Dan Feinreich

Criticizing George Soros is not anti-Semitic

Not long after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) sent out anti-Semitic tweets implying that the only reason US politicians support Israel is because of “Benjamins” from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Democrats and their supporters wasted no time in accusing Republicans, including President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), of anti-Semitism based on their past depictions of George Soros, the billionaire Democrat donor, who happens to be Jewish.

Prior to the November 2016 midterm elections, McCarthy posted a tweet with an image of Soros that read “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to BUY this election. Get out and vote Republican.” The ad referred to two other billionaire Democrat donors, Michael Bloomberg, who is Jewish, and Tom Steyer, who is not Jewish. The Huffington Post columnist Mary Papenfuss claimed that McCarthy’s tweet “danced dangerously close to well-trod anti-Semitic attacks that portray Jews as the central members of a wealthy international cabal that secretly controls the world.”

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump ran an ad critical of the “political establishment” that included images of Soros, former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Since Soros, Yellen and Blankfein were all Jewish, Trump’s ad was accused of being anti-Semitic.

Alexander Soros, George’s son, wrote an opinion column in the New York Times where he implied that Trump’s ad was one of many attacks against his father that was “dripping with the poison of anti-Semitism.”

McCarthy’s tweet and Trump’s ad were supposed to be undeniable examples of anti-Semitism, and since both men condemned Omar’s tweets, they were both accused of hypocrisy.

In addition, Trump was once again accused of anti-Semitism during the period of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. When two female protesters claiming to be sexual assault victims confronted Republican Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in an elevator, a scene which was broadcast on television, some conservatives had argued that Soros was funding the protesters. Trump later tweeted that the protesters and their signs were “paid for by Soros and others.” This led to a firestorm of outrage by the media and Soros supporters.

New York Times columnist David Leonhardt tweeted:

“The notion that George Soros is stirring up artificial protest is one of the biggest anti-Semitic tropes in the world today. A public official can’t claim it’s an innocent observation about someone who happens to be Jewish.”

Talia Lavin of the Washington Post wrote, “Conspiracy theories about Soros aren’t just false. They’re anti-Semitic.”

Daily Beast writer David Ackerman wrote a column titled “There’s Been a George Soros for Every Era of Anti-Semitic Panic.”

”We Live in the Soros Age of Anti-Semitism,” he added.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also chimed in, issuing a press release titled “The Anti-Semitism Lurking Behind George Soros Conspiracy Theories.”
According to the ADL, Soros conspiracy theories “employ long-standing anti-Semitic myths, particularly the notion that rich powerful Jews work behind the scenes, plotting to control countries or manipulate global events.”

The ADL claims that a person “may but intend to promulgate anti-Semitism. But Soros’ Jewish identity is so well known that in many cases it is hard not to infer that meaning.”

“Even if no anti-Semitic insinuation is intended, casting a Jewish individual as a puppet master who manipulates national events for malign purposes has the effect of mainstreaming anti-Semitic tropes and giving support … to bona fide anti-Semites and extremists….”

There was only one problem with all these accusations that Trump was advancing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories: Soros actually did fund the protesters. He may not have paid the protesters (or paid for their signs) directly, but he did contribute money through his foundation, Open Society Foundations, to groups that were organizing anti-Kavanaugh protests. According to an essay about Soros published in Tablet in November, 2018, writer James Kirchick points out that one of the elevator protesters “served as an executive director of an organization-Center for Popular Democracy-which received $1.5 million from Open Society in 2016 and 2017 alone.”

According to an analysis by Asra Q. Nomani of the Wall Street Journal, “at least 20 of the largest groups” involved in the protests “have been Open Society grantees.”

Another Soros hysteria occurred on December 6, 2018, when Representative Louis Gohmert (R-TX) was interviewed by Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney. When answering a question on a different topic, Gohmert brought up Soros by saying “George Soros is supposed to be Jewish but you wouldn’t know it from the damage he’s inflicted on Israel and the fact that he turned on fellow Jews and helped take the property that they own.”

In the next hour, Varney issued a statement on the air distancing himself and the network from Gohmert’s comments. The media immediately pounced on Gohmert’s comments.

The Daily Beast headline read: “Fox Business Network Apologizes for Louis Gohmert Spreading Anti-Semitic George Soros Conspiracy.”

