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Conspiracy Kingpin Shows Twitter Is a Safe Space for Antisemitism

Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino has committed the platform to “combat antisemitism,” insisting “there’s absolutely no place for it anywhere in the world.” But this supposed crackdown on hate is being undermined by the conspiracy theorist and far-right broadcaster Stew Peters, who was reinstated to the platform late last year. Peters is taking the Israel-Hamas war as license to promote animus toward Jews — and using Elon Musk’s platform to spread his bile.

A distrust of Jews has long been part of the toxic mix of Peters’ ideology. The Anti-Defamation League has described him as someone who “regularly promotes anti-LGBTQ+, racist and antisemitic tropes.” But such rhetoric had often been somewhat veiled — or wrapped in conspiratorial absurdity, as with Peters’ claim that the Titan submersible was sunk to protect a long-secret Rothschild plot.

In recent days however, there’s been nothing covert about Peters’ intent. On Monday, he posted an antisemitic meme on Twitter showing a troubled white man flipping through a massive tome titled Jewish Tricks, Vol. 1. Peters added the kicker: “It’s a thick book.”

On Monday night, Peters ramped up his incendiary language on the broadcast of his Stew Peters Show, which he teased as exposing “ZIONIST Masterminds” who seek to “Destabilize & DESTROY The Nation State.” Then on Tuesday, Peters went whole hog on Twitter: He posted an image of the Star of David combined with a Swastika — the same symbol that once got Kanye West booted from Musk’s platform. He followed that up by posting a cartoon of an investigator connecting threads on a cork board, linking cards with six words — “Media,” “Pornography,” “Banking,” “Hollywood,” “Government,” and “The 1%” — as points of a Star of David. Peters added the text: “Mystery Solved

As of Monday, Peters’ content was being monetized by Twitter. On this reporter’s Twitter feed, an ad for a subscription to the video service ViX.com was sandwiched between a Peters post declaring “ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE” and a tweet in which Peters seemed to raise doubts about the Holocaust.

Peters wrote: “Jewish @DrEliDavid posts letter from Red Cross in 1944 claiming: ‘We found no trace of installations for exterminating civilian prisoners in Auschwitz.’ Wtf 👀” (The post Peters referenced was intended to cast a different kind of doubt: On the trustworthiness of today’s Red Cross for saying it had not seen evidence Hamas activity in Gaza hospitals, by underscoring the organization’s past obliviousness to Nazi atrocities at the death camp.)

Peters is perhaps most notorious for his viral films sowing conspiracy theories about the Covid epidemic. A failed rapper who also earned a living as a bounty hunter, Peters has the spirit of a shock-jock. He was last profiled in Rolling Stone for calling for the public hanging of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, among others he insisted deserved “extreme accountability.”

Twitter’s past management suspended Peters from the platform, but his account was restored amid new honcho Musk’s amnesty program for banned creators. Peters regained access to his feed in December 2022, and his blue-check account now reaches 450,000 followers — to whom he’s recently served up memes about supposed Jewish control of global government officials.

Rolling Stone reached out to Twitter’s press team about Peters’ content and the advertising accompanying and received a reply several hours later reading: “Busy now, please check back later.”

The timing of Peters’ antisemitic outbursts could hardly be worse for the company. Twitter has recently been doing damage control after Musk endorsed an antisemitic tweet on the platform as the “actual truth.” On Monday, Musk visited with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, where the billionaire said his platform must “do everything possible to stop the hate.” Peters reacted to news of this tet-a-tet with a tweet reading: “🇮🇱Elon has been compromised🇮🇱”

Peters is giving an even freer airing to his noxious beliefs on the Stew Peters Show, which he posts to Rumble, the YouTube competitor, where he has more than half a million subscribers. During recent shows, Peters has been saying the quiet parts out loud when discussing the conspiracy theory that nefarious “globalists” are engaged in a plot against the interests of the American people.

