Political commentator Ann Coulter sparked a Twitter fury over a series of anti-Semitic tweets published during the Republican debate on Wednesday night (16 September). The US conservative commentator accused candidates of pandering to the Jewish population as they made references to Israel during their responses. She tweeted to her 664,000 followers saying, "How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the US?"
Ann Coulter is a lawyer who first came to prominence as an outspoken critic of the Clinton regime. Since then, she has expanded her profile by writing a book about Clinton's impeachment, which made the New York Times Best Seller List. A further nine books followed, many similarly successful and she has made numerous TV appearances, starting off as a legal correspondent. She is now known as a firebrand conservative political columnist whose liberal-bashing pieces have often provoked controversy.
The Donald Trump backer began her criticism by targeting Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas. She tweeted: "Good grief! Huckabee is running for PM of Israel." Coulter went on round on Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, accusing them of placing too much emphasis on Israel when answering questions about the United States.
Coulter then attempted to defend her actions by insisting that it wasn't targeting Jewish people, but was aimed at "Republican panderers". Statistics indicate that there are 6.8 million Jewish people living in the United States and Twitter users were quick to respond to her comments, branding them as "anti-Semitic".
However, the Hashtag #IStandWithAnn was trending in the United States on Thursday morning (17 September), with many taking to social media to support her comments. One Twitter user said that there was "nothing wrong with wanting American politicians to put the interests of Americans first," while another pointed out that "the capital of the USA is not Tel Aviv".