As the international community continues to consider its response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, conspiracy theories claiming Jewish or Israeli manipulation of or involvement in the events in Syria abound.
These claims, primarily promoted by American anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers, invoke age-old anti-Semitic canards about Jewish control over world events and America serving as some sort of proxy for Jewish or Israeli interests.
While the individuals promoting these conspiracies are fringe extremists that have not garnered any significant mainstream attention for their theories thus far, the ongoing crisis in Syria could create an atmosphere where such conspiracies gain wider appeal.
The conspiracy theories generally allege that Israel has somehow fabricated the story about chemical weapons being used in Syria to serve as a pretext for further American involvement in the Middle East or to take attention away from the “atrocities” Israel is committing against Palestinians. Other theories accuse Jews in America as misleading the American public on events in Syria in order to bring the U.S. into a war supposedly for Israel’s benefit.
Below is a sampling:
- In a September 10 interview with Iran’s English-language propaganda network Press TV, J. Bruce Campbell, a columnist for the anti-Semitic Veterans Today, claimed that “Everything we’ve seen was based on Jewish lies designed to take over the Middle East and create greater Israel, which was stretched from Egypt to Iran.” He added, “This was the purpose of the Jewish attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, the attacks of 9/11, 2001, and is the purpose of these bogus chemical attacks…”
- Anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Christopher Bollyn wrote in a September 8 blog post titled “Will Congress Betray America for Israel?”: “The fact that the same tactic of deception that was used after 9-11 to invade Afghanistan and Iraq is being employed, once again, by the very same people, to drag the United States into yet another ill-advised war in the Middle East strongly validates my thesis that 9-11 was a false-flag terror operation, designed and carried out by Israeli military intelligence and Zionist fifth columnists (i.e. sayanim) to bring the U.S. military into the region to support Israeli hegemony and advance the extremist Zionist notion of Greater Israel.”
- David Duke, the former Klan leader, claimed on his website (September 6), “…an increasingly desperate Zionist Supremacist-run Obama administration has resorted to the one trick it hopes will persuade Congress: openly admitting that an attack on Syria will be in Israel’s interests.” He continued, “The tactic to openly link Israel’s interests to an attack on Syria is most likely in response to the repeated exposure of the Zionist Supremacist hands behind the entire maneuver.”
- In a September 5 interview with Press TV titled “Israel orchestrating Syria war to destroy US presidency,” Gordon Duff, Senior Editor of Veterans Today, claimed there “is a war against the US presidency, carefully orchestrated by Israel,” and that reports of a recent joint U.S.-Israeli missile test are “totally fictitious” and “was an attempt by Israel to drop a missile into a populated target in downtown Damascus.”
- John Friend, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, claimed on his blog on September 5, “Israel and the organized Jewish community have made it abundantly clear that they want the U.S. to destroy yet another country on behalf of global Zionism.”
- Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic professor of psychology at California State University at Long Beach wrote a September 2 article in The Occidental Observer stating that, “The delay [in military action in Syria] provides an opportunity for the Israel Lobby to get into high gear in order to bump up the poll numbers and exert its power over Congress.”
- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan warned on his weekly online broadcast (August 31) that Obama should not let Israel “misguide you with their false information that they feed you to make you a pawn of their wicked ideas for domination of that part of the world.” Farrakhan also tweeted on September 11 that “Israel is your companion in wickedness, America. #Syria.”
- In an August 29 interview with Press TV titled “US’ war plan for Syria is part of Greater Israel Project,” Veterans Today columnist Ken O’Keefe claimed, the “Greater Israel Project…is the dream of these psychopaths, and so destabilizing governments, creating sectarian strife, is all part of the menu and all part of the design to create a greater Israel.”
- The Nation of Islam’s Research Group promoted conspiracy theories about Israel and Syria through social media, posting on Facebook and Twitter that “U.S. is relying on Israeli ‘intelligence’ to start yet another war in Syria. But ISRAEL DID 911…” (August 28) and “Syrian chemical attack? Look for Israel’s bloody fingerprints” (August 22).
- In an August 28 article in Veterans Today, Editor Jim Fetzer alleged that the U.S. fights wars “for Israel” and that Israel “lied to us about Iraq. They lied to us about Libya. They lied to us about Iran. And what could be more obvious than that they are lying to us again about Syria? The US is wreaking havoc in the Middle East for Israel. We have become Israeli liars, enforcers, stooges and dupes!”
- Holocaust denier Michael Hoffman wrote on August 28 on his blog: “The Syrian ambassador is correct in stating that the threats of an attack on his government are part of the Israeli geo-political strategy,” further claiming that “the war fever” being created in the U.S. “buttresses the role of America acting as a proxy for Israeli interests.”
- Jason Ditz, a writer for AntiWar.com wrote on August 27 that Israel has been “the driving force on selling the Obama administration on the narrative” of attacking Syria. Ditz also claimed that Israel provided “dubious secret” evidence of the Syrian government’s responsibility for the chemical weapons attack in order to justify the U.S. decision to launch airstrikes.
- On his blog Truth Jihad, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett posted his August 22 Press TV interview, “Syria chemical mayhem: Another Israeli false-flag?” which was also published in Nation of Islam’s newspaper