“Who holds the levers of power?” Peters asked on Monday. “If you want to be truthful with yourself, you have to admit, it’s all coming from Zionist Israel. That’s what’s going on here.” Peters then insisted, conspiratorially: “These people are responsible for everything that is happening to destroy our country,” ratting off supposed examples including “the bioweapon” (i.e., Covid-19), “the Fed-surection” (i.e., Jan. 6), and even “9/11.” (Peters recently shared a meme appearing to blame Israel for the 2001 attack on the Twin Towers.)

In his monologue, Peters taunted would-be critics. “Call me antisemitic,” he said. “I don’t really give [a] shit anymore.” He claimed to be drawing a “big difference” between anti-Zionism, a label he owns, and antisemitism, one he rejects. The former is, arguably, a stance against a political ideology; the latter is bigotry against a religious faith.

Yet Peters has himself run roughshod over meaningful distinction between the two concepts in his content — including by posting memes about “Jewish Tricks” or responding to a Twitter post criticizing a Jewish-owned porn site by agreeing that those tempted to watch porn need to “Fight the Jew inside you!” 

During his Monday broadcast, Peters claimed that “Benjamin Netanyahu is the president of the United States,” and that Americans live under a “Zionist-controlled government.” He warned listeners that the dark endgame is to “ultimately starve you, and then place you into virtual, digital, financial, or even, yes, physical prison camps.”

Rolling Stone reached Peters by phone on Tuesday. He expressed outrage at the civilian carnage that’s resulted from the Israeli military offensive in Gaza. But Peters attempted to deflect questions about his anti-Jewish content by blasting Israel: “If we don’t support genocide, then we’re antisemitic and we hate Jews?” he posed. “I couldn’t think of a more retarded, and basic, and juvenile take if you paid me money to do it!”

Faced with specific questions about his posting memes about Jewish control of government, Hollywood, and banking, Peters launched into an angry aside about the Rothschilds, members of the Biden cabinet, and “the media,” before asking: “Is there any question about the ethnic heritage of these people?”

Peters denied he is antisemitic, and insisted that Rolling Stone’s questions were “proving more and more that you, too, are controlled by Zionists.” He then declared: “You’re not going to trap me. You’re not going to get me to say that I hate Jews, because I don’t. I love Jews.”

Asked why someone who loved Jews would exhort his followers to “fight the Jew within,” Peters clarified that his true “brothers and sisters” are “real, practicing Messianic Jews that believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and savior.” When pressed on this distinction, Peters insisted that all other Jews need to “go and find Him” — that is to say, Jesus — “and to repent, and walk away from their Satanic lifestyle.”

Peters is hardly alone on the far right in using the Israel-Gaza conflict as an opportunity to display animus toward Jews. But he is unique in his crossover into mainstream conservative politics. His show has previously attracted sitting GOP congressmen including Paul Gosar, Bob Good, Pete Sessions, and Andy Biggs.

And Peters is unique in casting himself as being at the vanguard of a realignment in conservative politics. He invited Candace Owens onto his program on Nov. 16 in the wake of her public falling-out with Ben Shapiro over the conflict in Gaza. In his monologue that night, Peters insisted the controversy at the Daily Wire was “more than just some dumb civil war at some meaningless conservative media outlet.” He insisted, instead: “This could actually represent a serious shift in public sentiment on the American right.”

Peters argued that for generations, questioning U.S. support for Israel was a “rapid way to get booted out of the respectable conservative movement.” But he gushed that “a lot of people are asking the questions that we were never supposed to ask before,” including: “Wait. How exactly is Israel our greatest ally?” And: “How are they even our ally at all?”

The uproar over Musk’s “actual truth” tweet was also in the news during the filming of that show. And Peters insisted that Musk was speaking truth to power. “Elite media voices are denouncing Musk, of course, as an antisemite,” he said. “But you know, the words don’t work like they used to. People are waking up. The empire of lies is crumbling into dust.”

Yet by Tuesday night’s show however, at least some of Peters’ hateful optimism was sagging. His show was slugged: “Elon Musk Bows To Zionist War Criminals.”

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