Conspiracy Theories About Jewish Power and Control

There are many popular conspiracy theories. Some are innocuous, like the belief in Big Foot or the Loch Ness monster. Others are more elaborate, such as the notion that the government is engaged in a cover up of UFOs or faked the moon landing. The ideas have followings in the fringe, and do not, for the most part, change a person’s interaction with society.

However, there are some conspiracy theories that get mainstreamed and hurt people.

Alex Jones is perhaps the best known conspiracy theorist with (or used to have) a large platform. He’s said that the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 by Muslim jihadists were actually an inside job; that the Boston Marathon bombing by two Muslim radicals in 2013 was the work of the FBI; and that the shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012 by a deranged man was a hoax. Just last month, the courts ordered Jones to pay $965 million in damages because of a suit brought by parents of the murdered Sandy Hook children.

Despite his crazy and hateful ideas, according to an August 2022 poll by The Economist / YouGov, 9% of Americans think that Jones is trustworthy. An astonishing 21% of people who consider themselves very conservative believe his bile, compared to just 6% of liberals. As to the Sandy Hook massacre itself, 18% of Americans think it was a hoax.

That’s no longer a small segment of society. That’s an alarming percentage who have bought in to the “disinformation.”

In the era of losing trust in mainstream media and government, we have collectively taken to believing pop cultural liars. These individuals have social media platforms that reach millions of people around the world with the ability to spread either old conspiracy theories or new ones.

Some old conspiracy theories gain new twists. The same Economist / YouGov poll found that 20% of Americans believe that COVID-19 vaccines are being used to microchip Americans. It’s a spin on the popular control-themed conspiracy theory with a current event. A number of world leaders have taken to combining that control conspiracy theory with anti-Semitism – such as the leaders in Bulgaria, Turkey and Iran – that Jews engineered the coronavirus for profit to control the world.

Conspiracy theories are alive and unwell.

Conspiracy Theories of “Power” and “Control”

The biggest conspiracy of all – typically tied to extreme Jew hatred – is that the world is controlled by a shadow government. A whopping 58% of Republicans polled hold such belief as well as 26% of Democrats. Some believe that this shadow government is the “Illumanti“, while others contend it is the Jews.

Kanye West / Ye recently came out with a broad conspiracy theory about Jews controlling Black people. He saidThey can control Shaq. They can control Charles Barkley. They can control LeBron James. They can control Jay-Z and Beyoncé. But they can’t control me. You see it ain’t no name I won’t name. It’s up.” He then suggested that “Hollywood” deliberately kills family members of Black stars. “Michael Jordan, what about him? His daddy, right? Bill Cosby, his son. Dr. Dre, his son. Out in Hollywood, a lot of people come up missing. It feels like it might be a lot of that, in order to control, traumatize.

Followers of KanYe West point to companies like Adidas pulling their commercial deals from the musician after threating to go “death con 3 on Jewish people” as evidence of Jewish power. Comedian Dave Chapelle talked about KanYe and Jewish power on Saturday Night Live and ended his monologueI hope they don’t take anything away from me. Whoever they are,” with the last sentence said in a deep conspiracy-oriented undertone.

Politicians like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) both have called out Jewish control with outrageous smears like Omar’s “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” and Tlaib’s comment that Jews “do it from Gaza to Detroit, and it’s a way to control people, to oppress peopledesigned by those who exploit the rest of us, for their own profit.

The media echoes the sentiment of Jewish power, whether at The New York Times or CNN, with the Times sometimes using language right out of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. It’s curious that the left-wing media does it so frequently, as Republicans are twice as likely to believe the conspiracy theory of a shadow government.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) taking to the extremist left-wing group Democratic Socialists of America, that Jews are controlling Black and Brown people for profit.

The concept of “Jewish power” was covered in several of the Anti-Defamation League’s polling questions about anti-Semitism around the world. The poll asked eleven questions about Jews, of which five were specifically about Jewish power – over the business world, financial markets, global affairs, the U.S. government and the global media. It was in those five areas, that almost every country scored higher (meaning more believed the trope) than other questions such as being more loyal to Israel than their own country, or talk too much about the Holocaust.

In the most recent limited European 2019 poll, Poland and Ukraine were the most anti-Semitic (Muslim countries are the most anti-Semitic, as covered in the global 2014 poll). The conspiracy theories about Jews having power topped the concerns of Poles and Ukrainians.

  • 56% and 72% of Poles and Ukrainians, respectively, felt that Jews had too much power in the business world
  • 56% of Poles and 68% of Ukrainians felt that Jews had too much control over the financial markets
  • 40% and 56% believe that Jews control global affairs
  • 41% and 33% believing they control the United States government
  • 39% and 45% believe that Jews control the global media

The scores for the six non-control questions were much lower, meaning that the driver of anti-Semitism is the Jewish power conspiracy theory, not other items like “Jews think they’re better than other people.”

Clear and Present Danger

The widespread libels are not a curiosity but a clear and present danger. The notion of Jewish power directly influences people to take harmful actions against Jews.

Consider that a radical Muslim man flew from England to Texas, where he took Jewish hostages in a synagogue, and then placed a call to a rabbi in New York, to help free a jihadi extremist in custody. Why would anyone believe that a rabbi could possibly influence the FBI to release a terrorist, other than believing that Jews have some crazy power.

English terrorist, Malik Faisal Akram, flew to Texas to try to release terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, serving an 86-year sentence for attempting to kill U.S. soldiers, by taking Jews hostage.

A deranged white man who believed that Jews are importing Hispanics to destroy “White America” shot Jews in a synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, saying that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.

Two African-American “Black Israelites” shot up a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, NJ in 2019, killing a number of people because these Black people felt there was an invasion and “insidious onslaught to African American life” as “Black homeowners were threatened… by brutes of the jewish community.” How does a couple of Jews moving into a predominantly Black neighborhood constitute an “insidious onslaught” worthy of killing people, unless these Black people have been led to believe that the Jews will overpower them?

The vile anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and violence are no longer fringe held in one corner of America. It is mainstreamed in many communities, including Muslim, Black, alt-right and alt-left.

And this is very much about communities, not organized hate groups.

According to the ADL, the sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the United States are NOT from hate groups, but individuals who have become radicalized, an incredible 87% from “lone wolves.” These are people who have been spoon-fed hate-filled lies that Jews are coming to get them, both directly and indirectly.

Conspiracy theories about Jewish power and control are widespread on college campuses, mainstream and social media platforms, and from the mouths of politicians. It is broadcast from the extreme right, the left, Islamic radicals and Black influencers. The drip of noxious anti-Semitic lies is now a steady stream, coupled with calls to “punch up” and dismantle the visible and invisible power structures hurting the common person and preferred community.

It’s the same narrative that brought Nazis to power to annihilate Jews in the 1930s, and despite knowing history, society is seemingly incapable or unwilling to stop the torrent.

Related articles:

What Kind of Hate Kills?

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

The Right Number of Anti-Semites in Congress

The Nerve of ‘Judaizing’ Neighborhoods

A Whoopi Goldberg Teaching Moment: Jews, Race and “The Other”

Hamas’s Willing Executioners

I See Dead People

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Is the Southern Poverty Law Center Part of the Problem of Anti-Semitism?

Farrakhan’s Democrats

Victims of Preference

Organized and Disorganized Antisemitism

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