Israeli fighter explains why he needed to ‘beat up’ this particular antisemite

“This hate turns into hate in the real world. So we need to cut it off.”

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

Natan Levy, a Jewish Israeli fighter competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), called the recent rise of antisemitism in America “crazy” and said he really wanted to “teach a lesson” to an antisemitic online troll who he recently fought against.

Levy defeated a supporter of Holocaust denier and antisemitic white supremacist Nick Fuentes in a cage fight in mid-August after the two exchanged messages on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Fuentes supporter, identified as Ben, challenged Levy to a cage fight at his gym in Las Vegas and during the match the Israeli UFC fighter pounded Ben for several minutes until the latter tapped out.

The fight was filmed and streamed on YouTube, and before Ben left the gym, Levy forced him to apologize and acknowledge on camera that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

“The big lesson I wanted to teach this guy — and hopefully everybody who is watching — is words have consequences,” Levy, who was born in France but moved to Israel when he was a child, told TMZ Live. “Actions have consequences. If you say something, you better stand behind it ’cause this hate turns into hate in the real world. So we need to cut it off.”

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He also said he held back when fighting the “young dumb kid” and could have been much more violent, but he took it easy on Ben so that he still had “some brain left to learn this lesson and grow from it.”

“I don’t believe in solving things or changing people’s minds through violence,” he explained. “I don’t go around and beat every troll who says something online, something stupid, that would take a lifetime and it wouldn’t do much of a difference. The only reason why I did spar with him is because he came to my gym, my house, disrespecting my people, my heritage and myself, and I had to teach him a lesson.”

After the sparring session, Levy’s Christian training partners at the gym spoke with Ben and told him he was not acting in a “Christian way,” Levy said.

“These guys are like my brothers: we train together, we sweat together, we bleed together, and they told him we’re all people, we’re all humans,” Levy noted. “This is not the way to hate Jewish people, to hate black people or Muslim people, or anyone. This is not the right path. This is not the love we should have for each other.”

The UFC fighter also told TMZ Live the amount of online abuse he receives has “absolutely increased” in recent years. He said, “I always got messages with pictures of Hitler, pictures of the Holocaust. Half of them say the Holocaust didn’t happen, the others say we need a second Holocaust, so which one is it? The rise [in antisemitism] is crazy.”

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He mentioned the recent attacks against kosher restaurants in Los Angeles and said, “This violence online, people allowing themselves to say anything they want because they’re behind a computer screen, this actually turns into physical violence in the real world and even not just to restaurants, but to actual human beings.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents in the US in 2022 reached the highest level ever recorded.