Antisemitism is a central feature of the white power movement, with Jewish people cast as all-powerful manipulators who use Black people and other nonwhite persons to challenge white social and political dominance.
While many of the groups the SPLC monitors are antisemitic, here we list those who focus their hatred most intently on Jewish people, including Holocaust deniers. Deniers of the Holocaust either deny that such a genocide took place or minimize its extent. These groups (and individuals) often cloak themselves in the sober language of serious scholarship, call themselves “historical revisionists” instead of deniers and accuse their critics of trying to squelch open-minded inquiries into historical truth.
We also include the Nation of Islam in our antisemitism category. Founded in Detroit in 1930, the modern iteration of this predominantly Black organization holds that Jewish people are one of primary impediments to Black progress.
2022 began with an armed attack on a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, where four people were held hostage for 11 hours. The year was characterized by antisemitism as these threats continued to target the Jewish community.
The number of groups that subscribe to Holocaust denial remained relatively stagnant in 2022. Active Nation of Islam chapters have also remained relatively consistent, with 127 chapters advertised on its website. Similarly, while the radical Black Hebrew Israelite ideology received more mainstream attention this year, the number of active hate groups remained static.
However, antisemitism reached far beyond the confines of hate group membership in 2022. As the backbone of many political, social and public health-related conspiracy theories, reports of antisemitic hate crimes across the country have continued to grow. Additionally, high-profile political figures – including former President Donald Trump – this year made antisemitic remarks that emboldened extremists and contributed to the normalization of antisemitic rhetoric.
President Trump’s October dinner with Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and antisemitic rapper and designer Ye (who changed his name from “Kanye West”) led to condemnations from many of Trump’s Republican colleagues. However, many others public figures in politics continue to use antisemitic rhetoric, including invoking the Hungarian billionaire George Soros as an antisemitic dog whistle that casts the philanthropist as the puppeteer behind progressive causes.
The number of hate groups that deny and obscure the historical facts of the Holocaust will most likely remain relatively static in 2023. The controversies surrounding Ye and Kyrie Irving in 2022 have increased the amount of attention given to Nation of Islam and radical Black Hebrew Israelite groups as well as helped mainstream their antisemitic messages. Despite this, significant changes in the number of active Nation of Islam chapters and radical Black Hebrew Israelite groups are also not expected in the coming year.
Background: Antisemitism and Holocaust-denial conspiracies
Antisemitism supports the belief that Jewish individuals are a separate race, making it a form of racism in itself. Harmful stereotypes uniformly portray Jewish persons as deceitful and predatory.
In Eric K. Ward’s article “Skin in the Game,” published in 2017 by Political Research Associates, he explains that antisemitism gave the movement a new theoretical basis for claims of white supremacy. “Antisemitism,” Ward explains, “is a particular and potent form of racism so central to [white] supremacy that Black people would not win our freedom without tearing it down.”
Antisemitism is a form of racism that is distinct from anti-Black racism or broader xenophobia. White supremacist adherents of the ideology contradictorily portray Jewish persons as simultaneously inferior and all-powerful, often by propagating myths of “globalist” agents with equally great, yet undue, financial influence who uphold a collective goal of subverting white, European cultures and nations. Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ individuals are often portrayed as tools of this grand subversion. In such groups as the Nation of Islam, antisemitism is used in a similar capacity, claiming Jewish people caused slavery, Jim Crow laws, sharecropping and other forms of Black oppression.
While the Nation of Islam also has a history of homophobic rhetoric, they are one of the most active disseminators of antisemitic materials and have a history of contributing to antisemitism both within and outside the Black community. Compiled by the Nation of Islam’s Ministry of Research, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews is a foremost antisemitic book. Khalid Abdul Muhammad – a top official within the Nation of Islam – used the book as a source for his infamously antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ speech at Kean College in 1993.
Nation of Islam’s activity is harmful and counter to the deep history of alliance between Jewish people and Black Americans during the civil rights movement and today and is an example of efforts to drive a wedge between would-be allies.
The Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan has claimed that Jewish people are Satan and are attempting to kill him “non-violently, with radiated seed.” Farrakhan has also falsely claimed that pedophilia and sexual perversion have spread due to the Jewish influence in Hollywood. Both Farrakhan and Khalid Adbul Muhammad have also used the word “bloodsucker” to dehumanize Jewish people, claiming they are “bloodsuckers of the poor.”
Holocaust deniers form another segment of groups and individuals whose ideology bolsters the antisemitism that permeates many hate groups. Adherents to this small segment of the far right seek to validate antisemitism and undermine the experiences of Jewish people by distorting the historical facts of the Holocaust or outright denying it ever happened.
