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The Daily Wire Parts Ways With Candace Owens After Months-Long Flirtation with Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories

Candace Owens speaks at CPAC on March 2, 2023. Photo: Lev Radin via Reuters Connect

Right-wing podcast host Candace Owens is no longer employed by The Daily Wire following a months long row with co-founder Ben Shapiro over Israel’s war with Hamas and other controversial incidents in which Owens appeared to promote neo-Nazism.

“Daily Wire and Candace Owens have ended their relationship,” the company’s chief executive officer, Jeremy Boreing, said on X/Twitter on Friday, setting off a torrent of comments views retweets. Within an hour, it had been viewed by over 2 million users. Owens later confirmed the news on the platform, saying, “The rumors are true — I am finally free…There will be many announcements in the weeks to come.”

After Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, Owens’ relationship with her colleagues — especially with The Daily Wire’s founder, Ben Shapiro, who is Jewish — became increasingly strained. After Israel launched a military operation to expel Hamas from the Gaza Strip, Owens accused the country of committing genocide and of subjecting Palestinians living in Israel and the Palestinian territories to apartheid. In the process she betrayed deficiencies in her knowledge of the Middle East and Israel, once describing the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem as a racially segregated area in which Israel forces Muslims to live, a grossly false characterization.

Shapiro found her comments highly offensive.

“I think her behavior during this has been disgraceful,” Shapiro can be heard saying in footage of a private event that emerged online in November. “Her faux sophistication on these particular issues has been ridiculous…everybody can see the moves that she’s making and the things that she’s saying, and I find them disreputable.”

Owens responded on X/Twitter by weaponizing passages of the Christian New Testament, with which she suggested that defending Israel was a matter of choosing between “God and money.” Shapiro said that she should “by all means quit” if she felt so conflicted. Soon after, Owens’ show “Candace” went on hiatus while she took maternity leave.

After returning in January, Owens introduced more fringe themes to her show and endorsed for president a candidate who called for eliminating US aid to Israel. By March, she was feuding with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an author and Jewish civil rights activists who has written about sex between married couples and founded with his daughter a company that sells intimacy products. Owens derided Shmuley for this, calling him an “unholy rabbi” and his daughter a “hag.” At other times, she insinuated that Shmuley and a “mafia” of Jews had been involved in the death of Michael Jackson, whom Shmuley had befriended on-and-off before the singer’s death in 2009.

“Are you going to kill me? Are you going to kill me, because I refuse to kowtow to you and I think it’s weird that you and your daughter are promoting and selling sex toys, that’s why I deem you an ‘unholy rabbi’?” Owens said about Shmuley in one episode. “You gross me out. You disgust me. I am a better person than you, and I do not fear you.”

Jewish community leaders called on Shapiro and The Daily Wire to terminate Owens’ employment, noting that she had gone so far as to imply that Nazi fascists are wrongly condemned for “burning books that they deemed to be Marxist and that they deemed to be overtly sexual.” For many, Owens — who began posting ominous condemnations of “merchants of smear” and had liked a tweet accusing Shmuley of drinking the blood of Christians — had signaled to the world that she was embracing neo-Nazism.

Neo-Nazis on the internet thought so too, and throughout the month of March, Nick Fuentes — who has referred to African Americans as “n—gs” and called for dissolving the American government and replacing it with a patriarchal theocracy based on the Catholic religion — commended Owens on his show, which streams on “Rumble,” for saying “there is a Jewish mafia, they hide behind antisemitism.” On March 9, he proclaimed that he is a “stan” of hers.

Fuentes continued his praising of Owens on Tuesday, as first reported by Media Matters, commenting on an interview Owens conducted with Rabbi Michael Barclay, a Jewish author and conservative activist who agreed to appear on Owens’ show to discuss why he wrote an article describing her as antisemitic. Throughout the discussion, Owens insisted that there is nothing unique about anti-Jewish hatred and attacked the world’s leading definition of antisemitism, calling it an instrument of censorship.

On March 20, Owens released her final episode for The Daily Wire, titled “Why Does Everyone Think I Am Going to Be Killed?” In it, she suggested that she will be murdered and said that she has been targeted for rejecting racial “supremacy,” an apparent allusion to neo-Nazi conspiracies of “Jewish supremacy” and Jewish control. Signing off, she promised to return with a new episode the following day. It never came, and on Friday, after the announcement of her departure from The Daily Wire, she solicited cash donations from her social media followers.

Owens’ exit is a shock to the system of alternative conservative media, which has received massive investments for the creation of online content that bypasses traditional news outlets and reaches audiences through platforms such as YouTube and X/Twitter. The Daily Wire, which offers viewers original documentaries, films, and talk shows, has been a shining success story of this venture, and since joining the company in 2020, Owens has been one of its most recognizable — and controversial — stars, amassing tens of millions of views and hundreds of thousands of followers allured by her popularizing of complex political issues.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Welcomes Anti-Israel Campus Protesters to ‘Resistance Front’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a televised speech in Tehran, Iran. Photo: Official Khamenei Website/Handout via REUTERS

Iran’s so-called “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, applauded the anti-Israel protesters who have thrown university campuses across the US into chaos over the past several weeks, declaring them part of a new “branch of the Resistance Front” against the Jewish state.

“Dear university students in the United States of America, this message is an expression of our empathy and solidarity with you,” Khamenei wrote in an open letter published on Thursday. “As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it.”

Rehashing antisemitic conspiracies of Jewish control, he derided “the global Zionist elite” for speaking against the campus demonstrations.

