An American far-right influencer and avowed conspiracy theorist with a frenzied use of social media, Jackson Hinkle only appears right now as a fervent defender of the Palestinian cause. His community has been accustomed to publications praising Vladimir Putin or the Make America Great Again movement (MAGA), popularized by Donald Trump.
Since Oct.7, the 24-year-old ultraconservative, who is fascinated by autocrats and dictators all over the world, has been flooding his X (formerly Twitter) account with photographs of children in Gaza who are victims of bombardments, messages praising Hamas and scathing criticism of Israel’s supporters, “Zionists.”
This new editorial line bore fruit: In just a few weeks, Jackson Hinkle went from 500,000 to 2.2 million subscribers on his personal account.
Keith Woods (proponent of the Great Replacement theory), Ryan Dawson (convinced that “anti-white” racism is rife in the United States) and Lord Bebo (openly proclaims himself to be “anti-woke” on his X account): The audience of these far-right Americans, mostly men who are extremely active on social media, have skyrocketed since the start of the war in Gaza, denouncing what they describe as “genocide” committed by the Israeli state and the complicity of their American leaders.
With a newly-acquired audience that is predominantly Arab, their virtual positions are acclaimed, and their status virtually elevated to that of whistleblowers at a time when the online content of some of them have been censored by platforms.
The enemy of my enemy
Their pro-Palestinian publications conceal far less glorious intentions. Infused with anti-Semitism, they almost make us forget the Islamophobic comments and anti-Arab propaganda they used to relay.
“His new Arab fanbase are not familiar with his ideologies and I doubt they would care. Pro-Russia and Putin? No problem. US and Biden aren’t really liked anyway. Anti-Semitic? That's easily countered with ‘no, he’s anti-Zionist and anti-Israel!’ No one believes he hates immigrants, Muslims and Arabs,” tweeted Newslines Institute analyst Rasha al-Aqeedi, in reference to Jackson Hinkle.
It is clear that far from the indignation these nationalists display, the Israel-Hamas war looks more like an opportunity to spread their hatred of Jews, under the guise of opposing the Israeli cabinet’s military actions, without however expressing an ideological alignment in favor of the Palestinian cause. Sometimes, in fact, they reveal their complete indifference on this subject.
A political commentator with a huge number of followers on social media and unequivocal anti-Semite who was suspended from YouTube in 2020 for inciting hatred, Nick Fuentes spoke out publicly a few days after the start of the war, admitting on his America First show that he didn’t care “that much” about the Palestinians.
He, who makes no secret of his admiration for Adolf Hitler, added that if Israel’s operation in Gaza “is going to rally international support against them, then once again this becomes a situation where the enemy of my enemy becomes our friend.”
From Canada, neo-Nazi Brandon Martinez called for a more radical solution “to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.” “Let them kill each other while we watch from the sidelines,” Martinez said.
Others insist that criticizing Israel’s actions should never lead Europeans to take in refugees from Gaza.
According to the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, in the immediate aftermath of Oct.7, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim remarks increased by 425 percent and 417 percent respectively on social media platforms such as Gab and 4chan, popular among white supremacists compared to the six months prior to the Hamas attack.
This nauseating ideology does not only manifest itself online. Several demonstrations in support of Palestine in the United States brought together members of the far right who were openly anti-Semitic, disguised under consensual slogans calling for an end to the war.
They include Mike Peinovich, a supremacist and Holocaust denier, one of the organizers of the Unite the Right movement, who was present at the 2017 racist demonstration in Charlottesville, where violent clashes left one person dead and 35 injured.
At the end of October, around 40 members of his neo-Nazi group joined a rally outside the White House against the war in Gaza. “Israel is a pure genocidal state, make no mistake,” Mike Peinovich told the rally.
“We Americans have been snookered into supporting [Israel] by Jewish control of our banks, our media and our politicians, but we have to say enough and rise up as a people,” he added.
“Such political infiltration and provocation to fuel social strife is a longstanding tactic of White nationalists and far-right movements driven by antisemitic conspiracy theories. Such actors claim that a secret Jewish cabal controls US foreign policy, media, the economy and progressive social movements, in order to enact ‘White genocide’,” Ben Lorber wrote in an article entitled “No Nazis on our streets,” published by the Political Research Associates.
“In their attempts to join Palestine solidarity protests and online campaigns, antisemitic White nationalists are trying to exploit the political and humanitarian crisis in Gaza to win recruits and further their political interests,” the article added.
In order to fulfill their goal, it doesn’t matter what cause these supremacists are defending. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them also took advantage of the media outpouring to feed anti-Semitic theories on their social media, claiming that the virus and its spread were nothing more than a conspiracy orchestrated by Jewish people.
This article was originally published by L'Orient-Le Jour. Translated by Joelle El Khoury.
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