Holocaust deniers espouse falsehoods including that Jewish people died from disease, starvation and other indiscriminate challenges rather than a systematic genocide orchestrated and executed by the Nazi Party during its occupation of Europe during World War II. Holocaust deniers falsely claim that the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps were used for recreation and delousing prisoners – and even that they were built after World War II. Holocaust deniers also exaggerate minor discrepancies in reported Jewish casualties and deaths during the Holocaust as evidence of sweeping historical fallacies. Adherents to this ideology often mask these claims behind the guise of pseudo-intellectual “historical revisionism.”
While Holocaust denial as a loose collection of antisemitic narratives existed in the past, the first hate group dedicated solely to the spread of this ideology was the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), formed in 1978 by Willis Carto. The organization remains active today under director Mark Weber. After being ousted from IHR, Carto founded The Barnes Review and American Free Press, both of which are active SPLC-designated hate groups. These remain tightly interwoven with newer Holocaust denial groups, including the Committee for the Open Debate of the Holocaust and Clemens and Blair publishers.
Antisemitism across the contemporary far right and mainstream
While the number of groups SPLC has listed under this category remains small and their tactics and ideology are relatively stagnant, the narratives and rhetoric these groups and individuals have long espoused permeate much of the far right as bigoted groups and individuals seek to portray Jewish people as manipulative and deceitful.
Most publicly, rhetoric, flyers, blog posts and memes from neo-Nazi hate groups often utilize Holocaust denial to attack Jewish people and serve their antisemitic agenda. Similarly, members of the Ku Klux Klan draw on the tenets of Holocaust denial that were largely introduced to the ideology by David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. These attempts at denying the facts of history seek to cast Jewish people as the conniving architects of a Zionist Occupied Government (ZOG), a conspiracy theory claiming that Jewish people control the U.S. government. Importantly, antisemitism has long been a facet of the Ku Klux Klan.
Belief in ZOG and denial of the veracity of the Holocaust are also ideological underpinnings of the white nationalist movement. Greg Johnson, the editor-in-chief of the white nationalist publishing company Counter-Currents, credits David Irving as instrumental in his conversion to white nationalism. Additionally, flyers from such groups as the New Jersey European Heritage Association claim that movements for racial equity and social justice like Black Lives Matter are controlled by Jewish-funded organizations.
The influence of Holocaust denialism spreads far beyond the increasingly murky boundaries of far-right ideologies. Just one week into Trump’s term, his administration issued a statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day that omitted any mention of Jewish people and antisemitism. This came just months before Trump alleged that there “were very fine people, on both sides” at the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where members of the far right chanted, “Jews will not replace us,” and the Nazi slogan “blood and soil.”
White nationalist Nick Fuentes used antisemitism in a “Stop the Steal” rally in Atlanta, Georgia, in November 2020, when he claimed “global special interest groups” were responsible for Trump’s election loss. Fuentes pushed a coded conspiracy that the system is corrupt and more specifically that Biden will be used as “a tool by the same global interests who have very sick plans for [Trump supporters], your communities and your children.”
This narrative powers some of the QAnon conspiracy theories that motivated Trump-supporting rioters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Some QAnon supporters claim that a secret cabal of Jewish people controls the world and sexually abuse and traffic Christian children for their blood, an antisemitic trope based on “blood libel.” President Trump pointedly refused to denounce the conspiracy theory when questioned about it in an August 2020 press conference and again during a televised town hall in his campaign for reelection.
During the attack on the Capitol, which was incited by Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud, numerous antisemitic slogans were on display. One protester who breached the Capitol wore a sweatshirt that read, “Camp Auschwitz” and “work brings freedom.” Another rioter was spotted wearing a shirt emblazoned with “6MWE,” which stands for “6 million wasn’t enough,” implying that more Jewish people should have died in the Holocaust.
Throughout 2021, prominent figures on the right such as U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Fox News host Tucker Carlson have compared mask mandates to the Holocaust and the COVID-19 vaccine to “Nazi experiments.” On Jan. 23, 2022, Robert Kennedy Jr. compared measures to contain the virus to Nazi-era restrictions instituted as part of a genocidal campaign. In response, the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum issued a statement that his exploitation of “the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured and murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany” was a “sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay.”
In recent years, antisemitism has led to a deadly shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City, New Jersey, another mass killing at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a hostage-taking at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.
2022 antisemitic hate groups
Clemens and Blair
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
Goyim Defense League
Independent History & Research
Coeur D'Alene, Idaho
Institute for Historical Review
Newport Beach, California
Nation of Islam
The Realist Report
Freeport, New York
The Barnes Review
White Plains, Maryland