Explosive Growth of Hateful Memes and Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Against Jared Kushner

April 10, 2017

An online campaign of anti-Semitism has been directed at Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and advisor over the past week. It comes in the context of Trump’s removal of chief strategist Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council and reports about a feud between Bannon and Kushner as well as airstrikes in Syria in response to the chemical attack last week.

This campaign of anti-Semitism has been driven by white supremacists and anti-Semites and has all the hallmarks of classic Jewish conspiracy theories. The narratives include accusations that Jews in the Trump Administration are trying to start a war to advance the interests of Israel. They contend that Trump has abandoned his “America First” policy, which the alt right supported, because he is being manipulated by Kushner and other Jewish advisors.

The anti-Semitic social media campaign, which features hashtags on Twitter such as #firekushner, #kushneratwar, #kushnerswar, appears to have begun on April 5 with a few tweets describing the administration’s actions as a betrayal alongside the #firekushner hashtag.

On April 6, @AltGrey1 sent several tweets including the #firekushner and #syriahoax hashtags. One of the tweets read: “no more jewish wars #fireKushner #Syriahoax.”  The tweets started circulating among more influential users and the total mentions of #firekushner surpassed 100.

Throughout the day on April 7, discussion around the hashtag steadily rose, primarily among apparent alt right supporters, including retweeted posts from @bakedalaska, the Twitter handle of Tim Treadstone, an alt-right social media personality with a history of anti-Semitic tweets.

The same day, alt right leader and anti-Semite Richard Spencer tweeted: “#FireKushner No one voted for Kushner. Indeed, many of us voted against people like Kushner having power.” This post was retweeted over 1000 times and #firekushner began its trend upward.

By end of day on April 7, #Firekushner, along with #kushneratwar and #kushnerswar became a top trending topic with over 130,000 mentions, many of which featured anti-Semitic invective directed at Jared Kushner. 

Indeed, well known anti-Semites such as David Duke joined the chorus on Twitter, tweeting out statements such as:

We are being brought down from within. ZIO Supremacists are the true enemy of the American people... not Assad, not Putin. #FireKushner

This is what happens when America is led by Jewish supremacists. These traitors put #IsraelFirst while we pay the price. #NoWarsForIsrael

Israelis are involved in espionage against Western, Christian nations? No way - greatest ally would never do such a thing. #FireKushner

With over 300,000 mentions, it appears that anti-Semites were able to use Twitter to become part of the story.  But this commentary was hardly limited to Twitter:

  • Erik Striker, a writer for The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi alt right website, referred to Kushner as “President Kushner” and said that his “vital interest as a Chabad Lubavitcher [a Jewish Hasidic sect] in foreign policy is to advance Israel at the expense of America.”

  • Lee Rogers, who runs another neo-Nazi site, Infostormer, wrote, “I fully supporting [sic] the ousting of Kushner and every other kike from Trump’s cabinet. This Jew Kushner has been especially bad news from the start considering his marriage to his daughter Ivanka. These kikes do not believe in America First. They believe in putting the interests of Israel and world Jewry first. That’s what this strike against Syria did. It put the interests of the Jews first.”

  • Brad Griffin, aka Hunter Wallace, writing on his blog Occidental Dissent, argued, “The fact remains that all of us, myself included, may have grossly underestimated the impact of the Jews inhabiting Trump’s inner circle. While we attacked anyone and everything that even spoke out lightly against the ‘God Emperor,’ a bona fide Court Jew and his race-traitor wife slid their way into the halls of the White House and corrupted everything that we found so appealing about the rise of The Don.” Writing for the site, Wallace also asserted, “It is Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs, pushing aside the #MAGA people in order to start new wars on behalf of Bibi Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson.”

This online anti-Semitism also had some apparent a real world impact:

  • A Twitter post from the white supremacist Traditionalist Workers Party claims that a banner on an overpass over I-95 in Philadelphia that reads “Jewish lies Saudi money = USA wars.” 

  • Richard Spencer held a demonstration in Washington, DC, at Lafayette Square outside the White House to protest the bombing in Syria on April 8. One of the protesters accompanying Spencer held a sign that read, “No more wars 4 Israel.”

The response to Kushner and the Trump Administration from white supremacists comes at a time where some have expressed disappointment at Trump, who they previously viewed as a champion of their cause. On April 7, Richard Spencer condemned Trump's military intervention in Syria in a video, saying: “I am deeply disappointed in Donald Trump. I’m shocked, and I’m angry. And I am ready to condemn Donald Trump.”