Ann Coulter, the controversial American right wing political commentator, has seemingly stepped beyond the insensitive comments about Jews she has made in the past in favour of explicit antisemitism in a series of tweets in which she described various Jewish figures as “globalists” in what is, at best, an extremely poor attempt at satire.
The term “globalist” is a political term which is commonly used in conspiracy theories. Whilst it is not inherently antisemitic, it is often used to allude to Jews with accusations similar to those of classic antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Donald Trump had recently referred to outgoing staff member Gary Cohn as a “globalist”, a statement that the Washington Post described as antisemitic. Commenting on the headline, Coulter then singled out a series of Jews as “globalists”.
She first tweeted that “Baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax is also a Globalist”. Koufax is a Jewish baseball player who famously declined to play on Yom Kippur.
Whilst identifying a Jewish athlete who is not known for his political views as a “globalist” is a clear indication that the term is simply being used as a stand-in for Jew, Coulter then uses it as an ethnic designator, tweeting “Paul Newman is only half Globalist”, and that “Jake Tapper is also half Globalist”. Jack Tapper’s parents are both Jewish, but his mother converted to Judaism. In this case it appears that the terms is being turned into a racialised proxy for “Jew”.
Whilst it may appear at first that Coulter is satirising the idea that Globalist is an antisemitic term, this position is seemingly weakened by Coulter applying the term to another antisemitic canard. After repeatedly using “globalist” as an explicitly ethnic designator for Jews, she muses “Boy, a lot of Globalists popped up in the #MeToo scandals!”. Some have said that Coulter is portraying Jews as sexually licentious and predatory, which is a classic antisemitic canard that has its roots in early Christian antisemitism. Using the term in this context seems like an excuse to repeat another antisemitic canard. Furthermore, according to the Definition of Antisemitism, antisemitic ideas are ‘often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong”’. That is why some commentators have said that this tweet seems to take what may have started as an attempt at satire and turn it into what appears to be a more sinister expression of antisemitic ideas.
Boy, a lot of Globalists popped up in the #MeToo scandals!
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 9, 2018
Regardless of Coulter’s intentions, she was met with thousands of likes and retweets from the far right. Her tweets were widely circulated by far right sources. One commenter branded several of those involved in the #MeToo scandal as Jews, with a chart purporting to given an ethnic breakdown of all those accused. Others replied with antisemitic caricatures or peddled antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the media.
Coulter has made comments which have been insensitive to the point of antisemitism in the past, previously claiming that Jews need to become Christian “to be perfected”. Tweeting about the Republican Presidential debates, she wrote “How many f—ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?”.