New York, NY, April 10, 2017 … An anti-Semitic social media trolling campaign aimed at presidential advisor Jared Kushner has escalated from a series of tweets into a full-bore assault perpetrated primarily by white supremacists and anti-Semites of various stripes, according to an online analysis by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
The campaign of anti-Semitic messages has included accusations that Jews in the Trump Administration are trying to start a war to advance the interests of Israel, and that President Trump has abandoned his “America First” policy because he is being manipulated by Kushner and other Jewish advisors.
“What started as a few isolated anti-Semitic tweets suggesting that Jared Kushner should be ‘fired’ because of his ‘Jewish supremacist views’ has quickly metastasized into a full-blown onslaught of anti-Semitic hate speech,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “It shows how quickly hate speech can multiply and come to light on social media platforms, and reminds us of how much work we need to do to combat hate.”
From the first tweets sent on April 6 by a self-described member of the alt-right, the campaign grew quickly, and by the end of the day on April 7 the hashtag #Firekushner, along with #kushneratwar and #kushnerswar, had become a top-trending topic with more than 130,000 mentions, many of which featured anti-Semitic invective directed at Kushner.
Well-known anti-Semites such as David Duke joined the chorus, leading to more than 300,000 mentions on Twitter. Meanwhile, writers on neo-Nazi websites such as The Daily Stormer and Infostormer picked up on the theme, accusing Kushner and other Jews in government as “putting the interests of Israel and world Jewry first.”
The use of social media to spread hateful memes against Jews in politics and journalism is hardly a new phenomenon. In October of last year, an ADL analysis of Twitter data showed that more than 2.6 million tweets containing language frequently found in anti-Semitic speech were posted across Twitter between August 2015 and July 2016. ADL’s report found that nearly 20,000 anti-Semitic tweets were directed at Jewish journalists during the 2016 presidential campaign.