On eve of Tree of Life anniversary, the same lies and conspiracy theories endanger our communities

On eve of Tree of Life anniversary, the same lies and conspiracy theories endanger our communities

October 26, 2021

Tuesday, October 26
Contact: Logan Smith
[email protected]

Bend the Arc: On eve of Tree of Life anniversary, the same lies and conspiracy theories endanger our communities
Fox News, right-wing politicians once again manufacturing fear over immigrant caravans and “replacement” — the same conspiracy theories that inspired the Tree of Life shooter 

WASHINGTON – Bend the Arc: Jewish Action released the following statement on Tuesday in response to the acceleration of Fox News coverage of so-called immigrant “caravans” and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy joining other right-wing politicians in manufacturing fear of immigrants in an interview with Fox News:

“Three years ago, a chorus of lies and conspiracy theories incited a series of bombs sent to media outlets and political figures, and culminated in the deadliest antisemitic massacre in our country's history,” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “We are distraught to hear these same dangerous white nationalist talking points again being spread by pundits and politicians on the eve of the third anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life - Or L'Simcha building in Pittsburgh.

How many times must we ring this alarm? How many lives are these public figures willing to endanger? From Charlottesville to Pittsburgh to El Paso, we have seen time and time again how fear-mongering about immigrants has motivated white nationalist violence across the country — we know all too well that some lies spill blood and some words echo as gunshots. After all we've been through as a country, the willingness of some politicians to whip up hysteria about immigrant caravans and the 'replacement' conspiracy theory in order to hold onto power is unconscionable, and they must be held accountable.

Leaders who blame immigrants for hard times are trying to manufacture division and fear to grow their own power. They hope to build a country only for themselves, no matter who gets hurt — but we refuse to let that happen. By joining together with our neighbors across lines of difference, we can shut down the engines of fear and build a country where every person can live with freedom, safety, and belonging no matter how we pray, what we look like, or where we come from."

The October 2019 Political Research Associates - Bend the Arc Report, Taking Aim at Multiracial Democracy: Antisemitism, White Nationalism, and Anti-Immigrant Racism in the Era of Trump, catalogued how right-wing media and politicians worked to whip-up anti-immigrant and antisemitic sentiment in advance of the mid-term elections, inspiring violence including the shooting at Tree of Life.

Proponents of the white nationalist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory claim that advocates for multiracial democracy secretly intend to systematically replace white people in the United States by welcoming people of color from other countries.

In 2021, anti-immigrant fear-mongering and Replacement Theory has been spread by the following prominent right-wing figures: Tucker Carlson, Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL), Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY), Rep. Scott Perry (PA), Rep. Brian Babin (TX), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (NC), Sen. Ron Johnson, and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

For more about how Replacement Theory has been fully mainstreamed by Republican politicians, see recent reporting:


Bend the Arc: Jewish Action is uniting a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews across the country who are fighting for justice and equality for all. We are the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on social change in the United States.