YIR: QAnon Attracts Jewish Believers Despite Anti-Semitic Leanings
Year in ReviewLocal

YIR: QAnon Attracts Jewish Believers Despite Anti-Semitic Leanings

February 2021: Once a fringe phenomenon, QAnon is now considered a domestic terror threat by the FBI.

One of the more memorable participants in the notorious Capitol insurrection Jan. 6.
One of the more memorable participants in the notorious Capitol insurrection Jan. 6.

Members of the Jewish community – even in Atlanta – are not immune to the conspiracy theories spread by QAnon, a social media phenomenon full of anti-Semitic ideas, according to several experts.

“There were Jews wearing kipot in the riots in the U.S. Capitol,” which also included Q flags and shirts, noted Arieh Kovler, a British-born corporate communications specialist who has long studied extremism on the Internet. Some Jews, he said, entered the QAnon world through support for former President Donald Trump. “The Jewish believers are usually strong Trump supporters who slipped into Q,” he told the AJT

QAnon is a “very anti-Semitic movement. Its text of drops [messages] are full of anti-Semitic tropes that have been around for millennial,” said Mike Rothschild, a Los Angeles area-based researcher who wrote a book this year about Qanon, entitled The Storm Is Upon Us.

It was President Trump, early in his administration who made a puzzling comment about the “calm before the storm” in front of a gathering of military officers. He refused to clarify what he meant when, afterwards, journalists asked for an explanation. On Internet message boards, however, someone called “Q Clearance Patriot” began to appear.

David Reinert holds up a large “Q” sign while waiting in line to see President Donald J. Trump at his rally on August 2, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Rick Loomis / Getty Images

QAnon was initially considered a fringe phenomenon. Now, especially since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns that QAnon poses a domestic terror threat. “Q” has claimed to be a top intelligence officer with knowledge of Trump’s war against a global cabal of pedophiles, sex traffickers and wide-ranging conspiracies that suggest the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States was a hoax and that the Mossad killed President John F. Kennedy.

So, how are Jews attracted to QAnon? According to Marilyn Mayo, senior research fellow with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, there are two main ways Jews – especially women – are pulled into the QAnon community.

One is through the anti-vaxxer movement which is “prevalent in the Orthodox community,” Mayo said. She describes them as vegan, or extremely health conscious. “The pandemic makes people more prone to conspiracy theories. When there are worldwide crises, people want to know why this is happening. They are looking for answers.”

The second way Jews are enticed by QAnon is through the belief that children are being kidnapped. “The hashtag Save the Children used by QAnon folks brought many Jews [and non-Jews] to the conspiracy community,” notes Mayo.

read more: