Ann Coulter may have been looking for another dose of fame when she tweeted her anti-Semitic take on the GOP debate, but she found a wave of support from anti-Semites craving a pundit to give a sense of legitimacy to their prejudiced views.
Coulter did just that last night, dog-whistling anti-Semites with her response to the repeated mention of support for Israel during the debates.
“How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” Coulter tweeted.
The anti-Semitism in Coulter’s tweet came through loud and clear as she painted American Jews as some all-powerful force manipulating the Republicans. As The Daily Beast’s Tom Sykes wrote, “The whole argument echoes a historic libel against Jews that they hold secret influence.”
In the dozen or so hours since her initial tweet, Coulter has attempted to explain that it was not specifically anti-Semitic but part of a larger critique on the GOP for the “same pandering on Reagn & abortion,” as she tweeted. Yet, she also stood by her views, adding even more fuel to her fire by pointing out that only those powerful Jews are the ones who complain.
“Boy were they wrong @ Jewish influence! I complained about pandering on Israel (Reagan & abortion) & haven’t heard a thing about it!,” she tweeted a little after 1 p.m. today.
In response to an online critic, she made a reference to Tom Sykes’s Daily Beast report on the underlying anti-Semitism of her tweet. “Only if you believe what @thedailybeast calls an “historic libel” about Jewish influence,” she tweeted.
However, even more disturbing is the outpouring of anti-Semitic support from people who suddenly feel vindicated in their hatred and suspicions about Jews.
Not only did Coulter’s tweet receive more than 2,000 favorites, #IStandWithAnn began trending on Twitter.
“#IStandWithAnn because six Jewish companies control 97% of the global media. She will be demonized for speaking out,” tweeted Nick Joseph, a man who describes himself in his Twitter bio as “morally obligated to raise awareness for the increasing racism against white people.”
@Nocuck tweeted #IStandWithAnn the anti-Semitic standard image of a hook-nosed man, hunched over with the caption “Did a goyim just point out our power!?”
There are so, so many other tweets like these out there if you search the #IStandWithAnn hashtag—these are some of the most recent.
With few Twitter followers and inaccurate-to-absurdly extremist views, these people are all too easy to shrug off.
But it’s dangerous to dismiss their anti-Semitism because it seems almost laughably outrageous to anyone with the slightest sense of human history or decency.
For one, not everyone who stands with Ann is an anti-Semitic troll in a basement. Some are anti-Semitic trolls of prominence.
It’s not exactly surprising that it took David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and Louisiana state senator (and failed senator, governor, and presidential candidate), about 12 hours to “stand with Ann.” He devoted part of his radio show today to “applaud” her.
Last month, Duke declared to The Daily Beast that Trump was too connected to the “Jewish elite” to support.
“She hit the nail on the head regarding pandering on Israel,” the post on Duke’s website states. “What remains to be seen is whether she will now expose Jewish responsibility for U.S. immigration policy, which she avoided mentioning in her recent book on immigration.”
Away from the extremes, Coulter’s tweets are being used to support slightly more nuanced—but still alarming—riffs whose anti-Semitism is masked by anti-Israel sentiments.
@genophilia, who has a not exactly insignificant 16.7K followers on Twitter, wrote “#IStandWithAnn because if Israel can build a wall, accept no refugees, and deport immigrants, so can the USA and Europe.”
Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has thrown his social media support behind the Coulter line of blaming the Jews.
Khamenei tweeted, “US govs put their people under Zionists custody. Isn’t it a shame that presidential candidates try to satisfy Zionists&prove their servitude?”
As lawyer and journalist Arsen Ostrovsky pithily tweeted in response to Khamenei’s anti-Semitic bond with Coulter, “Who’d have thought that @khamenei_ir & @AnnCoulter have so much in common. Make a cute couple!”
Coulter will likely to continue to hem and haw and stick to her bombastic anti-Semitism, either for attention or in a perverse attempt to be relevant. Or a toxic mixture of both.
The upshot is far more upsetting than having to see Coulter’s face on Fox News at all hours. It’s the growing sense of legitimacy her widely promulgated views give to people who harbor these anti-Semitic views. That cannot be undone—even if hell freezes over and Coulter backs down.