Protestors—one wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt—inside the U.S. Capitol building. Photo credit: ITV news
In the hours since pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol building, antisemitic ideologues, activists and conspiracy theorists have attempted to implicate Jews and Zionists in the violence. Although these antisemites have a range of opinions about President Trump, many were united in their belief that the events of Wednesday, January 6, 2021 were either planned by Jews or revealed the extent of Jewish and Zionist influence over the American democratic system.
Some antisemites who believe President Trump is too supportive of Israel have condemned the rioters for supporting the president. A Twitter handle associated with the white supremacist group Patriot Front tweeted that the pro-Trump extremists were “turning out in the streets for a disgraced Zionist fraud.” These sentiments were echoed by antisemitic and anti-Israel ideologue Angelo John Gage, who was affiliated with a white supremacist group in 2015, and who derided the pro-Trump extremists in Washington D.C., saying, “They are fighting for the Zionist quo.”
A more complex antisemitic conspiracy theory emerged from antisemitic conspiracy theorist Adam Green, who speculated that the pro-Trump rioters were manipulated by Jews and supporters of Israel to riot in order to discredit President Trump so that they could empower a Biden administration to implement a repressive agenda. Green wrote:
“Trump’s term was giving Israel everything they could—propping up Israel, giving them the tech, giving them the Abraham Accords, giving them all of these goodies, everything on their laundry list—and now they’re going to dispose of Trump after they milked us dry and got powerful enough. And now they’re going to bring in the Bolshevik left. The left hand of the Zionist Bolshevik dialectic. And they’re going to unleash war on Edom, or America, and bring down America. Destroy any possible remnant that could possibly fight ZOG. They’re going to have hate speech laws. Way more censorship even than we saw under Trump. We’re going to see it all.”
Conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier Michael A. Hoffman II claimed on his blog that protestors were permitted to enter the senate chamber as part of a false flag organized by the “cryptocracy” in order to paint “patriot Conservatives” as “terrorists and Fascists.” Hoffman then employed antisemitic tropes to describe the rioters, claiming that they are “worshippers of the Zionist state of counterfeit ‘Israel’” and are behaving “not like Christians, but like Israeli settlers.”
One Telegram user spotted what appears to be a Hannukah menorah in a photo taken by a pro-Trump protestor who had entered Speaker Pelosi’s office. “Many may have not noticed… but is that a Hanukkiah on the other desk in the background in Nancy Pelosi her office? It looks like that America is definitely not ‘first’ but the Jewish state of israel [sic] is number one priority for Pelosi.”
The white supremacist “Green Dragon” Telegram channel posted that the female Trump supporter who was killed inside the Capitol building was “executed by goons of political operatives for ZOG.” “ZOG” stands for “Zionist Occupation Government,” and is used by some antisemites as a shorthand way to express their belief that Jews control the government.
A Twitter user with more than 20,000 followers celebrated the damage to the Capitol building by comparing it to the ransacking of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. “I love it when ZOG loses,” they wrote.
Palestina Hoy, a pro-Palestinian Spanish language Twitter account with more than 30,000 followers tweeted its take on the day’s events, which included images of the Israeli flag and the words: “Coup d’Etat in the USA. Zionism will be there, as always.”
Not all antisemitic rhetoric about the riots included references to Israel.
- On an antisemitic Telegram channel with over 2000 subscribers, a post claimed that the violence did not go far enough, adding, “USA is finished. Harris will assume rulership and the elite Jews will reset the system and agenda 21 will be rolled out.” (Agenda 21 is a longstanding antigovernment conspiracy theory focused on a United Nations sustainability plan).
- As Wednesday’s speeches began, the Telegram channel of the white supremacist and antisemitic Goyim Defense League posted an obscene cartoon portraying a Jew controlling a Black Lives Matter activist on the street of Washington DC.
- Israeli journalist Gil Tamari was harassed while covering the day’s events by a man who made antisemitic comments. Staff from a number of media outlets were targeted by pro-Trump extremists; on Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press crew saw their cameras and gears smashed by an angry mob.
- Video taken of pro-Trump extremists inside the Capitol building showed a man wearing a hoodie with the words “Camp Auschwitz” written across the chest on top of an image of a skull with crossbones having been replaced with boat paddles. According to a report, the back of the hoodie read, “Staff.” The hoodie appears to have been produced by AryanWear, a defunct Texas-based purveyor of white supremacist merchandise, selling a broad variety of all types of items emblazoned with symbols and slogans, including the infamous swastika soled combat boots.
- A video of pro-Trump extremists sitting on the steps of the Capitol building shows one young man smiling and giving what appears to be a Nazi salute.