Saturday, October 06, 2018

Today's Antisemitism Report: George Soros as the "anti-Christ"

First, a case of vandalism.

The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia was marked with large swastikas this morning. Senator Tim Kaine reports on Twitter:

Removal of the hateful graffiti:

Second, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lawyer, reposted an antisemitic remark that blamed George Soros for the demonstrations this week in Washington, DC, against the Brett Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court. Soros, of course, is the whipping boy of both the left and the right, despite his work for democracy in Eastern Europe, his founding (and funding) of Central European University in Budapest, the work of the Open Society Foundations for democracy around the world, etc.

Soros is Jewish, originally from Hungary, where he narrowly escaped being murdered by the Nazis when he was a teenage boy. Calling him the "anti-Christ" is blatantly antisemitic - akin to blaming Jews for the death of Jesus.

Giuliani was just following his master, Trump. Yesterday, Trump blamed Soros for funding the anti-Kavanaugh protestors:

George Soros did not pay for people to protest Kavanaugh. And by the way, at almost every demonstration organized by an existing group there are identical signs. There are identical signs at campaign events for Republican and Democratic candidates. The NRA buys identical signs, as does NARAL. It's not something sinister to have printed signs.

From Buzzfeed:
Soros, a hedge fund manager and longtime donor to the Democrats and other liberal causes, is often the target of a right-wing conspiracy theory that claims he controls global politics.

The use of the term “anti-Christ” is specifically loaded as Soros, who is Jewish, is often the target of anti-Semitic attacks. In some Christian teachings, the Antichrist is the enemy of Christ and the church, who appears before the end of the world.

Soros has been a frequent target of Republicans during the Kavanaugh debate. Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley, asked by Fox Business on Friday if Soros was funding the protests, said, “I tend to believe it.”

The person who wrote the “anti-Christ” tweet had not been replying to Giuliani, but instead to Tom Fitton, the head of a conservative organization called Judicial Watch, who posted a video titled “Leftist Efforts to Destroy Kavanaugh.”

On Saturday Trump continued claiming that people protesting Kavanaugh are “paid professional protesters who are handed expensive signs.”
And guess who else blames Soros for funding the anti-Kavanaugh protests? RT, the Russian propaganda network - see a report of theirs on Youtube: Anti-Kavanaugh protesters linked to billionaire George Soros.

NB: Soros was not a collaborator with the Nazis in Budapest when they occupied the city in 1944. He was a victim, who narrowly escaped with his life.

From the Snopes article on the libel that he was a collaborator:
As a prominent political activist and supporter of left-wing causes, Hungarian-born billionaire financier George Soros has frequently been the target of smear campaigns, and none more odious than the persistent — and false — claim that Soros, a Jew, was a Nazi sympathizer, collaborator, and/or paramilitary officer during World War II.

That Soros was only nine years old (born in 1930) when the war broke out and all of 14 when Nazi Germany surrendered in May 1945 hasn’t dampened his detractors’ enthusiasm for spreading these rumors, including the absurd claim, which first surfaced in November 2016, that Soros literally served as an officer of the paramilitary Schutzstaffel (SS) in Germany.

