An American-born man who has defended the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, VA, runs a website that has repeatedly spread fake news and linked to fake news websites.
The site, called Jews News, was founded and is run by a man named Eliyokim Cohen, who grew up in Boston, MA, before moving to Israel. In a 2017 interview, he claimed that his site is “an aggregator” of “conservative news” that takes “snippets of articles from all over the world” to “inundate people’s [Facebook] walls with the truth” and to give those linked sites “free traffic,” adding that the media are “about as unreliable as you can get now.” The site has a large following on Facebook, with nearly 1.5 million followers, and calls itself“the world’s largest and most active Jewish Facebook page.”
Yet contrary to Cohen’s claim about sharing “the truth,” the site has repeatedly posted and linked to fake stories from fake news sites, including the notorious YourNewsWire and Neon Nettle, and some sites based in foreign countries. In fact, fact-checker PolitiFact has called Jews News itself a fake news site. Cohen has also spammed his aggregated stories into a Facebook group to increase their spread. Some of the fake stories and fake news sites the site has pushed include:
a fake story from YourNewsWire that WikiLeaks revealed that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tried to bribe multiple former Republican presidential candidates to oppose then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign;
multiple stories from YourNewsWire and Neon Nettle falsely suggesting investors George Soros and Jacob Rothschild represent the “New World Order” or are worried about supposed efforts to end it. One of those aggregations originated from Neon Nettle and linked to a fake news site with connections to the Philippines and was subsequently shared by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
Cohen also used the site to defend the Ku Klux Klan following the far-right gathering in Charlottesville, writing that he was “actually standing with the KKK on Charlottesville” because “left-wing Antifa thugs” targeted them. He also claimed that liberals were causing America to follow “the same path as Nazi Germany in the 1930’s.” On Facebook, Cohen has also criticized “B C and D list Hollywood 'celebs' jumping on the bandwagon and claming (sic) sexual assaults from 10 years ago” and “black dipsh*ts in the NFL” for not focusing on “black on black crime.”
Cohen’s site has also run numerous anti-Muslim fake stories. He wrote on Facebook that “suicide by Islam” is now a “Swedish pastime” (and called the country “Swedistan”), posted that the United Kingdom “deserves to be conquered by Islam,” and questioned, “Does anyone think opening borders to deadbeat Muslims is a good idea?” Cohen’s anti-Muslim aggregated fake stories and stories from fake news sites include:
a post from a fake ABC News site that Muslims said they would leave the United States due to Trump’s election, which the site’s Facebook page posted, writing, “Aight, GTFO,” short for “get the fuck out”;
a fake story from a fake news site based in Macedonia that thousands of Muslims left the United States after Trump’s election, which the site’s Facebook page posted, writing that Trump was “already doing his job”;
a false story that German Chancellor Angela Merkel “bow[ed]” to Sharia law and allowed child marriages for Muslims, which the site’s Facebook page posted, writing, “Germany will not exist in 10 years”; and
Additionally, the site has posted multiple articles pushing birtherism and has pushed baseless claims that former first lady Michelle Obama is a man, that Barack Obama is gay, and that their children are adopted.
Nearly every single page on the site carries Google AdSense (whose ads include the tag “AdChoices” at the top right), meaning that the site is monetizing its fake and false stories, even though AdSense’s content policy bars its ads from being placed on pages promoting hate speech and from pages “enticing users to engage with content under false or unclear pretenses.”