How Electronic Currency Helps Right-Wing Anti-Semites

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

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security