CNS' Favorite Loopy Rabbi
Meet CNSNews.com columnist Aryeh Spero, whose mendacious hatred of President Obama is surpassed only by his slobbering love for President Trump.
By Terry Krepel
A March 2015 column, for instance, began with this load of Obama derangement:
Much has been said about the strange behavior of Barack Obama, who can’t let a day go without maligning Israel and Mr. Netanyahu. In contrast, he displays friendship to a thug and anti-Semite like Erdogan of Turkey, palled around with the deceased communist Hugo Chavez and keeps standing-up for the Iranian mullahs who want to kill us all or make us slaves to Islam.
Spero then ranted: "This last week, Barack Obama published classified information showing the world photographs of Israel’s hidden nuclear site, and its inner workings. It was his gift to Iran, Hamas and ISIS. This puts Israel and her citizens, not just Mr. Netanyahu, at great risk."
In fact, the declassified 1987 document in question was not "published" by Obama; it was released only after the Department of Defense spent years fighting its release -- due to a Freedom of Information Act request, not from any demand from Obama -- and the Washington Examiner reported that the Pentagon asked Israel to review the document before releasing it.
Spero then advanced to out-and-out lying: "During a meeting at the White House in 2009, Obama stated early-on that 'it’s time to put day-light between Israel and America.' This was done before Obama had even met Benjamin Netanyahu."
We couldn't find any news report where Obama is directly quoted as saying "it’s time to put day-light between Israel and America," which means Spero made it up. It's apparently based on a statement Obama reportedly made regarding the George W. Bush administration's relationship with Israel: "During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states." An Obama aide said that "The case he was trying to make was that the United States will be a better partner to Israel if it has more credibility with the Arab states, that we will be a better, more useful friend to Israel if we have more friends in the Arab world."
Spero claimed that Obama "had his young underlings call Israel a 'racist' state," but he offered no example of this. Spero apparently missed Netanyahu's racist appeal to his supporters in the 2015 Israeli elections by fearmongering that Arabs were "voting in droves." Spero also claimed that Obama "has taken Hezbollah and Iran off our list of terror organizations," which, again, never happened.
Spero then told another lie: "He prohibited flights to Israel for almost two days during her recent defensive war against Hamas missiles being shot from Gaza. He has not done this in other war zones." In fact, at the time of that prohibition -- made by the Federal Aviation Administration, not Obama -- U.S. aircraft were prohibited from flying over six other areas in the world.
Then, it was time for more Obama derangement:
Obama’s inner identity is tied to Islam. We all identify with the ethos of our formative years. His father and step-father were Islamic, as is his family back in Kenya and Indonesia. His brothers are active Islamists. He was raised on the Koran in Islamic countries, he attended Islamic madrassa, and he grew up with its attitudes, sights and sounds, aspirations and narrative, likes and dislikes. As I grew-up to favor Israel, he grew-up to dislike it. Simple as that. Most of my Christian friends, Bible believers, were also raised with the biblical narrative, which admires Israel’s place in our theology and in the cosmos.
Apparently, CNS does not fact-check what its columnists write; otherwise, Spero's column would have never been published.
Defending white nationalism
In a November 2016 CNS column, Spero defended then-Breitbart leader Steve Bannon with a bunch of ranting about the "alt-left" (whatever that is; Spero never explains) and unsupported claims that ultimately go from denying Bannon is associated with white nationalists to defending white nationalism:
The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) this week accused Mr. Bannon of anti-Semitism because, in their words, he is associated with nationalistic movements and anti-Semitic white supremacist groups. I have seen no credible evidence that he is associated with any anti-Semitic groups, though he is, like me, an American nationalist. In its founding years, the ADL’s mission was to fight anti-Semitism, but in the last few decades it appears to have, like other establishment Jewish organizations, become an ideological arm of the Democrat party, carrying its water for them, and viewing all of American life through the prism of a neo-Leftist agenda no longer rooted in classical liberalism.
Spero clearly doesn't know his history. The reason that people consider "America First" a "code phrase," in Spero's words, is because that's pretty much what it was.
