Organization Trends

Kill the New York Times Editorial Board, Urges Major Anti-Israel Anarchist Group

The Escalate Network (EN), an influential anti-Israel and pro-Hamas group associated with anarchism, told its 6,000 followers that “the NYT [New York Times] editorial board is going to hell and it is up to all free people to send them there”—effectively inciting its audience to kill members of the editorial board.

The Escalate Network (also known as Ready 2 Escalate) is an anonymous group that describes its militancy-related activity as “open-source resistance” without central planning. It states its purpose as follows:

The people of Palestine have called for this movement to escalate its pressure. We are here to answer that call and help this movement ESCALATE. We want this movement to break out of the confines of universities, to spread throughout society, paralyzing the economy that is driving the genocide of the Palestinian people, and has made all of us complicit in decades of colonial war.

EN refers to Hamas as “the Palestinian resistance,” not as a terrorist group.

EN is not an isolated and insignificant group of keyboard warriors. It has wide reach in the anti-Israel protest movement, especially among the more militant elements such as anarchists and revolutionary communists/Marxist-Leninists. It is a go-to resource for updates on anti-American and anti-Israeli seditious activities. For example, it was one of the first—if not the first—social media page to post the announcement of a nationwide domestic terrorism campaign by protestors in Chicago who had seized Chicago University’s Institute of Politics and renamed it in honor of a Palestinian terrorist.

“An American Intifada”

The group recently agreed with a X post calling on anti-Israel activists to increase their aggression above the threshold of setting police vehicles on fire and breaking windows. It added, “yes, what we need is organized efforts capable of fomenting and sustaining an american intifada.” The use of the word “intifada” refers to bloody terrorist campaigns waged against Israel by Palestinian terrorists, who also targeted many Palestinians.

EN provides advice for militants on how to commit destructive activism or “direct actions” as extremist protestors often call them. Its website has a library of materials to help anti-Israel militants in committing crime or even violence under the heading, “Heed the Call: Escalate for Gaza!” The documents advocate for and assist with rioting, fighting law enforcement, looting, arson, and a wide range of other attacks. One document is a direct-action guide that introduces readers to other militant resources including advice from the Earth First eco-terrorist group.

The group often urges movement members to study the Defend the Atlanta Forest/Stop Cop City coalition of “activists,” over 60 of which are being prosecuted by the State of Georgia. Many of them are accused of engaging in domestic terrorism.  Their crimes include arson, property damage, and violently attacking police and utility workers to prevent the construction of a police training facility that the militants have branded as “Cop City.”

Escalate Network’s Almost-Daily Incitement

EN’s desire is to regularly incite destruction and violence. It recently celebrated a Palestine Action attack in the United Kingdom on the internet cables of a Leonard weapons factory. The attackers said they selected it because it builds the targeting systems for Israel’s F-35 fighter jets. EN emphasized that anyone can conduct such attacks using just household items. Palestine Action also has a U.S.-based wing.

EN has repeatedly pressured student protestors to engage in violence. For instance, the group wrote a thread advising students on how to position their encampments and to choose terrain for defensible positions. Another post urged protestors to attack police:

What happened at Cal Poly Humboldt? 100s of cops laid siege to the campus and waited many, many hours until most protestors had gone home and the student occupiers were very tired. There was little defense. Going forward, we fight when WE are ready, not when they are.

It celebrated “amazing resistance to the cops” who had arrived to take down an encampment. According to the post, demonstrators fought the police and pushed them back, and one demonstrator successfully resisted arrest. On another occasion, EN cheered how students supposedly expelled police from the campus by marching forward while holding umbrellas as a defensive measure.

EN amplified a report about the violent radicalization of protestors at the University of Arizona. It quoted from the account: “We would stay and fight. This from [those] who decided to disperse the day before. They changed their minds, not because they were overruled or outvoted but because they themselves overcame their own caution: this was a moment of transformation.”

Frustration with Student Protesters

EN is apparently very frustrated with student protestors for being insufficiently militant and for getting the credit for the entirety of the movement. It complained:

This is why we must continuously DECENTER STUDENT VOICES. This is NOT a student movement. Anyone who does not intend to reduce and obstruct the capacity of the USA to arm and protect Israeli occupational violence in Palestine is the real opportunist! Beware of student bureaucrats!

It ridicules students it sees as too soft in their negotiations with college and university officials. EN said, “Any student org negotiating the eviction of an encampment for fake ‘steps towards divestment’ is betraying the Palestinian people. If you have to leave, leave with a bang. Cede NOTHING without a fight.”

EN specifically bashed student protestors at the University of Wisconsin for agreeing to end their encampment in exchange for funding scholarships for students from Gaza and having representation on committees. It followed that up with a post that reads:

There’s nothing more demoralizing than self-eviction and internal policing. No “task force on divestment” will end the genocide. We must generate a political crisis that goes far and beyond campus. For that, every encampment must go with one hell of a bang. FIGHT BACK!

The Emerging Threat Environment

EN’s calling on its colleagues in the anti-Israel movement to murder the editorial board of the New York Times needs to be taken seriously but its broader implications must also be recognized. That incitement is a feature, not a bug, of the new threat landscape that is emerging.

Ryan Mauro

Ryan Mauro is an investigative researcher for Capital Research Center. He is also an adjunct professor at Regent University and the former Director of Intelligence…
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