The ADL tweeted, “Abhorrent that a sitting Congressman propagated debunked Soros conspiracies. Rep. Gohmert should retract his remarks immediately. This rhetoric is common in extreme far right circles and perpetuates anti-Semitism.”
Gohmert stood his ground, tweeting “Soros himself admitted in a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft that he had no regrets whatsoever about assisting the Nazis in confiscating property from the Jewish people during the Holocaust.” He also issued a statement denying anti-Semitism and included a transcript of the 60 Minutes interview. Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), defended Gohmert and demanded that the ADL apologize to Gohmert.

In subsequent interviews, Soros, who was 14 years old when the Nazis occupied Hungary in 1944, has insisted that he was just a “bystander.” According to an interview with Soros by Michael Steinberger of the New York Times Magazine in October 2017, Soros’ father had obtained false identification for George and sent him to live with a Hungarian official whose job included taking inventory of Jewish-owned property that had already been confiscated, and he took George with him.

Fair enough. Regardless of whether Gohmert’s version of events was right or wrong, his comments were based on an interview that Soros gave. He was not criticizing Soros for being Jewish. He was criticizing Soros because he felt Soros betrayed the Jews.

So who is George Soros and is it anti-Semitic to criticize him?

Soros, originally named was Gyorgy Schwartz, was born in Hungary in 1930. After surviving the Holocaust, he fled to London in 1946, and earned a degree from the London School of Economics, where he was a student of a professor named Karl Popper. Popper had written a book titled “The Open Society and its Enemies,” where he advocated the concepts of liberal democracy, freedom of expression, respect for individual rights and rejected totalitarianism, fascism and communism. Popper’s writings had a great influence on Soros’ political philosophy.
Soros moved to New York in 1956 and became one of the most successful hedge fund managers on Wall Street. He is now one of the biggest donors to Democratic Party candidates and left wing groups through his Open Society Foundations (OSF). According to Steinberger, Soros transferred $18 billion to OSF, one of the largest transfers of wealth ever made by a private donor to a single foundation, which made OSF the second biggest philanthropic organization in the U.S., after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. OSF has 1,800 employees in 35 countries. Soros has funded groups such as the Center for American Progress,, Media Matters, the Southern Poverty Law Center and many other left wing organizations. He has also donated to variety of minority groups such as Black Lives Matter, Latino and pro-immigrant groups, and also to groups that defend the rights of transgender people and Muslims.

Soros told Connie Bruck of the New Yorker in January, 1995 that during his life in Hungary, “my mother was quite anti-Semitic and ashamed of being Jewish. Given the culture in which one lived, being Jewish was a clear cut stigma, a disadvantage, a handicap — and therefore there was always a desire to transcend it, to escape it.”
He confirmed that his name had been changed from Schwartz to Soros. “So the assimilationist Jews of Hungary had a deep sense of inferiority, and it took me a long time to work through that.”

“Of course, this whole interest in universal idea is a typical means to escape from the particular,” he added, “I am escaping the particular. I think I am doing exactly that by espousing this universal concept” of open society.

“In other words, I don’t think you can ever overcome anti-Semitism if you behave as a tribe…The only way you can overcome it is if you give up the tribalness.”

When Bruck mentioned Israel, Soros replied, “I don’t deny the Jews their right to national existence – but I don’t want to be a part of it.”

Soros further described his views on Israel in an essay he wrote for the New York Review of Books in April, 2007 titled “On Israel, America, and AIPAC.”
He expressed frustration with the Bush administration and the Israeli government for not recognizing the “democratically elected Hamas government” and was also frustrated about Israel’s “insistence on treating Hamas only as a terrorist organization” while refusing to recognize Hamas’ “moderate political wing.”

But the main focus of Soros’ frustration was the “pervasive influence” of AIPAC, which he claimed was “remarkably successful in suppressing criticism.”

“Politicians challenge it at their peril because of the lobby’s ability to influence political contributions.”

“I am not a Zionist, nor am I a practicing Jew, but I have a great deal of sympathy for my fellow Jews and a deep concern for the survival of Israel.”

“I am a fervent advocate of critical thinking,” wrote Soros. “I am not sufficiently engaged in Jewish affairs to be involved in the reform of AIPAC, but I must speak out in favor of the critical process that is at the heart of our open society.”

He complained that change in Middle East policy “cannot make much headway as long as AIPAC retains powerful influence” in both parties and leaders are unable to “resist the dictates of AIPAC.” He demanded that the “wall of silence” that has protected AIPAC be demolished.

He concluded his essay by stating that “I am not blaming Jews for anti-Semitism,” but at the same time, “I do believe that attitudes toward the Jewish community are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby’s success in suppressing divergent views.”

