Canadian Anti-Hate Network
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Since the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7 and the intense bombing and ground campaign being waged against Gaza, the far right has seized on the conflict to dehumanize and mock all of those impacted by the Israel-Hamas war.
Many on the far-right criticize Israel, not for its policies or treatment of Palestinians, who they often also hate, but simply as an extension of their antisemitism. Today, they are using this latest escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict to add to and spread their antisemitic conspiracy theories which often hold all Jews responsible for Israel, and to point to Hamas as a justification for their Islamophobic warnings about Arab and Muslim immigrants and citizens of Canada.
The spectrum of ideologies that make up the far-right in Canada has seized on the events of October 7 with many sharing the harrowing sights of the conflict. This has included everything from body-worn camera footage of the attack itself, to videos of blood-stained floors inside Israeli homes, to the countless images of men, women, and children injured and killed by Israeli bombs and its recent ground campaign.
It is a time of polarization and mourning that has seen both Muslim and Jewish communities targeted. Since the attack, there has been an outbreak of reports of antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents around the world — Canada is no exception.
“Remind them that the Western world deals with the Islamic bullshit Israel dumped on us routinely and that we should return them to sender,” Alex Vriend, a troll and streamer associated with the Diagolon network wrote on an encrypted messaging app.
Vriend frequently has posted footage of graphic violence committed by non-white immigrants in Canada and Europe as proof of the inevitable failure of multiculturalism. More recently this has turned to open support for neo-Nazi organizations like the white-only workout groups, the Active Club.
Diagolon’s de facto leader, live streamer Jeremy MacKenzie, added his take on the issue. He also has made opposition to Muslim immigration a cornerstone of many of his pronouncements since he protested a panel discussion by former child soldiers that included Omar Khadr in 2020.
“I recommend not opening yourself up to attacks in a worse than zero-sum game. Neither Zionists or the migrant BIPOC alliance of ‘dismantle the white patriarchy’ are on your side,” he wrote after a recent trip to Halifax.
Noticing that many people in the city under 40 were not white, MacKenzie tells his followers cities will not be livable for much longer.
“Get out of the way and let them tear each other apart and while that's happening, focus on improving yourself, family, friends and community to be in the best possible position for whatever comes next.”
He captioned a screenshot from a Jewish American far-right media personality, Laura Loomer, calling for the complete destruction of Gaza as “Jewish bloodlust.”
MacKenzie has warned his viewership in the past about a coming “race war” and uses his expanding social media presence to share the work of ethnonationlists like Henrik Palmgren, a host of the Red Ice podcast, on which MacKenzie and Vriend have both been guests.
Canada First, a neo-Nazi social media channel run by former members of the Steel City Proud Boys, put out two separate calls for both Jewish and Muslim Canadians to return to fight for Israel or Palestine.
The far-right often blames all Jews for the actions of Israel, and collectively blames Jews for many, if not all, of the grievances extreme right-wing ideologies have with modern society. This runs the gamut from accusing Jewish people of creating the transgender movement, being responsible for increased immigration, and generally being powerful global puppet masters.
“We all know (((who))) is oppressing the Palestinians, and they aren't Europeans,” Canada First posted, using the three parentheses or “echos” that indicate that they are referring to Jews. “Israel is another extension of power from the same (((people))) ruining European countries.
“The same (((people))) who invented communism are the same people oppressing Palestinians. The same (((people))) who most likely run this group of communists are the same ones bombing hospitals in Gaza.”
Canada First is one piece of a larger network of neo-Nazi social accounts. An investigation by the CAHN exposed some of the individuals behind the social media channels in 2022. The network includes in-person meet-up groups like Nationalist-13 as well as members running prominent neo-Nazi social media channels such as “The Western Chauvinist” and “Leafwaffen.”
On these more explicit channels, content includes numerous posts about the current Israel-Palestine war. One note shared calls Jewish people the “greatest threat to white well-being” but adds that Palestinians “hate you anyway.”
“Remember when all the conservatives and Groypers were worried that worldwide jihad would be announced on Western soils,” another post reads. “It's fortunate that worldwide jihad was announced on their favourite hooked-nose blood perverts.”
Canada’s QAnon-inspired cult leader does not want Canada involved in the war. When pictures emerged on Tuesday, reportedly of members of Canada’s special forces arriving in the region to provide support for the Israeli Defence Force, the self-proclaimed Queen of Canada, Romana Didulo, told her followers it was a hoax.
Saying the pictures and reporting were the work of “the cabals, blackhats, globalists, deepstaters” deploying US forces to the region and picturing them with Canadian flags to draw the country into the war.
Other members of her following have determined that Gaza is a testing ground for the 15-minute city conspiracy, which has apparently been the plan since 1948, when the state of Israel was founded.
While much of the far-right espouses antisemitism, some members and outlets are explicit in their support for Israel. Among this group, there is a casting of all Palestinian protests or actions as supporting Hamas.
There have also been attempts by US activists to infiltrate Palestinian protests. On October 18, 40 people associated with the National Justice Party joined a rally outside of the White House. In attendance was Mike Peinovich, besides being Chairman of the NJP, he is also one of the organizers of the 2017 Unite The Right protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Racist and conspiratorial protesters in Canada have previously attempted to marry their cause to Palestinian protests. In 2021, Tyler Russell, a Canadian far-right activist who has since moved to the US to work as part of white nationalist Nick Fuentes’ network of live steamers, shared pictures and bragged in a private chat room about “surrounding the Jews” during a Palestinian rally he “infiltrated.”
The same year, anti-COVID health measure protest group The Line put out a statement to its followers aligning their cause with that of people being displaced from their homes.
Incidents of Islamophobia and antisemitism in Canada are on the rise, with the National Council of Canadian Muslims reporting an over 1,000% increase in reported incidents of street harassment, threats, and more.
Likewise, there have been a series of vandalism and threats targeting Jewish Canadians.
In Toronto, Ontario one man and two teens were arrested after making threats against a Jewish school. In Thornhill, the Sephardic Kehila Centre reported a man standing outside with a knife and an axe to police. A spokesperson for the York Regional Police told the Canadian Anti-Hate Network the area was searched but no arrests were made.
On October 11, two women in Vancouver reported they were followed and threatened with rape after leaving a vigil for those murdered during the attack on Israel.
In London, the same city that saw a family of Muslims murdered in a targeted attack in 2021, the words "Kill All Muslims" was scrawled on the wall of an apartment building.
Numerous other incidents likely go unreported as police statistics only capture about one per cent of the number of hate crimes that people in Canada self-report. Jewish and Muslim organizations both report significant increases in incidents targeting their communities.
Researchers have also found a consistent trend when it comes to both Islamophobia and antisemitism rising online as a result. Online hatred toward Muslims on 4chan grew significantly after the Hamas attacks on October 7, according to the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE).
“Across 4chan, Gab, Odysee, and Bitchute, antisemitic and anti-Muslim posts went from 618 to 3466 from October 6 to October 8, demonstrating a 461% increase. While this is a narrow search that won’t capture every conceivable slur, the data demonstrates how quickly hate proliferates against targeted communities during times of conflict,” GPAHE said in a report.
The situation has exacerbated problems across the globe. In the southern Russian region of Dagestan, online posts about a flight arriving from Tel Aviv sent a mob of men overwhelming airport security and rushing through the building attempting to find Jews. Over 80 people were arrested and 20 injured during the riot, according to a police statement.
In the United States, people identified as Black Hebrew Israelites—a new religious movement whose beliefs include that Black Americans are the descendants of ancient Israeli people— and pro-Palestinian protesters came to blows briefly in the streets of Chicago.