Calling Out The Evil of George Soros is Not In Itself Antisemitic
The Times of Israel reports:
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused Twitter owner Elon Musk of driving up antisemitic rhetoric on his social media platform in the wake of a remark he made against Jewish philanthropist George Soros.
Musk tweeted a day earlier that Soros “hates humanity,” and wrote that the billionaire and progressive megadonor “reminds me of Magneto,” a comic book villain who features in Marvel’s X-Men series.
“The phrase ‘The Jews’ spiked today on the list of topics trending on Twitter following a tweet with antisemitic overtones by none other than the owner and CEO of the social network, Elon Musk,” the Foreign Ministry tweeted on its official account.
It said that Musk’s tweet “immediately led to antisemitic conspiracy theories on Twitter.”
Separately, the ministry’s Director of Digital Diplomacy David Saranga tweeted a screenshot of Twitter trending numbers showing that, on Tuesday morning, there were 27,900 recent tweets using the phrase “The Jews.”
Tweets were “filled with antisemitic conspiracies and hate speech targeting Jews around the world,” Saranga wrote. “Unfortunately Twitter does nothing to address this problem.”
The attacks on Soros come as Twitter has faced criticism over its lax hate speech policies in the months since Musk, one of the world’s richest people, bought the platform last year. Soros, the billionaire and progressive megadonor, is at the center of multiple antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Like Soros, the character of Magneto is a Holocaust survivor. Brian Krassenstein, a liberal Jewish journalist, noted that parallel in a reply to Musk’s tweet, writing that “Magneto’s experiences during the Holocaust as a survivor shaped his perspective as well as his depth and empathy,” and that Soros “gets attacked nonstop for his good intentions which some Americans think are bad merely because they disagree with [his] political affiliations.”
Musk responded, “You assume they are good intentions. They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.”
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt called Musk’s remark “dangerous” and encouraging to anti-Jewish extremists.
“Soros often is held up by the far-right, using antisemitic tropes, as the source of the world’s problems,” Greenblatt tweeted. “To see Elon Musk, regardless of his intent, feed 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.
As of the time of this post, I do not see the Foreign Ministry’s tweet, so I assume they deleted it.
Good. Because assuming they tweeted it, it was a terrible idea.
Calling out George Soros for his evil actions is not on its own antisemitic nor on its own an indicator that the critic is antisemitic. I am fully aware that actual Jew-haters do love to point their fingers at him, and it can operate as a “dog whistle”, but this does not change the fact that he does do much bad – which includes funding vehemently anti-Israel groups working against the Jewish state.
I think more people should be criticizing Soros, without of course referencing his Jewishness unless in the context as to how he sells out his own people. I believe Musk’s Magento reference was to just draw the comparison between two Holocaust survivors doing bad, and not two Jews doing bad.
So the MFA had no business jumping in and criticizing Musk for this. And perhaps they realized this after the fact and deleted the tweet.
Granted, Musk should be more aware of the Jew hatred on his platform, and been more careful with his words. And I have no issue with people pointing this out. Just not the MFA.
And Musk should be doing more to combat Jew hatred on Twitter. But I do not believe him to be an antisemite, like some charge. He considers himself a “pro-semite”
(not that this is proof that he is). And there’s this:
Incidentally, so many of the actual Jew-haters who attack Soros call him a Zionist – which is further proof they do not even know what the word “Zionist” is, and actually have a problem with him because he is Jewish.