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November 28, 2022 8:56 am

See No Evil: Are Media Letting Neo-Nazi Goyim Defense League off the Hook?

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avatar by Akiva Van Koningsveld


Rapper Kanye West holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020. REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo

On November 17, 2022, in remarks that went largely unreported outside of Jewish and Israeli media, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that the prevalence of antisemitic hate crimes in the United States is rising to a level of “national priority,” and that the Jewish community is “getting hit from all sides.”

Less than 48 hours later, the NYPD thwarted yet another imminent terror attack on a synagogue. Suspects Christopher Brown and Matthew Mahrer were stopped at New York City’s Penn Station on November 19, after authorities identified Brown as the culprit behind a series of Twitter threats. The men, one wearing a Nazi swastika armband, possessed a firearm, ammunition, and a hunting knife, police revealed.

Brown and Mahrer were reportedly radicalized after being exposed to white supremacist content on social media.

That same day, in a live stream on his Goyim TV website, Jon Minadeo II, founder of the neo-Nazi movement Goyim Defense League (GDL), offered a prayer for “all the people that are suffering in jail for exposing the synagogue of Satan.” He added: “Much love to all those men that have stood up and fought against Jewish supremacy, and please keep them safe.”

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Founded in 2018, Jon Minadeo II’s GDL network has been responsible for countless anti-Jewish events over the past few years, including harassing parents at a Jewish preschool in Florida, hanging a banner in California that stated “Kanye is right about the Jews,” and posing as Orthodox Jews to apologize for “lying” about the Holocaust and 9/11.

The GDL has also endorsed the BDS movement’s Mapping Project, a list of Jewish institutions and entities in Massachusetts that are supposedly connected to the “colonization of Palestine” and the “harms that [it sees] as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing.”

With another month to go until the end of 2022, the number of incidents attributed to the Goyim Defense League is already up by more than 300 percent since last year — but the media have seemingly failed to take notice.

According to the NGO StopAntisemitism, which has been tracking the activities of Minadeo and the Goyim Defense League, the network committed at least 86 hate crimes against American Jews in 2022. By comparison: on average, the FBI tracks a total of 925 antisemitic incidents every year. Accordingly, if the statistics hold up for 2022, the GDL would be responsible for almost 10% of all documented hate crimes targeting Jews.

In 2021, StopAntisemitism only reported 20 incidents involving the neo-Nazi group, suggesting a troubling rise in its popularity.

However, national media outlets have not reflected this development in their reporting. Indeed, over the past 11 months, a sample of 18 leading US news organizations, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Associated Press, shows that they published a mere 19 articles that made mention of the GDL — or 0.22 per hate crime.

The mainstream media’s refusal to dig deeper into the organization responsible for the rising tide of antisemitism comes as little surprise. As HonestReporting previously highlighted in a comprehensive study on this subject, Jews are the victims of more hate crimes per capita than all other minority groups in the United States. Nonetheless, anti-Jewish attacks receive disproportionately little media coverage, by a worrying margin.

In our February 10 report, we drew attention to how hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims receive the most news attention, even as such offenses have declined in recent years, which suggests a correlation between adequate reportage and the increased safety of minority groups.

Only by shining a light on hate crimes can we ensure that America remains “di goldene medine” (the golden country) for its 7.5 million Jews.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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