In other words, not all Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism, just the ones who are pro-Israel and join AIPAC.

Soros’ hostility to Israel was not limited to an essay. He has also donated to organizations with an anti-Israel agenda. According to ZOA, “It is a well-documented fact that Soros undercuts Israel at every turn by funding organizations that demonize, defame, and propagandize against Israel, promote anti-Israel boycotts and anti-Israel UN actions, and engage in lawfare (legal warfare) against Jews and the Jewish state.”

A report published by NGO Monitor in 2013 detailed how Soros funded groups “are at the forefront of delegitimizing, spreading false stories … and attacking Israel in every conceivable forum.”
The report, written by Alexander H. Joffe and edited by Gerald M. Steinberg, highlights three separate categories of anti-Israel funding.

The first category details OSF contributions to large international non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as Israeli/Palestinian NGO’s such as Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence and Adalah. The objective of these groups is to implement the “Durban” strategy, which was adopted at the 2001 UN Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa. At this event, the participants labeled Israel an “apartheid state” and called for “the imposition of comprehensive sanctions and full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, military, and training) between all states and Israel.” These NGO’s paint Israel as “racist” or “apartheid” or accuse Israel of committing “war crimes.” They promote the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) and seek to file international lawsuits against Israeli political and military officials.

The second category of funding is for American organizations that seek to undercut public support for Israel in the U.S., including in the American Jewish community. Based on his AIPAC essay from 2007, Soros believed that changes in U.S. Mideast policy could not happen until there was a mechanism to offset AIPAC’s influence. Shortly after his essay was published, Soros got his wish. A new group, JStreet, was formed in 2008 that would promote the policies he had described in his essay. Joffe writes that there is no evidence that Soros personally created JStreet, but he and his family did provide funding that was critical to its formation.
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor, describes J Street as “the most damaging organizations in American history against Israel” and “one of the most virulent anti-Israel organizations in the history of Zionism and Judaism.”

Although J Street claims to be “pro-Israel, pro peace,” a ZOA report on J Street provides evidence of the group’s activities that include: encouraging anti-Israel violence, lobbying for anti-Israel UN resolutions, promoting BDS & lawfare, siding with Iran, opposing aid to Israel and supporting aid to the Palestinian Authority, condemning Israeli defensive actions against Hamas rocket attacks, opposing the US embassy move to Jerusalem, promoting anti-Israel speakers and activities on college campuses, supporting anti-Israel members of Congress, and advocating for anti-Israel policies and platform positions within the Democratic Party.

In addition, other Soros-funded U.S. groups involved in anti-Israel activities include Media Matters, Center for American Progress, the Institute for Middle East Understanding and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). While most of the anti-Israel groups that Soros funds focus on the conflict with the Palestinians, NIAC’s goals are to “enhance the public standing of the Iranian regime and shield it from efforts to prevent the illicit acquisition of nuclear weapons,” as well as to “reduce public support for Israel.” The fact that Soros chooses to fund a group that acts as a lobby for the Iranian regime indicates that his hostility to Israel is not strictly limited to the Palestinian issue.

The third category of funding is for groups inside Israel and the Palestinian territories that operate for the purpose of undermining Israel from within the country itself. These groups exist far outside the Israeli mainstream and have very little support among the Israeli people. They include Adalah, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Gisha, Yesh Din, Rabbis for Human Rights and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The New Israel Fund (NIF) receives OSF grants to support many of these organizations. As noted earlier, some of these groups are also involved in the international demonization of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has written that the NIF “endangers the security and the future of the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people,” and added that NIF “receives funding from foreign governments and elements hostile to Israel, such as George Soros’ funds.”

“For decades, the fund contributes to anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian organizations, including ones that slander IDF soldiers, such as Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, and those fighting for Palestinian terrorists, such as Adalah.”

In 2016, a hack of OSF led to the release of confidential reports and documents that revealed large grants totaling millions of dollars that were made by OSF to a vast network of anti-Israel groups in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The goal of these grants was to increase international opposition to Israel by “sustained and targeted international advocacy” aimed at the US and EU “with support from OSF’s D.C. and Brussels offices.” According to Liel Leibowitz of Tablet, the documents show that OSF tried to conceal its involvement and “maintain a low profile and relative distance-particularly on the advocacy front.” Leibowitz concluded thst “there can be little doubt about the Soros-funded extensive and deliberate effort to delegitimize Israel while doing comparatively very little to address real human rights abuses in the Palestinian authority or elsewhere in the region.”
Here are some brief descriptions of a few of the Middle East organizations that Soros funds.

