Jewish Voice for Peace Protestors

Research/Study Research/Study

Right-wing media make bad faith comparison between Jewish-led protest and the January 6 insurrection

On October 18, protesters entered the Cannon House Office Building to urge congressional support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Despite the protesters entering legally through visitor security checkpoints, right-wing media have made comparisons between the Jewish-led demonstration and the January 6 riot, when a mob of violent insurrectionists stormed the Capitol building and attempted to overthrow the 2020 election results. 

  • Jewish Voice for Peace protesters entered “legally and properly through visitor security checkpoints” to advocate for a ceasefire, while January 6 insurrectionists forcefully stormed the Capitol to overturn an election

    • Jewish Voice for Peace is a Jewish-run organization that is advocating for the U.S. to negotiate an end to Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip. [The Nation, 10/18/23]
    • The JVP protesters entered the Cannon House Office Building  – rather than the Capitol itself – “legally and properly." U.S. Capitol Police told CBS News that “the protesters entered the building legally and properly through visitor security checkpoints, and were permitted to gather and congregate.” [CBS News, 10/18/23]
    • Unlike the January 6 mob, the JVP protesters remained in the House office building and did not interrupt a session of Congress or prevent legislative action. Many of the protesters were ultimately arrested after being warned to stop protesting inside congressional buildings. According to Capitol Police, “There was no forced entry or break of protocol.” [Roll Call, 10/18/23]
    • On January 6, 2021, insurrectionists violently broke into the Capitol building in an attempt to unlawfully overthrow the results of the 2020 election. Some rioters were armed, actively sought out elected officials with the intent to harm them, and rioted to change the outcome of an election through force. [CNN, 6/10/22; NPR, 3/19/21; CBS News, 2/10/21; The Associated Press, 3/11/23, 11/18/22]
  • Right wing media compare the JVP protesters to January 6 insurrectionists

    • Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt claimed that advocates of JVP are “talking about justice and it’s one way for Democrats and a different way for Republicans.” She said, “There were others that were saying why for January 6 do you throw people in solitary confinement or behind bars for decades, and you allow this to happen and you arrest them and, you know, probably the fine will be $10 to $20 they said, and they’ll be back out on the streets doing this again.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/19/23]
    • Right-wing radio host Mark Levin compared the ceasefire protesters and insurrectionists, claiming the January 6 protesters “didn't hurt a fly” and “had the book thrown at them.” He said JVP is “the Jewish wing, in my opinion, of a terrorist movement” that was “heavily funded by overseas operations, by Hamas’ network,” before asking, “And the Federal Bureau of Investigation is focused on what? MAGA.” [Westwood One, The Mark Levin Show, 10/18/23]
    • Hoover Institute fellow Victor Davis Hanson falsely conflated the actions of JVP protesters to those of January 6 insurrectionists. He told Newsmax’s Greg Kelly, “They really feel emboldened that there’s not consequences, or disrupt a congressional hearing after we were we set the precedence [that] if you dare go into the Capitol and you disrupt something, you're going to end up five years in prison as we saw from the January 6 people, and yet they are emboldened.” [Newsmax, Greg Kelly Reports, 10/18/23]
    • While discussing the ceasefire protest, Newsmax host Chris Plante said “an army of self-loathing Jews, who have attacked Capitol Hill — it looked like an insurrection, didn’t it? I kept waiting for one of them to get the Ashli Babbitt treatment.” Plante quipped that “no one was shot like, you know, January 6, so that’s probably progress on Capitol Hill.” [Newsmax, The Right Squad, 10/18/23]
    • While reporting on pro-Palestinian protests around the world, Fox News host Sean Hannity said, “And meanwhile at home, what Democrats would call an insurrection actually broke out at our nation’s Capitol today.” [Fox News, Hannity, 10/18/23]
    • After showing video of the JVP protest over the chyron “Pro-Palestinian mob storms Capitol,” Jesse Watters made a comparison to when January 6 protesters illegally entered former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, saying, “The protesters would have kicked their feet up on the speaker's desk but we don't have a speaker.” Watters claimed that speeches from Democratic lawmakers “whipped the crowd into a frenzy, next thing you know they marched right into the Capitol.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 10/18/23]
    • Fox News host Laura Ingraham compared the JVP protest to January 6, saying that “300 were arrested but I don't think they are going to get the book thrown at them, do you?” Fox News contributor Mollie Hemmingway responded, “It is a very serious problem that we have two standards of justice in this country. There is no reason why Merrick Garland and Christopher Wray could not be destroying these people's lives and putting them in prison … over the same charges that they did with J6 protesters.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 10/18/23]
    • Right-wing conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza posted on X, “Do any of these people look in the least bit afraid they will be put away for years like the #January6 protesters? Of course not. In a #Policestate, some people are above the law.” [Twitter/X, 10/18/23]
    • Right-wing podcaster and serial plagiarist Benny Johnson: “Apparently it’s ok to storm the Capitol, stage an insurrection inside, and interrupt a congressional hearing. But only if you’re protesting on behalf of Palestine.” [Twitter/X, 10/18/23]
    • Right-wing influencer account “End Wokeness” called the JVP protest “the worst attack on our democracy in history” as “far-left extremists stormed Capitol Hill.” The account wrote, “Never Forget the 10/18 insurrection. We need to see 22-year sentences for the insurrectionists and federal indictments against the people who incited it.” [Twitter/X, 10/18/23]
    • Failed congressional candidate and self-proclaimed “proud Islamophobe” Laura Loomer called the JVP protests a “pro-HAMAS insurrection,” falsely claiming it was “inside the US Capitol in DC where pro-terror rioters are disrupting official proceedings by attacking Israel’s right to defend itself.” She added, “When is @FBI going to raid their homes and send them to jail for 22 years on charges of seditious conspiracy?” [CNN, 8/19/20; Twitter/X, 10/18/23]
    • Far-right pundit Julie Kelly posted on X, “If not obstruction charge, these demonstrators should face same J6 charges.” [Twitter/X, 10/18/23]