Conspiracy theories have been a growing part of the modern world, especially with the assitance of the Internet. Conspiracists use social media platforms such as 4chan to rant about 9/11 “truths” and faked moon landings. While most conspiracy theories are either harmless or too obscure to impact society, one has gained massive popularity in recent months, particularly among Republicans. Known as QAnon, this sprawling theory essentially claims that the world is run by a cabal of Satanists and pedophiles who are plotting to destroy President Donald Trump. QAnoners, as they are called, are typically Republicans who insist that the cabal controls Hollywood and the government.
If this theory sounds familiar, that is because QAnon is essentially a revamped Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an infamous anti-Semitic document that argues that Jews control the world and drink the blood of Christian children. In QAnon, the world-dominating cabal consists of pedophiles who rape and then murder children before drinking their blood. This is the anti-Semitic blood libel theory in a new form. The blood libel, which was based on the accusations that Jews were kidnapping and slaughtering Christian children in order to drink their blood, led to mass murders of Jews and pogroms in Europe. QAnon is now allowing for this theory to come back to prominence.
Furthermore, the idea of a cabal of “globalists” (which is historically a dog-whistle for Jews), dominating the world stems from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and often leads to anti-Semitic attacks against people such as George Soros and the Rothschilds. Both Soros, a liberal investor and philanthropist, and the Rothschilds, the famous banking family, are Jewish, and QAnoners allege that they are leaders of the cabal. QAnoners on Facebook called for Soros to be executed.
Qanoners also support the theory of a “Zionist-occupied government,”which is the belief that Jews manipulate Western governments. American politics has further spread this theory due to the overwhelming Jewish support of Democrats. The QAnoners, who are fiercely Republican, connect Jews to the vilified Democrats. Not only do Jews control the government in QAnon, but they also supposedly control Hollywood, a trope inspired by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. By connecting Jews to the media, there is the implied anti-Semitic message that Jews are in charge of money, media, politics, and ultimately, all global power.
Q, the anonymous person responsible for dropping cryptic messages on 4chan that fuel the QAnon conspiracy theory, has also posted anti-Semitic references. In 2018, Q posted a cartoon of a stereotypical Jewish man holding a knife in a sea of blood inquiring, “Why do they persecute me so?” Q also used the alt-right symbol of triple parentheses when referring to the “roths” — shorthand, apparently, for the Rothschilds. Followers have embraced this anti-Semitism, with some referencing infamous antisemitic dog-whistles, such as the “Jewish Question” or the “echo” technique.
Republican Jews, no matter how desperate they may be to cling onto QAnon’s central tenet, that President Trump is a divine savior who is being removed by the deep state, must recognize the overt anti-Semitism present in QAnon. Dog-whistles abound, and many QAnoners are becoming bolder, not even bothering to conceal their hatred of Jews. They push baseless theories that further the idea of Jews being globalists and pedophiles. This has led to violent threats, such as when QAnoners told Jewish California State Senator Scott Wiener that he should be lynched like Jewish man Leo Frank for a bill he introduced. Even worse, some QAnoners have escalated into real violence, with several instances of QAnon-linked murders and kidnappings. Republican Jews must not embrace a violent anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. It will only lead to disastrous consequences for American Jews. Any Jews who support QAnon should feel ashamed for being complicit in a movement that spreads hatred and lies about Jews. QAnon is no longer a political belief. It is an anti-Semitic one.