As Solomon once noted, there is nothing new under the sun. QAnon is no exception.
It turns there are a lot of parallels between the plot line of the Q narrative and the infamous Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, the anti-semitic forgery that fueled the Holocaust. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that anti-semitism - which at this point is largely on margins of the movement - is beginning to creep closer to the center of the storm.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. I have the opinions of those who are deeply invested in this issue - namely, those who have been the targets of anti-semitism.
I spent some time this week looking up what Jewish people and Israeli news sources have to say about Q. It's one thing to read about Q from within the sphere of my comfortable life as reported on by people who are merely observers. I wanted to hear about from those who have a lot at stake in the discussion. The amount of links that follow may seem like overkill, but I want to stress that these were easy to find with a simple google search, and all but one come from a source in the nation of Israel, or feature interviews with people of Jewish ancestry.
If those who feel the full brunt of anti-semitic movements dismissed the concerns about anti-semitism in QAnon, I probably would too.
I think I won't, either.
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Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch and an expert on the history of anti-Semitism, believes that there are parallels between QAnon's outrageous views and the views that Nazis promoted in Germany during the 1930s.
Describing QAnon's views in an article published by Just Security on September 9, Stanton writes, "A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power. Does this conspiracy theory sound familiar? It is. The same narrative has been repackaged by QAnon."
"The Nazis worshiped Adolf Hitler as the leader who would rescue the white race from this secret Jewish plot," Stanton explains. "Nazi 'stormtroopers' — storm detachment, Sturmabteilung — helped bring Hitler to power. Nazi Germany went on to conquer Europe and murder 6 million Jews and millions of Roma, Slavs, LGBTQ and other people."
Central to Nazi ideology, Stanton notes, was the anti-Semitic 1902 pamphlet, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," and Stanton stresses that QAnon's ideology is a "rebranded version" of that pamphlet.
"QAnon purveys the fantasy that a secret Satan-worshiping cabal is taking over the world," Stanton observes. "Its members kidnap white children, keep them in secret prisons run by pedophiles, slaughter and eat them to gain power from the essence in their blood. The cabal held the American presidency under the Clintons and (former President Barack) Obama, nearly took power again in 2016, and lurks in a 'Deep State' financed by Jews, including George Soros — and in Jews who control the media. They want to disarm citizens and defund the police. They promote abortion, transgender rights and homosexuality. They want open borders so brown illegal aliens can invade America and mongrelize the white race."
Stanton continues, "QAnon true believers think Donald Trump will rescue America from this Satanic cabal. At the time of 'The Storm,' supporters of the cabal will be rounded up and executed. The QAnon conspiracy theory has now spread to neo-Nazis in Germany, where over 200,000 German QAnon accounts infest the internet."
"The world has seen QAnon before," Stanton warns. "It was called Nazism. In QAnon, Nazism wants a comeback."
"Fight against antisemitism faces new foe: QAnon." (Jewish News, jewishaz.com)
Lipowsky labeled QAnon “a modern-day version” of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which QAnon echoes in its conspiracy theories, in that “the primary goal is to shift blame.”
“At the center of these conspiracies is a secretive cabal with vast political and financial power,” he explained. “Certain people want to believe that there is really an all-powerful group controlling things because it removes the onus of personal responsibility for one’s own circumstances and creates a scapegoat for larger catastrophes. The economy is crashing? A virus is spreading throughout the world? It must be because of X. And historically, X has usually meant the Jews.”
Protocols, an infamous and classic anti-Semitic text that was shown to be plagiarized from several earlier sources, was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century.
Although QAnon conspiracy theories “don’t all target Jews,” said Lipowsky, “they use the same strategy that anti-Semites have used for centuries.”
Lipowsky cited “the conspiracies QAnon is peddling with the coronavirus, blaming Bill Gates for creating the virus or seeking to implant microchips into vaccines,” in that “it’s all reminiscent of the baseless accusations the Jewish community has faced—from responsibility for the black plague by poisoning the wells of Europe to the Rothschilds’ manipulation of World War I and the Great Depression for financial gain. Like those historic anti-Semitic conspiracies, some of the QAnon conspiracies target the Rothschilds or other wealthy and powerful Jewish individuals.”
“QAnon is a Jew-hating conspiracy theorists group claiming the Rothschilds, a Jewish banking family, plans to kill non-Jews, start a world war and undermine the Trump administration,” Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein told JNS. “In an era of rising unbridled hatred of Jews and the Jewish state, such insane theories are gaining adherents and must be exposed and fought.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told JNS that “QAnon is all conspiracies, all the time. Since its inception, the Internet has provided life support for debunked conspiracies, breathing life back into some nefarious stereotypes.”
He added that it echoes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and its scapegoating of the iconic Jewish philanthropic Rothschild family in what Cooper summarized as the “powerful, manipulative banker.”
Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, said of QAnon that “it is clear that many of its members harbor dangerous conspiratorial fantasies drawn from the pages of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The notion that a small number of wealthy Jews manipulate governments and control the course of world events has in the past served as a warrant for genocide.”
Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz, a prominent Trump supporter in the Jewish community, told JNS that QAnon echoing anti-Semitic tropes is no coincidence.
“From my experience, I’ve observed that when it comes to anti-Semitism, you won’t be hard-pressed to find it and, in our case, you will definitely find anti-Semitism within the QAnon movement,” he told JNS.
"QAnon is a loosely organized, far-right network of people who believe the world is controlled by a satanic cabal of pedophiles and cannibals, made up of politicians (mostly Democrats), mainstream media, journalists, and Hollywood entertainers. This cabal is accused of controlling a “deep-state” government whose purpose is to undermine and attack President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish elites, globalists, and bankers are part and parcel of the QAnon belief system and George Soros and the Rothschilds are consistent targets. The nefarious antisemitic forgery continues to be invoked by QAnon supporters, and even elevated by political leaders. In addition, the use of children in the conspiracy—the need to rescue children from the hands of the powerful globalists—harkens back to medieval blood libel accusations against Jews.
QAnon conspiracy theorists are waiting for the “Storm”—the mass arrest of people in power—and the Great Awakening, where everyone will realize the QAnon theory is the truth."
The author of this position paper noted elsewhere: "In a time of rising antisemitism and growing distrust and division in the United States, the QAnon worldview must be condemned in the strongest terms," said Holly Huffnagle, AJC U.S. Director for Combating Antisemitism, who wrote the AJC position paper. "Antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish elites, globalists, and bankers are part and parcel of the QAnon belief system."
(forward.com. Motto: Jewish. fearless. Since 1897.)
Officials at the Republican National Convention dropped “angel mom” Mary Ann Mendoza from the speakers’ list after The Daily Beast discovered she had retweeted the antisemitic conspiracy theories put out by QAnon.
QAnon is a conspiracy theorist whose postings concoct a smorgasbord of conspiracy theories, like Satanic child-sex trafficking rings, ritual murder of children and the overthrow of the government by a “deep state.”
The tweet Mendoza enthusiastically shared with her 40,000-plus followers accused financier George Soros, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, of being part of an “international cabal” that has controlled every president from John F. Kennedy until Donald Trump. The same tweet also praised “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a turn-of-the-last-century Russian hoax whose fictitious account of an international Jewish cabal has stoked antisemitic attacks for over a century.Open QAnon’s current home base, a platform called 8kun, and it becomes immediately clear that it’s not just QAnon raising eyebrows in these freighted political times. It’s also QAnon’s followers. Many of them clearly do not like Jews, as reflected by their responses to the hinted-at conspiracies that build on traditional anti-Semitic tropes...
Reading just a few of them and it becomes evident they blame Jews for ills of the world, dating back thousands of years. These days, they hold Jews accountable for controlling governments, mass media, Hollywood, international banking, the coronavirus and working to bring down the presidency of Donald Trump. And some openly appear to incite violence: One poster volunteered to kill Soros at QAnon’s behest....
How anti-Semitic are QAnon followers? A search engine known as QResear.ch provides tools to find everything posted on 8chan/8kun, its former and current hosting platforms, culled from 14.5 million QAnon data sources. Type in “Jews” as a search term and it generates more than 86,000 retrievable posts. But don’t read them. They’re not nice.
"JN INVESTIGATION: Inside QAnon – Comfort through conspiracy." (jewishnews.timesofisrael.com)
That is precisely the current focus of Danny Stone, chief executive of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, whose job includes understanding the process of online radicalisation, and pushing for legislative change in the hope of avoiding it. “QAnon is the same as every other conspiracy theory – there’s an elite out there controlling things and we need the real truth,” he says. “It’s comfort through conspiracy in uncertain times. The difference here is: it’s leapt off.”
Cue the madness. Online retailer Wayfair recently had to change all its stock codes because a Q supporter said this was how the cabal was managing its child sex-trafficking. “It doesn’t take long to radicalise people. The QAnon allegation is that there’s some Jewish or Israeli control, within this pyramid of control featuring Mossad, Jewish public figures… it’s not far off The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
“This material is centuries-old, but it comes in this new and exciting package, with this kind of ‘James Bond’-type mystery around the identity of Q, and debunking it is both timely and costly.”
Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are spreading among Florida’s Latino communities ahead of the presidential election, amplified by social media and messaging apps as well as respected mainstream outlets. According to a report in , much of the anti-Semitism stems from QAnon, the growing, false conspiracy theory that claims Democrats and the “deep state” run a pedophile ring and are working to take down US President Donald Trump. Purveyors of the theory often traffic in classic anti-Semitic tropes, claiming that powerful Jews control the anti-Trump cabal.
"100-year old hoax: Why the ‘Protocols’ is still a hit with anti-Semites" (timesofisrael.com)
Mary Ann Mendoza, a member of the advisory board of President Trump’s reelection campaign, was due to speak on August 25. But she was suddenly pulled from the schedule, after she retweeted a link to a conspiracy theory about Jewish elites plotting to take over the world.
