From the Command Center 
July 14 - July 21
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Headline Topic
Robert F. Kennedy Jr
Total Mentions: 109.14K | Individual Accounts: 58.85K | Total Retweets: 89.19K
Total Impressions: 1.45B | Total Reach (estimate): ~250.54M
Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. received backlash this week for claiming that the COVID-19 virus was genetically engineered to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people. Kennedy responded to the criticism by stating he has never suggested that COVID-19 was designed to spare Jews, and linked an NIH study as a “proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons.” He later expressed his regret for hurting Jewish people and pledged to be careful with his words going forward.
Believing that COVID-19 was engineered to spare Jews and Chinese people is rooted in racism and antisemitism because it diminishes the tragedy of the pandemic among all ethnicities, and echoes historical antisemitic tropes about Jews being diseased, shielding themselves from disease, and creating bioweapons to target other ethnicities. Kennedy has also repeatedly promoted comparisons of COVID-19 restrictions to the Holocaust.

Civil rights organizations and figures from across the political spectrum, including members of the Biden administration and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, condemned Kennedy’s comments. Some Jewish and Chinese congresspeople called for Kennedy to be removed from testifying at Congress this Thursday. Kennedy’s sister, Kerry Kennedy, released a statement condemning her brother’s remarks through the family’s organization, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. Despite the outpouring of backlash, neo-Nazis celebrated his comments and commended him for spreading the antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Antisemitic conspiracy theory
Spare Jews

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Weekly Overview
 For All Topics Regarding Antisemitism 
Total Mentions:
Individual Accounts:
Total Retweets:
Total Impressions:
 Total Reach (Estimate)
1.16M        ⬆28%
456K          ⬆21%
662K          ⬆18%
8.85B         58%
1.79B         36%
Most Mentioned 
Phrases & Hashtags
Over the Past Week
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*The bigger the phrase, the more total mentions it had in the time period
  • RFK Jr,” “antisemitic conspiracy theories,” “antisemitic conspiracy theory,”Robert Kennedy Jr,” “vile antisemitic,” “Debbie Wasserman Schultz,”#Kennedy24,” “#rfkjr” - See above.
  • McCain Institute” - Refers to an antisemitic conspiracy theory which accuses members of The McCain Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, of being responsible for child trafficking including board member Lynne Forrester de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild family.
  • #ItWasAScam” - Refers to criticism of the UK Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged antisemitism.
  • Free speech” - Refers to conversations on whether antisemitism should be allowed on Twitter.
  • #Ukraine” - Refers to conversations on potential Nazis in Ukraine.
  • #StandUpToJewishHate - Refers to conversations around the Stand Up to Jewish Hate campaign.
Trending Topics

Johnny Bench
Total Mentions: 1895 | Individual Accounts: 844 | Total Retweets: 157
Total Impressions: 100.26M | Total Reach (estimate): ~5.11M
World Series champion Johnny Bench made an antisemitic joke at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame ceremony this past weekend while he was speaking on behalf of his former general manager Gabe Paul, who was Jewish. During the press conference, former Reds player Pete Rose reflected on how Paul signed him for $400 per month decades ago, to which Paul’s daughter Jennie responded “that’s cheap.” Bench replied, “He’s Jewish!” with an eruption of laughter from the audience. 

The antisemitic stereotype that Jews are cheap and greedy is a harmful belief, originating from medieval times. Bench acknowledged his insensitive comment the next day and apologized to Jennie Paul for taking attention away from her father’s induction. The Cincinnati Reds denounced Bench’s comments, saying that the team does not “condone this type of language for humor or any other intent.”

Johnny Bench
Gabe Paul 
Antisemitic joke

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More from the 
Command Center
FCAS is actively monitoring how the launch of Meta’s new social media app, Threads, affects the spread of antisemitism on social media. Threads became the fastest growing social media platform when it reached 100 million downloads only five days after launch. Although Meta is promising to implement forward thinking safety features on the app, Meta’s other platforms like Facebook and Instagram have failed to adequately moderate hate speech
Many civil right groups have already expressed their disappointment over the absence of accessibility into the platform for research purposes and lack of community policies that outline how the platform will tackle hate speech. 
Despite their promises, antisemitism is already persistent and prevalent on Threads with some users employing language that glorifies the Holocaust and the Nazis in their posts and usernames. Additionally, some notable right-wing figures such as Andrew Torba and Nick Fuentes have signed up to Threads. Although Fuentes claims to have been banned from Meta’s platforms, he announced during a livestream that he signed up to the new platform using a fake account. 
WWII Fanatic Stereotypes
A viral Tumblr post is trending for its discussion on the difference between being interested in war history and being sympathetic to Nazis, stereotypes of World War II fanatics and how to spot Nazi sympathizers within the community. The author of the post explains how tattoos of the numbers 88, 14, or 18 are a common signal for neo-Nazis, as well as the letters SS displayed as lightning bolts. Some Jewish users explain how their interest in WWII history is a way to engage with generational trauma, as many Jewish families are descended from relatives who experienced the Holocaust.
America First Rally
During an America First rally on Sunday, white supremacist Nick Fuentes called for a “holy war” against Jews. The rally was streamed on the platform Rumble with a virtual audience of 5,000, with some viewers spewing vulgar comments about Jews. Fuentes continued in his speech that, “we will make them die” and that Jews “will go down with their Satanic master.” Twitter users were quick to draw attention to Fuentes’ violent speech as well as the vicious comments from his viewers. Soon after, Rumble removed the video for Fuentes’ “incitement of violence” and banned his account from streaming for two weeks.
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