The America First Committee was an isolationist group seeking to keep the U.S. out of World War II. But as college professor Susan Dunn wrote at CNN, America First "struggled with the problem of the anti-Semitism of some of its leaders and many of its members"; though it removed from its executive committee "not only the notoriously anti-Semitic Henry Ford but also Avery Brundage, the former chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee who had prevented two Jewish runners from the American track team in Berlin in 1936," anti-Semitism was still prominent, as exemplified by a 1941 speech by Charles Lindbergh at an America First rally. Lindbergh declared that "The British and the Jewish races,""for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war." Lindbergh's unambiguous message. Dunn wrote, was that "Jews living in the United States constituted a wealthy, influential, conspiratorial foreign 'race' that had seized 'our' media and infiltrated 'our' political institutions. They were the alien out-group, hostile to 'us.' He put American Jews on notice that America's 'tolerance' for them rested upon a fragile foundation."
Spero also repeated the malicious lie that George Soros was in "collaboration with the Nazis in Hungary during WW II." He further whined that critics of Trump "have not, and will never genuinely accept the results of the election" -- ironic because it's obvious Spero never accepted the election of Obama.
From hating Trump to loving Obama
Fast-forward a few years. Obama is no longer president, replaced by Donald Trump. And Spero loves Trump at least as much as he despised Obama.
In a few moments ancient prophecies will be fulfilled and veritable truths realized when the United States moves its embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. It will also be a day when we will remember the strength and courage of the man who made it happen: President Donald Trump.
Spero even pulled a full WND and likened Trump favorably to biblical hero King Cyrus.
Then, a week later, Spero actually defended waterboarding as necessary and totally not torture, with a little of that old-time Obama derangement:
Unlike what is happening in the Islamic and Palestinian world, we Americans do not torture for sheer barbaric enjoyment, or as a means of revenge, nor even as a way of frightening foes. We employ momentary and isolated acts of physical or psychological coercion for the exclusive purpose of eliciting information we are convinced will save lives, thousands of lives. These are important distinctions. Our enemy’s torture incapacitates and causes excruciating pain for the remainder of that person's life. Water boarding is far from that. It is momentarily frightening, but does not fall within the historic category of torture.
Apparently, Spero didn't get the memo that the jury is still out on whether waterboarding suspects post-9/11 resulted in actionable intelligence, and a Senate investigation found that it did not.
A June 2018 CNS article by intern Jonathan Mizrahi allowed Spero to complain that the likening of immigrant detention enters to Nazi concentration camps is "abhorrent" -- but is really acting as a (as far as we know) unpaid shill defending President Trump's zero-tolerance border policy:
“The Nazis separated families as part of a first phase of forced labor and murder of Jews, an entire race,” said Rabbi Spero. “We, in contrast, are taking care of these children ---perhaps better than they're normally taken care of --- during the limited days of necessary investigation.”
Funny how Spero is suddenly concerned about ethics and the truth when he himself is an unethical liar, as documented above. Needless to say, Mizrahi didn't mention Spero's history of politically motivated fabrication amid his hypocritical attacks on those who place "politics above truth."
In a July 2018 column, Spero huffed about a "never-ending blitzkrieg from the media to topple President Trump." After getting the name of the Democratic Party wrong (using the silly right-wing epithet "Democrat Party"), Spero rushed to the defense of the Trump administration on its treatment of refugees at the border, taking particular offense to said treatment being likened to Nazi treatment of Jews:
The Nazis separated families as part of a first phase of forced labor and murder of Jews, an entire race. We, in contrast, are taking care of these childrenprobably better than they’re normally taken care ofduring the days of necessary investigation. No animus is intended on our part, or on the part of President Trump, AG Sessions, or the Department of Homeland Security.
Spero then served up a decidedly political interpretation of the Bible:
Some left-wing organizations calling themselves religious, but who are more so socialist, condemned the President for not “welcoming the stranger.” In fact, years back Barack Obama quoted the Scripture “Thou shall not Afflict the Stranger” as justification for shooting down anyone who disagreed with his borders-as-sieve policy and granting a full basket of entitlements to all who come here, even illegally. But welcoming the stranger refers to individuals, not an invasion of millions, certainly not a calculated importation of millions. It’s about treating decently a stranger temporarily in the land; not about making it easy for would-be terrorists, gangs, and criminals to blithely enter; nor is it about forgetting that newcomers can’t come to feed and live off the sweat of others. It is not “affliction” to require standards.
