Arno Rosenfeld, Jordan Kutzik y Molly Boigon
The violent assault on the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6 by far-right protesters came after 36 hours of protests in Washington that focused on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including QAnon, and claims that George Soros and others prominent American Jews stole the presidential election from Donald Trump.
The protesters bypassed the federal police lines in front of the Capitol and entered the building, while a joint session of Congress was meeting to certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. The violence followed a series of protests called Stop the Steal or “Stop the robbery” [de las elecciones].
The violent ones were applauded by the extreme right on the internet, even in the chat of a live broadcast from inside the Capitol, with a person who wrote OY VEY no anuddahshoahh, a reference to the Shoah or Holocaust. On 4chan, a photo of a Capitol security official received comments such as “KILL EVERYONE [palabra no publicable] AND POLICE AND JEWS ”. The Neo-Nazi Website The Daily Stormer broadcast the protest live.
Unprecedented: Exalted protesters under the Capitol dome
Jewish Rep. Elaine Luria, a Virginia Democrat and a Navy veteran, said she was forced to evacuate her office when a homemade bomb was reported outside. “Today I do not recognize our country, and the members of Congress who have supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans,” Luria wrote on Twitter.
The Republican Jewish Coalition called on social media for the violent to withdraw. “Protesters must stop now,” CJR tweeted. “We support peaceful protest, but storming the halls of Congress and the Capitol building is unacceptable. We condemn these actions. God bless @CapitolPolice ”(the Capitol Police).
Protests with anti-Semitism
Pro-Trump protesters arrived in Washington Tuesday night, to hear a host of conspiracy theorists speak about the outcome of the presidential election. “We are up against evil globalists like George Soros, who thinks he owns our politicians, who thinks he owns Chief Justice John Roberts,” a speaker who appeared to be Jennifer Lawrence, a former Breitbart reporter, told the crowd.
Congresswoman-elect Mary Miller, R-Illinois, drew swift condemnation from Democrats for invoking Adolf Hitler in a speech she delivered on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. “Hitler was right about one thing: he said whoever has the youth has the future,” Miller shouted to a crowd waving pro-Trump flags.
Taunt: invader sitting in one of the US congressional offices
The protesters blared the song Shadiley; the name of its interpreter is PEPE, in reference to the “Pepe the Frog” meme, which is used on the internet to express affiliation with the extreme right.
Some Twitter users claimed that protesters roaming the Capitol loudly wondering, “Where is the Senate floor?” in a live broadcast, they were sent by the Democrats and George Soros to make the Republicans look bad. “Paid actors brought in by Soros,” said one user. “Soros everywhere,” said another.
Jewish Twitter was filled with reports of Nazi flags and swastikas that appeared in the live videos from the Capitol. While the video most commonly shared as proof of this is ambiguous, another banner with far-right and pro-Nazi links can be clearly seen in images and videos. The green flag of the fictitious nation of Kekistani is based on the Nazi flag, with the letter K instead of the swastika and the color green replacing the red of the Third Reich. That flag initially emerged as a meme among 4Chan users, but has appeared with increasing frequency at rallies since 2017. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the flag’s name derives from a deity and the imaginary nation of those who worship it. .
The leader of the white supremacist group Groyper Army, Nick Fuentes, joined the protesters in shouting “Christ is the King,” while the European Heritage Association of New Jersey, another white supremacist organization, waved its flag on Wednesday, according to reported the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in a press release. .
Jewish Twitter was filled with reports of Nazi flags and swastikas that appeared in the live videos from the Capitol. While the video most commonly shared as proof of this is ambiguous, another banner with far-right and pro-Nazi links can be clearly seen in images and videos.
Tim Gionet, known on the internet as “Baked Alaska”, was one of the protesters present at the Capitol who also broadcast the insurgent action live. Before being banned from Twitter for posting a Photoshopped image of far-right agitator Laura Loomer, who is Jewish, in a gas chamber, “Baked Alaska” tweeted about how “Jews control the news” and wrote to his followers about being “JQado,” an abbreviation for “Jewish question,” meaning that he embraces anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Right-wing Jewish activists were also at the rally
Najman Mostofsky, CEO of Young Zion and a Trump supporter, flew to Washington to be at the rally. He said that, unlike the riots in cities across the country after George Floyd’s assassination, the Capitol complex was “at least the right source of sentiment” of anger from conservatives.
“That said, the riots are anti-American,” Mostofsky said, adding that he does not believe those who entered the Capitol were true conservatives. “The leaders of the riots are fakers.”
Chaos: the steps of the Capitol before the protesters were expelled by the authorities
The strident stage also featured strange invocations of Judaism. Right-wing Orthodox Jewish activist Heshy Tischler appeared in a video with a man wearing a tallit decorated with the Virgin Mary, blowing a shofar.
“Will you blow the shofar for the Mashíaj, or for Trump? ” Tischler asked. “Go ahead and touch it!” The man, who identified himself as Alan, responded: “I am going to blow the shofar for President Donald Trump, for his first and second terms.”
Nadine Bloch, veteran Jewish activist and member of the movement Beautiful Trouble, said she has been protesting in Washington for decades and was once arrested for screaming in the Senate gallery.
Bloch was stunned by the police reaction to the protesters, and said such a violent entrance into the Capitol would not have been allowed had it been in the name of a progressive cause. “The authorities have not done their job to protect our Constitution and our limited democratic process,” said Bloch. “This is a case where the system has failed us.”
“Baked Alaska” tweeted about how “Jews control the news” and wrote to his followers about being “JQado,” an abbreviation for “Jewish question,” which means he embraces anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
David Walsh, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia who studies the far right, agrees that the assault on the Capitol by protesters is unprecedented. “In the American context, nothing like this has ever happened before.” Walsh notes that Jews should be alarmed by the escalation of violence, and that the QAnon conspiracy theory that has been woven throughout the protests of Stop the Steal it is essentially an anti-Semitic “blood libel”.
Walsh cautions that it could only be the beginning of these kinds of actions by far-right protesters: “Once this kind of thing starts, it will usually happen again.”