See below for what movement organizers can do—at solidarity protests, online, and offline—to safeguard each other and our protest movements.
With Palestine solidarity protests ramping up in the U.S. and around the world in response to Israel’s large-scale, indiscriminate assault on Gaza following Hamas’s horrific massacre and kidnapping of Israeli civilians on October 7, troubling reports are emerging of anti-Muslim and antisemitic White nationalists attempting to hijack these protests to their own ends.
Ground reports from activists indicate that White supremacists and neonazis have joined demonstrations to spread their propaganda by positioning themselves as part of the solidarity movement. While only a few incidents have so far been reported, these racist propagandists stand to pose a significant threat to progressive organizing for Palestinian liberation—particularly as protestors demand a ceasefire, the return of vital services to Gaza, humanitarian relief, and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.
White nationalists’ incendiary slogans and rhetoric aim to inject antisemitism into solidarity protests to further their own agenda to fuel conflict, threatening the physical safety and political demands of demonstrators. They do this intentionally, acting in an inflamed political environment in which allegations of antisemitism are used to mischaracterize and neutralize critiques of the Israeli state’s war crimes and human rights violations.
Such political infiltration and provocation to fuel social strife is a longstanding tactic of White nationalists and far-right movements driven by antisemitic conspiracy theories. Such actors claim that a secret Jewish cabal controls U.S. foreign policy, media, the economy, and progressive social movements, in order to enact “White genocide.” Following this antisemitic framework, they are driven to oppose Israel, seeing the state as a front for Jewish world domination.
Advice for Organizers
In their attempts to join Palestine solidarity protests and online campaigns, antisemitic White nationalists are trying to exploit the political and humanitarian crisis in Gaza to win recruits and further their political interests. Their cause of securing permanent White dominance in the U.S., Europe, and around the world is antisemitic and virulently anti-Palestinian, anti-Muslim, anti-Black, xenophobic, misogynist, and anti-LGBTQ.
It is vital for Palestine liberation organizers and progressive activists to recognize and counter far-right actors who stand diametrically opposed to the movement’s principles and goals.
What We Can Do: At Solidarity Protests
Movement organizers can do the following to safeguard their solidarity actions and each other:
Do local research: Protest safety teams can work with local antifascist researchers to identify potential neonazis and other far-right actors who may show up, whether in purported support or opposition.
Develop a plan: Together, local researchers and safety teams can develop a plan for how to confront infiltrating neonazis and White supremacists while keeping our movements safe. This plan could include designating point people to receive reports, assess threats, and dispel rumors; training marshals and other team members to de-escalate potential confrontations, in order to minimize disruption to the overall rally; coordinating with legal observers; and developing effective digital security practices.
Call out and turn away from supremacists: An activist report from Sweden offers a useful case study in how to respond if neonazis show up in ostensible ‘support’ at progressive rallies. “When the Nazis began to speak,” wrote members of the antifascist anarchist collective, Unoffensive Animal, “the rest of the protesters turned their backs on them.” As the crowd physically confronted the neonazis and chanted “no Nazis on our streets,” the neonazis, realizing they were outnumbered, began to leave, escorted by police.
What We Can Do: Online (and Offline)
Pay attention to the subtleties of supremacists’ destabilizing rhetoric: At first glance, some of the demands articulated by neonazis—such as opposing Israel’s assault and the U.S.’s political and military backing of Israel—echo those of progressive Palestine solidarity activists. But let’s not be confused: White nationalists don’t join these rallies out of genuine solidarity with the Palestinian people or a commitment to anti-oppressive frameworks and collective liberation.
Be aware of attempts to find common cause in “shared enemies”: One clear example of this comes from the White Christian nationalist and neonazi Nick Fuentes, the leader of the America First/groyper movement. In a recent livestream, Fuentes explained that “I don’t care that much about this conflict…[but] if Israel’s genocide in Gaza is going to rally international support against [Jews], this becomes a situation where the enemy of our enemy becomes our friend.”
Reports of Incidents
Organizers have reported the following incidents of antisemitic and anti-Muslim White nationalists trying to hijack Palestine solidarity protests and campaigns:
- At a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania demonstration, the Goyim Defense League, a network known for harassing Jews outside of synagogues, reportedly spread flyers displaying the slogan ‘Free Palestine’ and directing recipients to a neonazi website.
- In Atlanta, the same group reportedly hung banners from a highway overpass reading “Free Palestine & America from Jewish Supremacy,” while in Walnut Creek, California, a White Lives Matter group displayed a banner reading “No More Wars for I$rael.”
- In Stockholm, Sweden, around twenty neonazis appeared at a demonstration with banners displaying messages about “crushing Zionism,” according to an activist report.
- In London, far-right activists reportedly attacked a Palestine solidarity protest and were rebuffed by protesters.
- Online, White nationalists are using antisemitic tropes to hijack anti-war critiques, directing attention away from the brutal war on Gaza.
- “Most of the people who would go and fight and die in a hypothetical war with Iran or some other Middle Eastern conflict would be white guys,” explained White nationalist leader Patrick Casey, arguing against U.S. backing of Israel. “As Americans, what is in our best interest?”
Following Fuentes’ advice, groypers have used popular hashtags like #GazaGenocide to insert their own antisemitic framing into broader campaigns in solidarity with Palestinians. In a similar vein, White nationalist Keith Woods ranted, “The United States of America has a Zionist occupied government,” substituting ‘Zionist’ for ‘Jew,’ following a longstanding movement slogan abbreviated as “ZOG.”
These actions couldn’t be further from the intersectional, solidarity-based perspective that animates many activists in the movement for Palestinian rights, justice, and liberation. Progressives are driven to oppose and call for an end to Israel’s horrific attacks on Gaza with an immediate ceasefire and the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas. We remain committed to building a world free of bigotry, oppression, and domination in all its forms—a world where Palestinians, Jews, and all people can live and thrive in safety, dignity, and freedom.