screed, "Are the Jews Behind the Destruction of America?"
Or when the June issue of another Patriot publication, Media Bypass ("The Uncensored National News"), showed up with a terrified Palestinian woman on the cover, being carted away by Israeli soldiers in riot gear. Or when Taking Aim ("The Militiaman's Newsletter") used three entire issues for a series called "Israel Lie," exposing the alleged war crimes of "Arial [sic] Sharon and his band of butchers."
What do Israel and the Jews have to do with the Second Amendment, guns, Waco, and an array of conspiracy theories relating to the so-called New World Order the usual fare of Patriot publications? Well, for starters, a large number of the theories embraced by antigovernment Patriots originated in slightly different form in racist and anti-Semitic groups like the Posse Comitatus.
More importantly, in the year since the Sept. 11 attacks, more and more radical groups have come to see the destruction of the World Trade Center as much-warranted payback for the United States' alleged servility toward Israel and Jews in general. In general, much of the American radical right has been undergoing a process of Nazification for some two decades.
Now, these new attitudes have burst out onto the Patriot scene.
The anonymous author of the Free American screed, for instance, offers up page after page of dubious evidence that the takeover of America by "Jewish International Bankers" is already in full swing.
For corroboration, the writer quotes such luminaries as Henry Ford Sr., Pat Buchanan and Spiro Agnew; for evidence, the author asserts that Jews are in firm control of "left-wing political action groups" like the NAACP, and that among many other things "Most of the male homosexuals who appear on TV shows are Jewish."
If the Free American left anything out, the other Patriot publications were there to fill in the gaps. Media Bypass, for one, offered a story about a "Kosher Nostra scam," in which "major food companies throughout America actually pay a Jewish Tax amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars per year in order to receive protection" against Jewish boycotts. These "elaborate extortion schemes" are coordinated, alleges writer Ernesto Cienfuegos, by "Rabbinical Councils that are set up, not just in the U.S. but in other western countries as well."
Perhaps the most questionable analysis of all came from Clay Douglas, the antigovernment stalwart who publishes and edits Free American. In an editor's note prefacing "Are the Jews Behind the Destruction of America?" Douglas assures any readers who might be wondering: "This is NOT hate literature."