Antisemites use George Soros to promote hate against Jews, US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt said on Friday, weighing in on the uproar over Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s tweet about the other controversial billionaire.
“Irrespective of how one feels about George Soros’s politics or policies,” Lipstadt tweeted, “it is entirely disingenuous to deny that many ad hominem attacks on him rely on classic antisemitic tropes and rhetoric. In bygone eras, the antisemites invoked the Rothschild family to advance their conspiracies about Jews. Today they use Soros to do so.”
Lipstadt’s remarks came after Israel sent mixed messages on the topic.
Musk tweeted about Soros last week, saying he reminds him of Magneto, the villain from X-Men who, like Soros, survived the Holocaust.
Soros “wants to erode the very fabric of civilization,” Musk said. “Soros hates humanity.”
Musk’s tweet “smelled of antisemitism... [and] immediately brought a flood of antisemitic conspiracy theories,” the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, Twitter does nothing to address this problem,” Foreign Ministry Director of Digital Diplomacy David Saranga tweeted.
Soros doesn't need Israel's protection
In an unusual move, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen disavowed his own ministry’s tweet when asked about it on Channel 14.
“There will be no more tweets like that,” he said. “Soros is not someone who needs the protection of the State of Israel.”
Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli tweeted that "the Israeli government and the vast majority of Israeli citizens see Elon Musk as an amazing entrepreneur and a role model."
Criticism of Soros, who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the State of Israel is anything but antisemitism, quite the opposite,” Chikli wrote.
Soros’s Open Society Foundation donated to organizations accusing Israel of human rights violations and war crimes, such as Breaking the Silence and Adalah. In a 2016 leak of OSF emails, staffers said they sought to weaken ties between Israel and the EU and sow doubt about Israeli democracy.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt criticized Musk’s tweet, saying that “Soros often is held up by the far-Right, using antisemitic tropes, as the source of the world’s problems. Elon Musk, regardless of his intent, feeds this segment – comparing him to a Jewish supervillain, claiming Soros ‘hates humanity’ – is not just distressing, it’s dangerous: it will embolden extremists who already contrive anti-Jewish conspiracies and have tried to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result.”
Greenblatt later said in a televised interview that he does not believe that Musk is an antisemite, but urged him to be more cautious in his remarks.
Musk responded on Twitter that he “will endeavor to be more thoughtful in the future...
Anyway, my actual concern with Soros is that he has funded so many politicians [and district attorneys] who are soft even on violent crime, which has caused great damage to many cities [in my opinion],” Musk clarified.
Soros is one of the leading donors to the Democratic party, often contributing to candidates on the party’s Left flank. In recent years, he has focused on criminal justice reform, supporting progressive district attorneys who are more hesitant to prosecute criminals for certain crimes and try to minimize prison sentences.