Sean Feucht Eric Metaxas
Andrea Austria/Media Matters | Photo credit Eric Metaxas: Gage Skidmore

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Far-right media figures with extreme ties are planning a “United for Israel” march at Columbia to counter peaceful pro-Palestinian student protests

Organizer Sean Feucht has used a right-wing militant as his rally security detail, and Eric Metaxas once admitted to punching an anti-Trump protester

Two right-wing media figures with extremist backgrounds and connections are planning a “United For Israel” countermarch on April 25 in response to the reportedly peaceful student-led pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University, with one claiming the campus has “been taken over by radical Pro-Hamas protestors,” and the other urging “every Christian who can” to “join us in standing with Israel.” 

Christian nationalist media figure Sean Feucht has used a member of the Proud Boys as security at an event he held, while right-wing radio host Eric Metaxas has admitted to punching an anti-Trump protester in the face in 2020.

Other far-right media figures such as Laura Loomer and Andy Ngô have also promoted the march to their hundreds of thousands of social media followers. Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes was also reportedly seen on Columbia University’s campus near the protest the day before the scheduled countermarch.

  • Far-right figures Feucht and Metaxas are planning a counterprotest to the reportedly peaceful pro-Palestinian student protests

    • The pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University have included some arrests, but New York police officials say they have not included violence. NBC New York reported that the New York Police Department had “received no reports of physical violence against anyone” on Columbia University’s campus, and the department’s deputy commissioner of public information said there were “no credible threats to any particular group or individual.” [NBC New York, 4/22/24, 4/18/24]
    • Feucht and Metaxas have claimed Columbia has “been taken over by radical Pro-Hamas protestors” and “on April 25, that changes,” urging people to join them for a “United for Israel” countermarch and claiming Navy Seals will provide protection for it. Feucht shared a flyer for the march that lists him and Metaxas as featured speakers, and he claimed that “folks are making plans and taking planes, buses and trains to join us” and “partner organizations are joining us from across the nation.” Feucht also announced that “a large group of former Navy Seals just reached out and said they will provide all security and safety for our UNITED FOR ISRAEL MARCH.” Metaxas declared on social media that “every Christian who can should join us in standing with Israel this Thurs in NYC!” [Twitter/X, 4/22/24, 4/23/24, 4/23/24, 4/23/24]
    • Feucht is a Christian nationalist media figure who has associated with far-right extremists and held rallies that faith leaders have condemned as an attempt to “court political violence across our region and the country.” Feucht has repeatedly associated with right-wing extremists, including using a member of the Proud Boys as rally security and praising former Republican Washington state lawmaker Matt Shea — who authored a document titled the “Biblical Basis for War” that called for the execution of nonconservative males — as a “hero.” (Shea was the subject of a report by the Washington legislature arguing he had “participated in an act of domestic terrorism” by supporting armed confrontations with the government.) Additionally, after Feucht went on a joint worship tour with Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA Faith, dozens of faith leaders from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho called the rallies an attempt to “court political violence across our region and the country.” [Media Matters, 9/14/23; Religion News Services, 8/13/21]
    • Metaxas is a right-wing Christian radio host who spreads extreme rhetoric and has admitted to punching an anti-Trump protester at the 2020 Republican National Convention. In 2020, Metaxas reportedly admitted that he punched a protester because he became fearful, saying that he tried to “knock him away,” and ”it just happened.” Metaxas uses his Salem Media program to spread extreme rhetoric, including the idea that far-right Christians should control the government. He also spoke ahead of January 6 at the Jericho marches, a Christian-based protest movement against nonexistent election fraud that some have argued laid the groundwork for the insurrection. [Religion Unplugged, 9/3/20; Media Matters, 7/12/23]
  • Far-right media figures and some actors with large followings are promoting the march on social media

    • Feucht appeared on Christian Broadcasting Network to promote the march, and he claimed that the war in the Middle East and discord on campus “reminds us, like, we are living in the last days” and ”these are the End Times.” Other Christian nationalist and right-wing media figures have also embraced the war between Israel and Hamas as a sign of the “End Times,” claiming “the role of Christians is to convert the Jews.” [YouTube, 4/23/24; Media Matters, 11/7/23]
    • On X (formerly Twitter), “proud Islamophobe” Laura Loomer promoted the march and thanked Metaxas, saying he is “leading the charge.” Loomer claimed that “Jew hatred and support of Islamic terrorism on college campuses across America” is “being supported and egged on by @JoeBiden and the Democrat Party.” Loomer has nearly 900,000 followers on X and is known for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, having called herself a “proud Islamophobe.” [Twitter/X, 4/23/24; Media Matters, 2/26/24]
    • Right-wing provocateur Andy Ngô promoted the march, claiming that at Columbia, there “has been days of an extremist CHAZ-style occupation for Gaza.” Ngô has 1.4 million followers on X. [Twitter/X, 4/23/24]
    • Charisma, a far-right Christian outlet, promoted the march under a “spiritual warfare” label on its website and said that the march “is needed now more than ever,” calling student protesters “terror-supporting extremists.” The outlet connected the student protests to “spiritual warfare taking place in America” that it said is a result of “adopting ungodly morals and ethics.” [Charisma, 4/22/24; Twitter/X, 4/22/24; Media Matters, 4/8/24]
    • Actor Patricia Heaton, who has been beloved in right-wing circles for her anti-abortion views, also promoted the march to her more than 500,000 X followers. She wrote, “Friends, here is an opportunity to stand up for humanity, for decency, for democracy, for Judeo- Christian values, for Israel, for America, for Western civilization.” [Twitter/X, 4/23/24; Media Matters, 11/16/18; Breitbart, 3/12/24]