“The global Zionist elite — who owns most US and European media corporations or influences them through funding and bribery — has labeled this courageous, humane resistance movement as ‘terrorism,’” Khamenei wrote. “You have now formed a branch of the Resistance Front and have begun an honorable struggle in the face of your government’s ruthless pressure — a government which openly supports the usurper and brutal Zionist regime.”

Khamenei also praised students in other countries who have launched anti-Israel demonstrations on campuses, noting the leading role that faculty have played in fostering and supporting the unrest.

“Besides you students from dozens of American universities, there have also been uprisings in others countries among academics and the general public,” he wrote. “The support and solidarity of your professors is a significant and consequential development. This can offer some measure of comfort in the face of your government’s police brutality and the pressures it is exerting on you. I too am among those who empathize with you young people, and value your perseverance.”

Khamenei’s letter came amid an outpouring of praise for the anti-Zionist students by Islamist terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.

“While we support the assassination of the infidel Zionists and the beheading of them, we also appreciate and value the movement of Western demonstrators and sit-in students from Western universities, who through their sit-ins and protests expressed their rejection of the genocide taking place in Gaza,” al-Qaeda leadership wrote in a recent communique

Hamas and Hezbollah, both backed by Iran, have also cheered the protests.

“Today’s students are the leaders of the future, and their suppression today means an expensive electoral bill that the Biden administration will pay sooner or later,” Hamas official Izzat Al-Risheq said in a statement last month.

Naim Qassem, the deputy head of Hezbollah, also praised the protesters during an interview with Al-Manar TV earlier this month.

“We appreciate and value this very much. Perhaps in the future, there will be cooperation among the youth of the world — in America, France, Britain, Germany, and all the activists,” he said. “The [campus protests] are important, especially because they will have an impact on US elections. They will have an impact on the American position.”

Earlier this month, when some universities suspended students who had occupied sections of campus and refused to leave unless school officials agreed to condemn and boycott Israel, the Iran-backed Houthi militia, a terrorist organization that has repeatedly violated freedom of the seas by attacking international shipping vessels passing through the Red Sea, offered to admit the disciplined students as transfers to Sanaa University, an institution it administers.

Some anti-Zionist student groups have reciprocated the admiration.

Last week, Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) endorsed Hamas, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace Islamic extremism and antisemitism.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has re-formed under multiple names since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, was central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The anti-Zionist student movement’s support for terrorism and anti-American ideologies has been expressed before.

Footage of the protests which erupted on college campuses at the end of spring semester showed demonstrators chanting in support of Hamas and calling for the destruction of Israel. In many cases, they lambasted the US and Western civilization more broadly.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas at Columbia University, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Advocacy Group Attempts to Shore Up Support for Israel Among US Democrats

US President Joe Biden addresses rising levels of antisemitism, during a speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony, at the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, US, May 7, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

A pro-Israel advocacy group is attempting to quell fears among US Democratic politicians that expressing support for the Jewish state amid the ongoing war in Gaza will lead to electoral defeat in November. 

Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), a group that advocates for pro-Israel policies within the Democratic Party, circulated a memo this week explaining that the war in Gaza is simply not a top priority for most of the electorate. The memo, first acquired by Axios news website, asserts that “it just isn’t true” that Democratic support for Israel will come at an electoral cost. 

The group argues that a series of misleading polls has caused Democratic elected officials to become more tepid in their support for the Jewish state. 

To bolster its claims, DMFI points to a poll conducted by the New York Times in May which revealed that only 2 percent of voters cite Israel, Palestinians, Hamas, or Gaza as their most important issue. Nonetheless, the Times tried to exaggerate the extent to which voters care about the Israel-Hamas war by highlighting the 5 percent of voters who cite foreign policy as their biggest issue, according to DMFI. However, these 5 percent of voters did not identify if the war in Gaza is their major foreign policy concern.

The group also points out a Harvard-Harris poll from April which showed that Americans overwhelmingly side with Israel in its ongoing war effort. Eighty percent of Americans support Israel and only 20 percent back Hamas, the poll revealed.

DMFI also suggests that Israel’s ongoing military offensive against Hamas has not had a noticeable impact on President Joe Biden’s national standing. According to polling data aggregated by FiveThirtyEight, the president’s approval rating on Oct. 7of last year stood at 39.6 percent, and on April 23 last month, his approval stood at 40 percent. The same poll reveals that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s lead over Joe Biden did not grow over the same time period. 

DMFI president Mark Mellman told Axios that anti-Israel activists represent a small fringe of the American electorate. 

“People sometimes mistake volume for percentage, and the fact that some people are very loud doesn’t make them the majority. … It doesn’t even make them a substantial minority,” Mellman said.

The group’s efforts to reach out to Democrats come on the heels of a high-pressure effort by left-wing groups to force the Democratic establishment to stop supporting Israel. Anti-Israel organizations have organized efforts to encourage voters in Democratic primaries to vote “uncommitted” in lieu of voting for Biden. Moreover, nearly every appearance by Biden in recent months has been marked by the presence of scores of angry anti-Israel protesters

The relationship between Democratic politicians and the Jewish state has significantly soured in the months following Hamas’ Oct. 7 slaughter of over 1,200 people in southern Israel. High-profile Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) have suggested that Israel is committing “genocide” against Palestinian civilians.

Meanwhile, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) signed onto a letter urging Biden to pause weapons shipments to Israel. Biden vowed to stop arms deliveries to Israel if the Israeli army attempts to dismantle the remaining Hamas battalions within the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, expressing concern about the prospect of civilian casualties during such an offensive.

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

The post Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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