The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has removed an anti-Semitic sign from the 101 freeway, just north of the Cahuenga exit in Los Angeles. On 25th July, ADL were notified from a series of reports from community members that vandals had placed a sign reading “END ZOG” with a Star of David in place of the ‘O’ on the freeway.
‘ZOG’, short for ‘Zionist Occupied Government, is a known anti-Semitic trope of white supremacist origin. The conspiracy theory claims that “Jewish agents” secretly control the governments of Western states. One of the term’s earliest appearances can be traced to 1976, in an article named “Welcome to ZOG-World”, attributed to an American neo-Nazi named Eric Thomson, though it is of course an incarnation of much more established antisemitic conspiracy theories.
According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.
The ADL were immediately in touch with local authorities, and the sign was hastily taken down. The ADL Regional Director commented, “The sign appearing on the freeway represents a hateful message, which is especially concerning given the recent increases in visibility of extremist ideologies such as the ‘Alt-Right’ and groups such as Vanguard America”.
The sign is littered with far right imagery, which is not at all surprising given the fact that the term is one used widely by neo-Nazis.