In the wake of the shooting and stabbing attacks on Orthodox Jews in New York and New Jersey, as well as the ongoing anti-Semitic violence in the area, far-right online trolls are once again creating fake Jewish profiles on social media to fan the flames of discord between the black and Jewish communities.
The problem first appeared six months ago when Twitter was flooded with fake accounts of “Jewish” users who endorsed extreme views and anti-Semitic messaging. The campaign originated on the alt-right bulletin board 4chan and was designed to “subvert Jews” through impersonating them. This time, the online “fake Jews” are spreading racist incitement against the perpetrators of the latest wave of anti-Semitic attacks.
The most prominent and widely circulated tweetcame from the account of one Elaine Goldschmidt, who claims to be a “Jew who was frightened by the string of anti-Semitic attacks” and bemoans the fact that “Ni***** were supposed to be on our side. Now we have lost control of them.” The photo used in the profile was taken from the account of a British comedian, Janey Godley.
The sentiment references the widespread white supremacist “replacement theory,” which claims that a Jewish cabal controls minority communities and uses them to subvert the white race. The “success” of the tweet in evoking outraged responses was lauded by participants on a 4chan thread.
The Goldschmidt post was praised by another fake Twitter profile bearing the unsubtle name of Ari Shekelburg. Both accounts were quickly reported and then suspended by Twitter, along with an account that claimed to belong to a Maya Katz – which featured a photo of a white woman holding a black child.
In addition to Twitter, this type of activity has been cropping up on other platforms, including Instagram and Telegram.
As they did over the summer, sharp-eyed advocates not only spotted and reported the accounts to Twitter, leading to their suspension, but also located the posts on 4chan, Reddit and other bulletin boards where plans for the creation of the fake accounts were made and encouraged.
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At the same time, there are signs that far-right trolls are also trying to push African Americans toward hostility to Jews: One chilling bulletin board post from mid-December encouraged white supremacists to “infiltrate” the black community, and prompted them to identify as Black Israelites because “it will turn them into traditional men who hate [transsexuals] and Jews.”
The post goes on to explain that the reason for using such tactics is an example of “adopting the Jew’s way of warfare. They don’t and never have fought whites directly, it is always through the proxy warfare of other people.”