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Countering Hate in the Digital Age: Analyzing Far-Right Extremist Responses to the Israel-Hamas War

On October 7, 2023, Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization that aims to destroy Israel, launched a violent attack against Israel. This attack directed its members to target Israeli civilians, including women and children, resulting in devastating consequences: the death of 1,400 people, the kidnapping of 210 individuals, with dozens still missing, and over 3,000 injured. On that same day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas.

The aftermath of this attack witnessed a significant rise in antisemitic incidents worldwide, with notable spikes in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and France. Far-right extremist groups online, sharing antisemitic sentiments, have aligned with Hamas, resulting in the spread of propaganda, conspiracy theories, and calls to action against Jewish communities.

This paper examines the online far-right’s reaction to the Israel-Hamas conflict, highlighting three key themes: the dissemination of propaganda that both glorifies Hamas and promotes baseless conspiracy theories, calls to action in both digital and physical realms, and the crucial role of policymakers and law enforcement in maintaining vigilance to prevent the proliferation of hate and violence in the digital era. The cross-border interconnectivity of extremist ideologies highlights the urgent need to address the problematic nexus between far-right groups and Hamas.