How Electronic Currency Helps Right-Wing Anti-Semites

March 28 2022

Since 2016, and especially since the notorious 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, neo-Nazi and extreme-right groups have sought with some success to raise funds in cryptocurrency. These Internet-based forms of money are not backed by national governments, and often come with sophisticated privacy measures, which make them ideal for groups that want to avoid regulation, or that have been banned by credit-card companies and services such as PayPal. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Varsha Koduvayur, and Samuel Hodgson explain the problem:

Some white-supremacist groups accept cryptocurrency donations to support content they produce, such as video streams, podcasts, and radio shows. In these cases, cryptocurrency can help protect the identities of both the content producers and the viewers. . . . In addition to protecting the privacy of donors, cryptocurrency frequently lies beyond the grasp of courts that have imposed financial penalties on extremists. For example, the neo-Nazi publication the Daily Stormer accepts cryptocurrency donations allegedly in part to avoid paying off millions of dollars in civil judgments against its publisher, Andrew Anglin.

Nick Fuentes is the host of America First, an influential podcast that spreads core tenets of the modern white nationalist movement. Fuentes is also a leader of the white-nationalist and anti-Semitic group Groyper Army. . . . He also received a bitcoin donation worth approximately $250,000 in December 2020 from a far-right French donor who was eventually identified as Laurent Bachelier.

Other groups in the white supremacist ecosystem who solicit cryptocurrency donations include The Right Stuff (TRS), a neo-Nazi media network founded and run by Michael “Enoch” Peinovich, who rose to prominence for creating the anti-Semitic “(((echo)))” [symbol], which other far-right figures began to use on social-media platforms to [highlight] Jewish names. TRS hosts the shows Fash the Nation and The Daily Shoah, which promote Holocaust denialism and white supremacy. TRS’s website allows listeners to donate cryptocurrency and accepts Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, and Ethereum.

Gartenstein-Ross, Koduvayur, and Hodgson go on to argue that the U.S. government can and should take various concrete steps to undermine the usefulness of cryptocurrencies for these groups.

Read more at FDD

More about: Alt-Right, Anti-Semitism, Money, neo-Nazis


When It Comes to Peace with Israel, Many Saudis Have Religious Concerns

Sept. 22 2023

While roughly a third of Saudis are willing to cooperate with the Jewish state in matters of technology and commerce, far fewer are willing to allow Israeli teams to compete within the kingdom—let alone support diplomatic normalization. These are just a few results of a recent, detailed, and professional opinion survey—a rarity in Saudi Arabia—that has much bearing on current negotiations involving Washington, Jerusalem, and Riyadh. David Pollock notes some others:

When asked about possible factors “in considering whether or not Saudi Arabia should establish official relations with Israel,” the Saudi public opts first for an Islamic—rather than a specifically Saudi—agenda: almost half (46 percent) say it would be “important” to obtain “new Israeli guarantees of Muslim rights at al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Haram al-Sharif [i.e., the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem.” Prioritizing this issue is significantly more popular than any other option offered. . . .

This popular focus on religion is in line with responses to other controversial questions in the survey. Exactly the same percentage, for example, feel “strongly” that “our country should cut off all relations with any other country where anybody hurts the Quran.”

By comparison, Palestinian aspirations come in second place in Saudi popular perceptions of a deal with Israel. Thirty-six percent of the Saudi public say it would be “important” to obtain “new steps toward political rights and better economic opportunities for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.” Far behind these drivers in popular attitudes, surprisingly, are hypothetical American contributions to a Saudi-Israel deal—even though these have reportedly been under heavy discussion at the official level in recent months.

Therefore, based on this analysis of these new survey findings, all three governments involved in a possible trilateral U.S.-Saudi-Israel deal would be well advised to pay at least as much attention to its religious dimension as to its political, security, and economic ones.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Islam, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia, Temple Mount