The Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that killed 1,200 Israeli citizens was actually carried out by Israel. It was planned by the Israeli government with help from the United States so that the Israelis could conduct a genocidal war against Hamas.
All those videos and first-hand accounts of Hamas atrocities on Oct. 7 were staged by Israeli intelligence and created to throw us off the track. The 200 or so hostages? They were taken by the Israelis to stir up war fever among the population.
As crazy and as ignorant as that “truther” theory sounds, it’s being spread across a dozen internet sites, including TikTok, Reddit, and 4chan. The theory has gone mainstream among Hamas supporters with chants and signs at anti-Israel rallies.
In the internet age, this is par for the course. Whether it’s a planned disinformation campaign by Hamas or just a bunch of looney tunes conspiracy nuts spreading the lies doesn’t matter. Those who are going to believe, who have already been prepped to accept conspiracy theories, are going to run with this Oct. 7 truther lie.
At a city council meeting in Oakland, Calif., in November, several residents and at least one city employee disputed the facts of Oct. 7.
“Israel murdered their own people on October 7,” said Christina Gutierrez, an analyst in the city’s housing department. Some in the crowd shouted, “antisemitism isn’t real.”
The phenomenon is worrisome to Jewish leaders and researchers who see ties to Holocaust denial, the attempt to undermine the genocide that killed 6 million Jews during World War II, a belief that has surged online. They also see parallels to many pernicious, internet-driven conspiracy theories with antisemitic tentacles, including the QAnon conspiracy theory, which alleges “globalists” — a reference, some say, to Jews — used the pandemic to control the world, and disinformation about the 9/11 terrorist attack, which some fringe groups falsely argue was perpetrated by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.
“There’s a built-in audience that wants to deny that Jews are the victims of atrocity and furthers the notion that Jews are secretly behind everything,” said Joel Finkelstein, chief science officer at the Network Contagion Research Institute, a nonprofit organization that tracks disinformation.
Oct. 7 truthers appear to be both right and left, but with the left already predisposed to oppose Israel, many of the most prominent truthers are on the left, according to John Sexton.
LateStageCapitalism is a community of left-wing activists that bills itself as “A One-Stop-Shop for Evidence of our Social, Moral and Ideological Rot.” But the claim can be found elsewhere on the internet, including publications critical of Israel like Electronic Intifada and Grayzone, and in messaging groups like Monte’s Uncensored Truths, which previously had been focused on pandemic-related gripes about vaccines and conspiratorial ideas about “globalists” ushering in a so-called New World Order. Right-wing Holocaust deniers also have latched onto the claims.
What unites both left and right-wing Oct. 7 truthers is stupidity and a lack of critical thinking skills. If you’re unable to discern the truth from the evidence presented about Oct. 7, then I suppose you’ll believe anything.
And that doesn’t bode well for the United States.