In her now-deleted tweet, Mendoza urged her roughly 40,000 followers to read a lengthy thread that warned of a plan to enslave the “goyim,” or non-Jews. It included fevered denunciations of the historically wealthy Jewish family, the Rothschilds, as well as the top target of right-wing extremism today, the liberal Jewish philanthropist George Soros.
The thread also made reference to one of the most notorious hoaxes in modern history: “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” As a scholar of American Jewish history, I know how durable this document has been as a source of the belief in Jewish conspiracies. The fact that it is still making the rounds within the fringe precincts of the political right today is testament to the longevity of this fabrication.
"JN INVESTIGATION: Inside QAnon – Comfort through conspiracy." (jewishnews.timesofisrael.com)
Speaking to Jewish News from Washington, D.C, where he is launching a new report, a sleep-deprived [Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate] talks eloquently about the threat to “the sentiment that underpins the values that make liberal democracy possible”.
Ahmed spends his time wading through the most deeply disturbing online antisemitism, so is well-placed to judge the threat.
“QAnon has been around for a while, but it’s found new life,” he explains. “There are antisemitic themes within it, and it has echoes of antisemitic conspiracy theories, which are deliberate.
“To persuade you to believe, every conspiracy contains at its heart a non-falsifiable leap of faith that can’t be disproved by facts. It takes advantage of xenophobia, people’s sense of powerlessness in society, fundamental human characteristics.
“In addition, modern conspiracies, such as Q, are designed to sound ludicrous if expressed, so they can be defended. It has its cake and eats it, saying ‘this speaks to a broader truth’, but is nevertheless deniable. It weaponises irony while playing on people’s polite embarrassment to voice the theory.
“David Icke’s lizard theory is a perfect example, and people laugh, but he’s a very dangerous man who’s persuaded tens of thousands of people about coronavirus, Jews, vaccines…”
"From QAnon to Traditional Modalities of Hate: A Catalogue of Anti-Jewish Behavior." (Jewish Philanthropy.com)
“They hold Jews accountable for controlling governments, mass media, Hollywood, international banking, the coronavirus and working to bring down the presidency of Donald Trump.”
"Is the Q-Anon conspiracy theory antisemitic?" (Jerusalem Post)
“The vast majority of QAnon-inspired conspiracy theories have nothing to with antisemitism,” according to the Anti-Defamation League’s 2017 “Anti-Semitism Globally” report. However, the report said that QAnon followers, likely due to the conspiracy’s flexible nature, often refer “to Israel, Jews, Zionists, or George Soros” as boogeymen aligned with supposedly criminal Democrats in opposition of Trump. Q, rather than the mysterious individual’s followers, has referenced the Jewish philanthropist Soros as an ally of the criminal Democratic cabal. For Q, Soros is an enemy. For some of Q’s followers, so are Israel, Jews, Zionists and the Rothschilds.
QAnon: A theory that’s only slightly anti-Semitic (The Jewish Star)
“The vast majority of QAnon-inspired conspiracy theories have nothing to with anti-Semitism,” said the Anti-Defamation League’s 2017 “Anti-Semitism Globally” report. However, the report said QAnon followers, likely due to the conspiracy’s flexible nature, often refer “to Israel, Jews, Zionists, or George Soros” as boogeymen aligned with supposedly criminal Democrats in opposition of Trump.
Q, rather than the mysterious individual’s followers, has referenced Jewish philanthropist Soros as an ally of the criminal Democratic cabal. For Q, Soros is an enemy. For some of Q’s followers, so are Israel, Jews, Zionists and the Rothschilds.
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In addition, it seems that Russia, which is having a field day with this theory, is becoming increasingly influential in its spread. It makes sense. What could be better for their propaganda purposes than having the American people themselves demand that the rest of the world takes seriously the claim that the leadership of the United States are pedophile cannibals?
In 2019, accounts removed by Twitter and suspected of being controlled by Russia’s Internet Research Agency sent a high volume of tweets tagged with #QAnon and the movement slogan #WWG1WGA, short for Where We Go One, We Go All, said Melanie Smith, head of analysis at social media analysis firm Graphika. The IRA was indicted by Robert Mueller in his election interference prosecution.
More recently, Russian government-backed media RT.com and Sputnik have stepped up coverage of QAnon, which began with a false proclamation Hillary Clinton would be arrested for an undetermined reason and now includes theories about child trafficking by Hollywood elites, the novel coronavirus and more.
Alethea Group disinformation expert Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst, said RT, Sputnik and other Kremlin-backed media have been writing more about QAnon, using it to fit into their broader narrative of: “The U.S. is falling apart, look how much division there is.”
In a report released late Monday, it said the QAnon accounts it tracked had posted material from 69 other websites more often than RT stories in 2018. By earlier this year, RT was the 23rd most commonly shared site in the community. In the month ended Aug. 20, it had climbed to No. 12.
“Though Russia is only one foreign actor capable of targeting US political audiences through the QAnon community, its history of operations appear to be the most ideologically aligned with the overarching QAnon theory,” the report said. “Russia also appears to have made the most effort to gain credibility within the community thus far.”