In response to Cath Fletcher ( letters, Solidarity 565): I agree, in Solidarity 564 I should’ve made the parallel between QAnon and the blood libel more explicit. The reason I didn’t was that the previous article on QAnon already pointed it out, and I had many other things to cover, and I didn’t want to repeat too much.
It is indeed a version of the “world Jewish conspiracy” theory, but QAnon has different groups of believers in it. The old guard, who were following the posts back from the 4chan, or 8chan days, are without a doubt antisemitic. After all, QAnon started on a neo-Nazi forum, where they routinely fantasised about military tribunals against jews. But with QAnon’s success with the Save the Children branding, and its spread on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, it reached a new audience it never could have on its home turf.
These new recruits — as far as I can tell — are not consciously antisemitic. They are, in any case, different from those who would frequent far-right forums. Some of the old guard are resentful about the influx of Save the Children “libs”.
This new generation is trafficking in conspiracy theories that are rooted in anti-semitism, but they don’t know it. Since the Pizzagate conspiracy theory — which was incorporated into QAnon — accused Democratic politicians such as Hillary Clinton, not Jews, it’s not, on the first glance, antisemitic. So if someone is unaware of its origins, one can subscribe to it without subscribing to the idea of Jewish blood libel.
The danger is that once they are on-board, they could become radicalised by explicit and conscious antisemites.