This allegation continues to make the social media rounds in the form of a black-and-white photograph of a young man — supposedly Soros — wearing an SS uniform (...), accompanied by some version of this caption:
... I give you George Soros. A SS in the National Socialist German workers party. Nazi party. He served under Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. He said it was the best time of his life. The destruction and agony around him was euphoric to him. This man was making policy with Hillary Clinton. And some of you think Trump is dangerous. Wow!
Wow, indeed. But given his age, Soros couldn’t have joined the SS (whose minimum age requirement was 17) even if he had wanted to. Moreover, as a Hungarian Jew he couldn’t have met the SS requirement for pure “Aryan” heritage. Quite to the contrary, Soros and his entire family were obliged to hide their identities and pose as Christians to avoid being forcibly housed in ghettos, interned in concentration camps, deported, or killed during the 10-month Nazi occupation of Hungary beginning in 1944.
Was Soros a Nazi Collaborator?
It is also claimed that Soros survived the German occupation of Budapest by becoming a Nazi “collaborator.” Fox News pundit Glenn Beck alleged in November 2010, for example, that the 14-year-old Soros “help[ed] the government confiscate the lands of his fellow Jewish friends and neighbors,” and, worse (in Beck’s view), was unrepentant about it:
So when George Soros was 14, his father basically bribed a government official to take his son in and let him pretend to be a Christian. His father was just trying to keep him alive. He even had to go around confiscating property of Jewish people. Now, imagine you are Jewish and you have to go and confiscate the property of your fellow Jews. And you are pretending to not be a Jew and if anybody finds out, you’re dead. He actually had to endure watching people sent off to their eventual murders, watching people gathering their stuff, sending them off knowing that they were going to go to their death.
“I don’t want to question the 14-year-old,” Beck disingenuously stated during a series of broadcasts devoted to painting Soros as an evil “puppet-master” of the left. “I would have, however, liked to question the 80-year-old man who has never once said he regretted it,” he added.
Central to Beck’s case were quotes and clips from a 1998 60 Minutes interview (which can be viewed in its entirety here), an excerpt from which was also used as the centerpiece in a commentary on the conspiracist web site in which host Alex Jones claimed that the teenaged Soros “helped round up thousands of people” and “stole hundreds of millions of dollars” from Hungarian Jews on behalf of the Nazi occupiers.
Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza (who has gone so far as to compare the 14-year-old George Soros to Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele) revived the “Nazi collaborator” claim in his 2017 book The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, doubling down on it in a social media campaign to promote book sales:
.@georgesoros, now a principle financial backer of violent thugs, admits his collaboration with Hitler and says he has no regrets:
Other conservative and alt-right media figures followed suit:

Yet the simple truth is that George Soros neither said nor did anything resembling what he has been accused of. In no sense was Soros, who turned 14 years old not long after the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, a “Nazi collaborator.” At no time did he confiscate (or help confiscate) the property of Jews, “identify Jews to the Nazis,” or help “round up” people targeted for deportation or extermination by the Germans (to answer just a few of the accusations leveled against him). And although Soros did attest during the infamous 60 Minutes interview that he regrets nothing about the time of German occupation, he also said it is precisely because he didn’t do any of the things attributed to him that his conscience is clear....
Did Soros Serve Jews with Death or Deportation Notices?

Another “Nazi collaborator” trope holds that young George Soros helped send fellow Jews to their deaths by delivering deportation notices on behalf of Budapest’s Jewish Council (Judenrat in German), an organization tasked by the Nazis with helping enforce Nazi policies on the Hungarian Jewish population:

However, as in the case of the “confiscation” rumors already discussed, here we find innocuous facts about George Soros’s adolescence twisted and exaggerated into a grotesque lie. According to Soros’s father, school-age Jewish children were required to run errands for the council. Among those errands (he came to find out) was delivering deportation notices to prominent Jews. But although George did, in fact, spend all of two days as a Jewish Council errand boy, he didn’t perform his assigned tasks exactly as ordered, taking it upon himself to warn the recipients of the notices that they ought not to comply [From George’s father, Tivadar Soros, in his 1965 autobiography, Masquerade: Dancing Around Death in Nazi Occupied Hungary].
As Jews couldn’t go to school any more and their teachers couldn’t teach, they were ordered to report to council headquarters. The children were enlisted as couriers under the command of their teachers. My younger son, George, also became a courier. On the second day he returned home at seven in the evening. 
‘What did you do all day?’ 
‘Mostly nothing. But this afternoon I was given some notices to deliver to various addresses.’ 
‘Did you read what they said?’
‘I even brought one home.’ 
He handed me a small slip of paper, with a typewritten message: 
You are requested to report tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock at the Rabbinical Seminary in Rokk Szildrd Street. Please bring with you a blanket, and food for two days. 
‘Do you know what this means?’ I asked him. 
‘I can guess,’ he replied with great seriousness. ‘They’ll be interned.’ 
Children are often good guessers. I wondered whether he knew what being interned meant. Did this child of mine realize that these people would be deported to Germany and very possibly murdered? I felt too ashamed of the world I had brought him into to enlighten him. 
‘The Jewish Council has no right to give people orders like that,’ I told him. ‘You are not to work there any more.’
‘I tried to tell the people I called on not to obey,’ he said, clearly disappointed that I wouldn’t let him work any more. He was beginning to enjoy his career as a courier: it was all a big adventure.

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