US Leaders Dodge Questions About Israel’s Influence Campaign

US Leaders Dodge Questions About Israel’s Influence Campaign

Federal lawmakers in the US have dodged repeated inquiries over the past week about a covert operation ordered by the Israeli government to artificially boost support among Americans for its war in Gaza. At the same time, senior White House officials charged with advising President Joe Biden on matters of national security are claiming to have no knowledge of the operation—first disclosed publicly more than four months ago.

The operation, formally tied to the Israeli government by a New York Times reporter last week, kicked off in October 2023 following the surprise attack by Hamas in southern Israel. Researchers internationally began work to expose the campaign in February, identifying a flood of “suspicious accounts” on US-based social networking apps, most masquerading as Americans avowing support for the Israeli military response.

In addition to eroding support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which provides assistance to 5.6 million Palestinian refugees, a chief aim of the Israeli operation, researchers say, was to sway the opinions of Black Americans. Per the Times—which cited four current and former Israeli officials in confirming their government had commissioned the campaign—its primary targets included the account of US congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the leader of the Democrats in the House, among others who are “Black and Democratic.”

Accounts tied to the operation—many of which, at the time of writing, remain active on X, despite being suspended on other platforms—promoted a Black Lives Matter hashtag and shared images of Martin Luther King Jr. alongside fabricated quotes. A website created for the operation included articles with titles such as “The leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and Their Support of Jewish People and Israel.”

Several examples of accounts used in the operation, many of which were created weeks prior to the Hamas attack on October 7 that killed an estimated 1,200 people, advertised themselves as “Christian.” One of the stolen identities used in the operation, first identified by a researcher in Qatar, was that of Kyle Jean-Baptiste, an up-and-coming Broadway star who died in 2015 after falling from a fire escape.

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If you have information about the work of the intelligence community or its congressional overseers, contact Dell Cameron at or via Signal at dell.3030.

Dell Cameron

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