Adalah describes itself as a “human rights organization.” It promotes Israel as an illegitimate “racist” and “apartheid” state, supports BDS, and regularly accuses Israel of “human and civil rights violations” and “genocide” in international forums. In 2002, Adalah and other Soros-funded groups spread false accusations that the Israeli army had massacred innocent Palestinian civilians in the city of Jenin in the aftermath of Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield. These accusations were repeated by other anti-Israel groups and were widely reported in the international media, and by the time they were retracted and proven to be false, damage to Israel’s reputation had already occurred.
B’Tselem defines itself as the “Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories” that “strives to end Israel’s occupation” and “document Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.” B’Tselem repeatedly accuses Israel of human rights violations, war crimes, abuse of children, and torture. It issues reports and testifies in international forums against Israel. It omits any discussion of Palestinian incitement and terror attacks against Israelis.

B’Tselem was accused of presenting faulty information about Palestinian civilian casualties in the 2014 Gaza War.

Breaking the Silence (BtS) identifies itself as an organization of “veteran combatants from the Israeli military” who attempt to expose “the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories” with the aim of “bringing an end to the occupation.” BtS collects testimonies of soldiers who claim that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) commit “human rights violations” and “war crimes.” According to NGO Monitor, many BtS activities are intended for audiences outside of Israel, primarily in Europe, where Israeli soldiers are demonized without being able to respond to accusations against them. Many of the accusations of alleged human rights abuses by Israeli soldiers are anonymous and unverified. In 2016, an undercover investigation produced video evidence of BtS activists attempting to obtain sensitive information about IDF operational methods and tactics. According to Jonathan Tobin of Commentary Magazine, it seemed that BtS was conducting a “spying operation … to help Palestinian groups and their supporters evade or defeat IDF efforts to suppress terror.”

Itzik Shmuli of the left leaning Zionist Union Party commented that “instead of its professed actions to support human rights, we see subversive activity involving the collection of sensitive and classified intelligence and operational information.”

Tobin concludes that BtS is a “subversive organization whose purpose appears to be to undermine the efforts of the IDF at a time when Israel is under assault by a wave of bloody terrorism.”

These are just a few of the many groups funded by the man who claimed to have a “deep concern for the survival of Israel.”

So now that Soros supporters, including the ADL, have established a standard that criticizing a Jewish billionaire is inherently anti-Semitic, we should expect that same standard to apply to another Jewish billionaire who is active in political funding. We should expect a Jewish billionaire who donates to Republican or conservative causes to be treated exactly the same as Soros. Let’s see if this is true. There is a man who fits that description. His name is Sheldon Adelson.

Sheldon Adelson was born in 1933 to Jewish Ukrainian immigrants and is the CEO and chairman of Las Vegas Sands, which owns and operates casinos, hotels and convention centers throughout the world. Adelson’s net worth is approximately $36.3 billion. (Soros, after having donated approximately $32 billion to OSF since 1984, has a net worth of a paltry $8.3 billion.) Adelson is a major donor to the Republican Party but also funds a variety of Jewish and pro-Israel causes as well as organizations involved in healthcare.

The Adelson Family Foundation donates approximately $200 million annually to support charitable organizations in the U.S. and Israel relating to Holocaust and anti-Semitism awareness, Israel advocacy and Jewish education. Adelson made the largest donation ever, $25 million, to Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust Memorial, and he also donated $25 million to Birthright Israel, an organization that sponsors free trips to Israel for Jewish teens and young adults. Adelson funds the Maccabi Task Force, which combats anti-Semitism on university campuses across the U.S. He and his wife, Miriam, founded the Adelson Education Campus in Las Vegas, which is an independent private Jewish school for preschoolers thru grade 12 that seeks to nurture the students to become “intelligent, compassionate, pro-active young adults” based on the “Adelson Values – Academic Excellence, Respect for All, Community of Kindness, Understanding Differences, and Honoring Judaism.”

The Adelsons also established the Adelson Medical Research Foundation, which provides grants for research into life-threatening illnesses. They also founded the Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse Treatment and Research in Las Vegas and Tel Aviv. This clinic provides treatment and counseling for people suffering from drug addiction. In addition, the Adelsons have funded Jewish organizations that provide assistance to senior citizens, provide specialized care for individuals with multiple sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and provide educational opportunities for children with special needs.

Here are some of the headlines about Adelson that have appeared in the national media:

The Guardian, June 8, 2018

“Sheldon Adelson: the casino mogul driving Trump’s Middle East policy.”