Note that Spero referenced Obama but did not acknowledge that he was president.
In a Sept. 27 column, Spero offered up a weird defense of Brett Kavanaugh, arguing that not confirming as a Supreme Court justice would have dishonored his parents, or something:
Chuck Schumer, the Democrats, and their spokespeople in the Senate seem to be spooking-out certain Republicans with a threat that if Republicans vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh they will lose the support of women in their constituency.
Attempted sexual assault -- the offense that Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of -- was never, and is not, a "politically correct, avant-garde sin" in any era.
Spero then asserted: "It is the American way to stand behind a man wrongly accused and not to buckle to a lynch mob, liberal or otherwise." Does Spero think Obama should have buckled to his lynch-mob rantings a few years earlier?
An Oct. 29 CNS blog post by Michael Morris made Spero the subject, allowing him to play Trump suck-up by ostentatiously praising President Trump's response to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting:
Spokesman for the National Conference on Jewish Affairs (NCJA) lauded President Donald Trump’s heartfelt response and concern for Pittsburgh’s Jewish community yesterday, saying on behalf of the NCJA, “We commend President Trump for his heartfelt expressions of grief.”
The presence on the group's website of articles from the anti-Muslim Gatestone Institute complaining about "persecution of Christians" (!) is another sign that the group's true agenda is politics instead of Jewry.
Weirdly, CNS took Spero's statement from his personal Facebook page -- not from any NCJA website -- upon which Spero has made only three posts in 2018 prior to that, and before which his most recent post was January 2014.
Defending Trump's manhood
Loopy rabbi Aryeh Spero channeled another WND writer, Kent Bailey -- known for praising Trump as an alpha-male "warrior king" in the "tall, blond, Nordic" tradition -- in a Dec. 12 column ranting at Nancy Pelosi for claiming that President Trump's insistence on a border wall is a misguided show of manhood:
In my view, President Trump exemplifies precisely what manhood is all about. It is about protecting the people you are responsible to protect, be they your wife and children, family, or, in the case of the President, the people of the United States.
As if Spero isn't doing his own version of virtue-signaling by defending Trump's manhood so vociferously. And, again, Spero references Obama without acknowledging he was president.
In a Jan. 10 column, Spero aped Trump campaign rhetoric that building a wall at the Mexico border is "the moral thing to do," complete with Trump-esque rant:
Many of our communities have suffered, especially in rural areas, by an overcapacity and demand stemming from illegal immigration. Hospitals, schools, clinics, and other vital institutions have closed to the detriment of our citizens who have depended upon these institutions. Contagious diseases have begun to crop up in many areas; and people not wealthy enough to have fences surrounding their homes and unable to afford private transportation services are the victims of these outbreaks. Compassion for these ordinary American citizens is what we need and what the wall offers.
In a Feb. 6 column, Spero couldn't stop drooling over Trump's State of the Union address and alleged support for the Jews:
Last night’s State of the Union Address by President Trump will go down as one of the most historic, unifying, and visionary peacetime addresses to the nation. It was delivered with passion, precision, and expressed with heart, making us feel the country will be safe and will move forward under President Trump’s dynamic leadership.
CNS also gave Spero an April 16 column to over-effusively praise Trump for bashing Rep. Ilhan Omar's "some people did something" remark (which was plucked out of context to maliciously portray her as anti-American):
Omar trivialized 9/11, referring to it in a cavalier fashion. The President correctly demonstrated via his video the enormity and the devastating catastrophe of 9/11. It has nothing to do with racism, rather the correct response to a disrespectful statement made by Omar against this country, demonstrating her gross indifference to the suffering of Americans.
Note that Spero didn't mention the actual content of Trump's anti-Omar tweet -- a video that edited Omar's out-of-context remarks into footage of the 9/11 attacks.
Spero didn't mention that death threats against Omar increased after Trump's tweet. Perhaps Spero is OK with that.