Since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israeli military bases, towns, and kibbutzim near the Gaza Strip, Israel has responded with massive air and ground campaigns in Gaza to eliminate Hamas members and uncover their underground hideouts (Al Jazeera, October 7). The resulting deaths of hundreds of Hamas fighters and thousands of civilians has led to large-scale protests throughout the Muslim world and in major Western cities with many left-wing organizations supporting the Palestinian side. In the popular conception, Israel might be more likely to be associated with the “West” and “white” phenotype than the Palestinian side. This is the case even though Israeli citizens include Sephardic people and others of Black Ethiopian origin (The Jerusalem Post, November 6). Nevertheless, in this conflict the white identitarian “far-right” in the West is decidedly pro-Palestinian, if not also openly pro-Hamas.
The far-right’s sympathy with Islamist or jihadist militant groups became explicit as early as August 2021, when the Taliban conquered Kabul and the far-right widely posted memes and other videos celebrating the Taliban (Politico [Europe], August 18, 2021). According to the far-right, the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan represented a blow to the “Globalist American Empire (GAE)” and vindication of the “traditional” values of patriarchal and heteronormative societies, as exemplified by Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. It became common, for example, for far-right social media users to re-design the “Chad” Aryan man meme to feature a Taliban-style black-and-white turban, with a black beard instead of a blond one (X/@thelaurenchen, September 6, 2021).
Greg Conte, founder of the National Policy Institute (NPI) and former deputy to far-right figure Richard Spencer, offered perhaps the longest explanation for the pro-Palestinian trend among members of the far right (at least from 2021 until the October 7 attacks) in a two-hour lecture (Odyssey /PrussianSocialismPodcast, July 6). Conte himself was a substitute teacher in Virginia until the all-girls Catholic school he taught at learned of Conte’s explicitly pro-national socialist and pro-Hitler views (WJLA, January 5, 2018).
According to Conte, the pro-Palestinian side is willing to counter “Jewish power” and “Israeli oppression of the Palestinians” and is, therefore, an ally, even though the far-right “does not want refugees or Muslims in Europe,” including from Palestine. Conte’s organization after NPI, the openly pro-Hitler National Justice Party (NJP), even protested at the White House alongside pro-Palestine activists “against the genocide of the Palestinian population” in late October. Conte left the NJP earlier this year after alleging its leaders were stealing the organization’s funds (Odyssey/NationalJusticeParty, October 28).
Nick Fuentes is the leader of “America First,” which he describes as an anti-Globalist “American sovereignty movement,” nicknamed “The Groypers.” Fuentes articulated the reason for the far-right’s support for Hamas specifically after the October 7 attacks, stating on his podcast that the “Jewish maximalist Likud Party” in Israel “dominates [the US] government,” and censors the far-right. Thus, if “Israel’s genocide of Gaza” rallied international support against the Jews, then the “enemy of our enemy” (the pro-Palestinian side) could become “our friends” (X/@RpsAgainstTrump, October 14). Fuentes found pro-Palestinian protests, or those of the “Hamas Islamist Muslim brotherhood,” on university campuses to be a more positive influence than that of the “tricky Zionist Jews,” so that “maybe now [campuses] won’t be so gay” (Xemail@example.com, October 27).
Likewise, Keith Woods—one of the best-known Irish far-right activists and a friend of Fuentes—consistently condemned “Jewish supremacy” and the Israeli “genocide” in Gaza in a podcast interview of Lucas Gage, who himself founded the predecessor group to the white nationalist organization Generation Evropa (Idavox, January 20, 2019; Rumble/KeithWoods, November 7). The language of Woods and Gage also highlights a paradox: both the far-right and its greatest nemesis, Antifa, are totally aligned in their support for Palestine and rhetoric with regards to the current conflict. For example, they both describe Israel’s actions in Gaza as “genocide.”
The Canadian far-right podcaster Jean-Francois Gariepy claims the far-right should “celebrate the general sentiments that are developing against the actions of Israel.” Gariepy describes the Jewish state as the “crack whore of the Middle East” because Israel takes the “white man’s money to fight its wars” (Odyssey/JFGTonight, November 8). He even praised left-wing environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s pro-Palestinian rhetoric about there being “no climate justice on occupied lands” (Odyssey/JFGTonight, November 12). That said, Greg Johnson, American author of the White Nationalist Manifesto contended on his webzine, countercurrents.com, that most left-wing “criticism of the Jews,” be it from Antifa, more mainstream outlets like The Young Turks podcast, or the Democratic Party’s “Squad” represent “controlled opposition to Zionism.” However, the webzine remained hopeful that the most popular anti-Israeli and anti-Ukrainian Twitter account-holder, Jackson Hinkle (a white, former “Bernie Bro”), would become “our guy.” Countercurrents.com, for its part, supports the “white” Ukrainians in their resistance against Russia’s invasion (Counter-Currents, November 7).
It remains an open question whether pro-Palestinian protests in the West—in which there have been anti-Semitic chants, violence, and property damage—or the far-right’s support for Palestine and Hamas will lead to additional organized or lone-actor terrorist attacks (ABC News 7, November 7; Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, October 12). However, one thing is certain: Israel’s war in Gaza has brought together strange ideological bedfellows in the West.