“The Las Vegas billionaire gave the Republicans $82M for the 2016 elections and his views, notably staunch support for Netanyahu’s Israel, are now the official US line.”

The New York Times, May 21, 2018

“Meet the Members of the ‘Shadow National Security Council.’ advising John Bolton.”

In this article, Adelson was included in Bolton’s alleged “shadow N.S.C.”
McClatchy Washington Bureau, May 14, 2018

“Mega-donor Adelson, with access and influence, scores two pro- Israel victories.”
The Huffington Post, December 15, 2016

“Tonight’s GOP Debate: Sheldon Adelson’s Malignant Tentacles.”

Columnist Richard North Patterson wrote, “Adelson means not only to pick the party’s nominee, but also to dictate his thoughts.”

Patterson also wrote that the 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizen’s United, “empowers Adelson to demand obeisance from would-be presidents desperate for his largess.”

“More than anyone else, it is Adelson – not voters, candidates, or experts on the Middle East – who dictates what Republicans dare to think and say about our relationship to Israel, the Palestinians on the West Bank, and the complex government of Iran.”

Patterson quotes New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as saying “Adelson personifies everything that is poisoning our democracy … today – swaggering oligarchs, using huge sums of money trying to bend each system to their will.”

“Adelson’s message to Republican candidates is clear: kowtow to me or my money will go elsewhere – or into taking you down.”

Apparently, none of the people at the Huffington Post thought that these accusations against Adelson “danced dangerously close to anti-Semitic attacks,” which is how they described McCarthy’s tweet from 2016. If Soros defenders, including the ADL, were really interested in learning what a genuine anti-Semitic attack on a Jewish billionaire looks like, they should consider this:

When a Jewish billionaire is accused of having malignant tentacles, picking nominees, demanding obeisance, and dictating what politicians dare to think or say about Israel, that is anti-Semitism.

Additionally, the following headlines relate to the 2012 GOP primaries when Adelson supported and donated to the Presidential campaign of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The Guardian, November 1, 2012

“Sheldon Adelson’s billions help shape US politics as many question his influence.”
Rolling Stone, April 10, 2012

“Why GOP Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Is Mad, Bad and a Danger to the Republic”

“He’s unhinged, unscrupulous, and in the market for a president.”
The Daily Beast, January 18, 2012

“Is Gingrich’s Hard Line on Palestine Paid for by Sheldon Adelson?”

“Gingrich endorsed moderate policies in the Middle East until Sheldon Adelson’s millions started rolling in.”

This article also referred to Adelson as “Gingrich’s Daddy Warbucks.”

As of this writing, there is no evidence that the ADL has specifically condemned the attacks on Adelson as invoking anti-Semitic tropes that cast “a Jewish individual as a puppet master who manipulates national events for malign purposes.”

Based on these headlines, it is obvious that Soros and Adelson are treated much differently by major media outlets. Soros is protected, while Adelson is condemned.

Both Soros and Adelson are major donors to political parties, candidates and causes in the U.S., and both are fair game for legitimate criticism, as are non-Jewish billionaire donors. However, on the issue of anti-Semitism, there are major differences between Adelson and Soros.

It is impossible not to notice the huge differences between how Adelson spends his billions and how Soros spends his billions, as they relate to Jewish and Israel causes. As noted earlier, Adelson donates his money to a variety of organizations promoting Jewish education and health care, Jewish identity, Holocaust awareness, and combating anti-Semitism. Soros does none of that.

Kirchick observed that “while Soros has been extremely generous in funding a plethora of organizations and individuals committed to promoting the interests of practically every conceivable identity group, there is one in whose welfare he is utterly disinterested in: his own.”

“Soros has given scant money to Jewish causes,” and “contributed next to nothing to the fight against anti-Semitism, one he and his defenders claim to care so much about.”
On the contrary, Soros funds groups that promote anti-Semitism, including the anti-Semitic BDS movement. Adelson is a Zionist who funds pro-Israel groups. Soros rejects Zionism and funds anti-Israel groups. Therefore, it is far more likely that anti-Semitic attacks will target a Jewish billionaire who seeks to strengthen Judaism and Zionism rather than a Jewish billionaire who rejects them both.

As Kirchick correctly points out, “Many American conservatives oppose Soros not because he’s Jewish. They oppose him because he’s liberal.”

