03/04/2024 mintpressnews.com  8 min 🇬🇧 #246123

Its Not Just Candace Owens: The Right Is Turning Against Ben Shapiro and Israel

 Mnar Adley  

Few conservative commentators have more significant influence and reach than Ben Shapiro. With more than six million followers on YouTube and Twitter, the Daily Wire co-founder has built a right-wing media empire. But now, the issue of Israel is driving a wedge between himself and many others inhabiting the same political space.

An increasing number of right-wing and far-right-wing figures became weary of Shapiro for statements he made following the October 7 attack against Israel, which has some  accusing him of being an "Israel firster" and  putting American interests second.

Just hours after Owens  posted:

I do not believe that American taxpayers should have to pay for Israel's wars or the wars of any other country."

Owens went on to  describe the ADL as a network of"smear merchants."it later was announced that Shapiro's company had let her go, something that Shapiro had clearly been pushing for months.

I am grateful they have turned their smear merchant guns on me.
The world already knows my heart.
Their attacks will have the opposite desired effect.
Awaken world.
Thank you, @adl
When you only have run playbook, you keep running it. The ADL smeared good people for years. You’d think after October 7th, they’d understand who really hates Jews vs who is neutral on Israel / doesn’t really care, and proceed accordingly. But nope. Oh well. Not my problemo.

Shapiro had previously  called Owens"disgraceful"for her"faux sophistication"on the Gaza war after she tweeted that no country has a right to commit genocide ever. He even publicly  told her to quit, tweeting:

Candace, if you feel like taking money from the daily wire comes between you and God, then by all means, quit."

After Owens was shown the door, she took to X to  say that she was "finally free."

The spat between the two conservative figures has caused a  riftin right-wing circles, torn on what constitutes "free speech" and how much support Israel should receive. On a recent video podcast, DailyWire contributor and Arch-conservative Matt Walsh suggested that Americans do not have a "patriotic duty" to support Israel. Ben Shapiro and DailyWire CEO Jeremy Boreing quickly  interruptedand shut down the conversation.

Other prominent figures on the right, like Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson, who have staunchly supported Israel for years, are turning against Israel.

Alex Jones has been an ardent supporter of Israel for the past several years, and he recently  said:

Israel has lost the high ground. This is not war. It is robotic mass genocide. Section 1091 of Title 18, United States Code, prohibits genocide, whether committed in time of peace or time of war. Genocide is defined in § 1091 and includes violent attacks with the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.

Tucker Carlson  said in the past week that sending foreign aid to Israel provides no advantage for America, a huge change, considering Tucker spent years defending Israel tirelessly as a Fox News pundit.

Tucker Carlson says sending foreign aid to Israel provides no advantage for America.
Follow: @AFpost

As for Ben Shapiro, many on the right have  accused him of being an "Israel firster" and  putting American interests second.

So overwhelming has Shapiro's support for Israel been in the wake of the October 7 attacks that even many prominent conservatives are beginning to mistrust him. In January, writer and journalist Michael Yon  accused him of funding the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, a Jewish NGO that advocates for migrants entering into the United States. It's not clear if Shapiro actually funded the group, but the  accusations speak to the growing level of distrust for him among the right.

Anger continued to grow after Shapiro played a central role in Elon Musk's recent visit to Auschwitz - which some have  calledan apology tour - following pressure from pro-Israel forces like the Anti-defamation League or the ADL, over Musk allowing speech critical of Israel on the platform.

Candace, I warned you about the ADL, knowing they would come for you as an American Firster.

In fact, Shapiro's was one of the loudest voices  demanding censorship of criticism of Israel on Twitter, angering many of his conservative followers who for years have heard Shapiro complain about "liberals" shutting down "free speech" because they are "snowflakes."

Musk Gets It Right In Israel

After his visit to Auschwitz, Musk  appearedon Shapiro's Daily Wire podcast and claimed X was still a free speech platform, yet shortly after that, X announced they would partner with the ADL to monitor hate speech on the platform. The ADL is notorious for conflating criticism of Israel with Antisemitism, and many on the right are critical of it for promoting censorship and posing a threat to free speech.

A 1969 FBI memo accuses the ADL as as acting as a foreign spy agency for Israel. The ADL's national director - Jonathan Greenblatt, stated that any opposition to  Israel is on a par with white supremacy,"Greenblatt said in  a speech to ADL leaders in 2022.

The ADL has welcomed controversial congressional resolutions that define anti-Zionism as antisemitism, and it has called on law enforcement to investigate student activist groups for  providing"material support"to Hamas. Shapiro's alignment with the group and its crackdown on free speech has become suspicious to the right.

Shapiro has also come under fire from conservatives for advocating Jewish exclusivity over diversity, explicitly speaking out against affirmative action. Yet when his friend and fellow pro-Israel advocate Peter Thiel, founder of the CIA- and Mossad-backed Palantir company, announced that he was reserving 180 positions at the company exclusively for Jews, Ben Shapiro tweeted his support of the move, angering many conservatives and called out his apparent hypocrisy.

Conservatives also took issue with Shapiro's friendship with Thiel and Palantir CEO Alex Karp, who has openly bragged about being responsible for shutting down right-wing political movements in Europe and regularly speaks against the dangers of"the right."

Conservative commentator Vincent James wrote of Shapiro:

Where were all the billionaire elites forcing congressional hearings when it came to anti-white hatred on college campuses that was happening for years? Why all of a sudden, now when it has to do with antisemitism? People like Bari Weiss, Gad Saad, Bill Ackman, and Ben Shapiro are all promoting CIA front orgs as well as other groups that hate conservatives and hate America, because they are speaking out about antisemitism. Should tell you all you need to know."

And with Israel openly eliminating Gaza's oldest Christian Palestinian community, many conservatives are outraged to find out Israel is attacking Gaza's Christians and their historic churches.

But a look into Shapiro's history shows defending Israel, no matter what crimes it commits, is his first priority.

Before founding his current venture, The Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro was funded by Robert Shillman, a tech billionaire who serves on the board of Israeli military charity The Friends of the IDF. He was also a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Centre alongside British Islamophobe Tommy Robinson.

Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing, the co-founder of The Daily Wire, both aided Israel lobbyist Dennis Prager in founding the YouTube channel Prager University, where they worked under Israeli Unit 8200 Military Intelligence veteran Marissa Streit.

In the early days of The Daily Wire, Shapiro got millions of dollars of funding from fracking billionaires, the Wilks Brothers. The Wilks Brothers also fund The Liberty Counsel, which has a Stand With Israel campaign where they host Benjamin Netanyahu as a speaker.

Nowadays, Jon Lewis is the Chief Operating Officer of The Daily Wire. He is a former intelligence analyst in the US Marine Corps. The Daily Wire has also employed former US military intelligence officer Wesley Schmidt in customer service analytics. The Daily Wire is sponsored by Kape Technologies, whose CEO is Israeli Intelligence Duvdevan Unit veteran Ido Erlichman.

All of this has led some conservatives to begin to question whether Shapiro actually holds the same values as they do or instead parrots them to garner support and sway his viewers towards a pro-Israel position.

One thing is clear: the right is finally starting to question weather Israel really has America's best interests at heart.

Mnar Adley is an award-winning journalist and editor and is the founder and director of MintPress News. She is also president and director of the non-profit media organization Behind the Headlines. Adley also co-hosts the MintCast podcast and is a producer and host of the video series Behind The Headlines. Contact Mnar at  email protected or follow her on Twitter at @mnarmuh.