Criticizing George Soros Is Not Automatically Antisemitic

Trump's criticism of New York district attorney Alvin Bragg has drawn cries of antisemitism from a number of Jewish organizations. I do not think that criticism of a Jewish person automatically equates to antisemitic criticism or all Jews. The New York Times recognized this in an article about criticism of Mr. Soros. The article said:

Conspiracy theorists have long attributed wildly varied events to George Soros, in attacks often viewed as antisemitic. His indirect donations to a prosecutor’s campaign are animating Trump allies.

The descriptor “Soros-backed” was attached to Mr. Bragg’s name by Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor and potential White House rival of Mr. Trump; Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, a member of the House Republican leadership; Senator Rick Scott of Florida, the last head of the Senate Republican campaign arm; and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, the far-right firebrand, as she traveled to Manhattan on Monday to protest Mr. Trump’s arraignment.

The right’s fixation with Mr. Soros has waxed and waned for years, but the tumult surrounding Mr. Trump’s indictment has given new life to what critics have long contended is a fixation tinged with antisemitic bigotry. Mr. Soros, a Jew from Hungary, survived the Holocaust, fled communism and became one of the single largest funders of democracy promotion, anti-Communism and liberal education around the globe.

“We understand that when someone makes comments about ‘Soros-backed prosecutors,’ that on its own is not necessarily antisemitic,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group.

“But when a person or a political party repeatedly and relentlessly makes wild claims such as that there is a ‘cabal of globalists backed by Soros destroying our country,’” Mr. Greenblatt said, “that is invoking a classic anti-Jewish conspiracy theory, and it should be condemned.” Mr. Trump and his allies have singled out Mr. Soros for years, Mr. Greenblatt added.

The indictment of Mr. Trump has re-centered Mr. Soros in American politics — and rekindled the debate over whether criticism of a Democratic megadonor who is Jewish can be labeled bigotry. Mr. Soros, after all, has hit back at Mr. Trump, too.

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