It’s more than that. Many American conservatives oppose him because he is the most significant funder of Democrat candidates and causes that most conservatives firmly oppose. Their criticism has nothing to do with the Jewish religion that Soros himself wants nothing to do with. These are the reasons why Trump, McCarthy and Gohmert criticized Soros.

McCarthy’s tweet was not anti-Semitic because he was referring to the three largest donors to the Democratic Party, two of whom happen to be Jewish. Trump’s 2016 ad, where he criticizes the “political establishment” that he felt was harming America, included not only Soros, Yellen, and Blankfein, but also included Bill and Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former FBI director James Comey, and a variety of foreign leaders, none of whom are Jewish. Soros was included because he is a major Democratic donor. Yellen and Blankfein were included in the ad because they were the heads of the Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs, respectively, not because they were Jewish.

When evaluating whether or not an individual is anti-Semitic, it’s important to look at the individual’s history and background to see if there are any anti-Semitic comments, beliefs, or associations in his or her past. In the cases of McCarthy and Gohmert, who both have had long careers in the public spotlight, there is no evidence of any anti-Semitism in their past.

In the case of Trump, it’s important to remember that he has a Jewish daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. He was also the first world leader to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and affirm the 3,000 year historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem. He has repeatedly condemned anti-Semitism, honored Holocaust survivors at his State of the Union Address, defended Israel at the UN, and has a 70% approval rating among Israelis. That’s not anti-Semitism.

However, in the case of Ilhan Omar, who has a very short history in public life, there are several examples of anti-Semitism in her past. In 2012, she tweeted that “Israel hypnotized the world,” which was clearly an anti-Semitic smear. She supports the BDS movement, which is widely perceived as anti-Semitic. In addition, when ZOA reviewed her campaign contributors from Federal Election Commission filings, they discovered that she received campaign contributions CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), which has links to the anti-Semitic terrorist group, Hamas, that seeks Israel’s destruction. She also received funds from the Soros-funded, which supports BDS.

Therefore, the attempts to create a moral equivalency between Trump, McCarthy or Gohmert and Omar are not credible.

Soros has become, perhaps, the most important donor and financier of the American left. In the last 20 years, very few Americans, outside of government, have had more of an impact on U.S. government policy than George Soros. The candidates, groups and causes he funds have had a profound influence on American politics and culture, and on issues affecting the U.S. economy, national security, immigration, health care, race relations and many others. The idea that any type criticism of this man, whether in a tweet, in an ad, or on television, is inherently anti-Semitic – and is, therefore, off limits – is completely absurd. The only instance where criticism of Soros could be anti-Semitic is if he is specifically identified as a Jew in the criticism.

Soros complains that Jews are too “tribal,” but he never makes the same complaint of other minority groups and communities whose causes he funds. He only complains about the Jews, a community he does not financially support and has publicly said he wants nothing to do with, except, of course, when he is being criticized.

When Soros claims that Jews who have chosen to advocate for Israel by joining AIPAC have the power to silence dissent in the U.S., a nation of over 300 million people, he is using the exact same anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes about Jewish power and control that he and his supporters claim are used against him by his critics.

How ironic it is for Soros to accuse supporters of Israel of making false charges of anti-Semitism to silence criticism of Israeli policies, when, in fact, it is Soros and his supporters that consistently make false charges of anti-Semitism to silence criticism of Soros’ funding policies.

How ironic it is for Soros’ supporters in the media and elsewhere to try and silence critical thinking of a man who claims to be a “fervent advocate of critical thinking.”

How ironic it is for Alex Soros to complain that an advertisement critical of his father was “dripping with the poison of anti-Semitism” when many of the groups that the Soros family has funded are drenched with the poison of anti-Semitism.

The Soros obsession with Israel and his desire that Jews “give up the tribalness” are, as Netanyahu said, a threat to Israel’s security. Soros and all of his supporters are insulting the memories of the thousands of Israeli soldiers and civilians who gave their lives for Israel’s right to exist, and they dishonor the memories of the six million Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust because Israel did not yet exist.

Soros and his supporters have created an environment where the mere mention of the Soros name by anyone on the political right, or, heaven forbid, the placement of his image in a tweet or in an ad, has become the moral equivalent of pledging loyalty to the Nazis or marching in Charlottesville with white supremacists. This “wall of silence” that has protected Soros from criticism must be demolished. We must not allow Soros and his supporters to silence the “critical process that is at the heart of our open society.” False accusations of anti-Semitism must never be used to defend one of the most dangerous anti-Semites in the Western world.

About the Author
Dan works part-time as a writer on politics and current events.