When Democrats blocked a Marco Rubio amendment that would have compelled “[George] Soros backed prosecutors,” as the senator put it, to stop allowing violent criminals to avoid jail terms, it ignited accusations of anti-Semitism from many of the usual suspects.
“THIS Is how anti semitism takes root and spreads,” teachers union head Randi Weingarten claimed. “What is a ‘Soros’ backed prosecutor? Soros is a Hungarian Jew who survived the Holocaust…” The Washington Post’s unscrupulous Max Boot went further, contending that, “Every time Republicans say ‘Soros’ you should hear ‘the Jews.'”
Boy, isn’t that convenient? No one is permitted to utter a critical word about the most generous benefactor of the hard left—an activist who not only spends his fortune undermining American institutions, but also the safety of Jews around the world—simply because he happened to be born into the Tribe.
The first thing to note is that Rubio, whether you agree with his position on prosecutors or not, is stating an incontestable truth. The Hungarian billionaire has given local anti-incarceration prosecutors tens of millions of dollars. Rubio’s accusers could have read about the effort in a 2016 Politico piece, headlined, “George Soros’ quiet overhaul of the U.S. justice system.” “Democratic mega-donor George Soros,” the story informs us, “has directed his wealth into an under-the-radar 2016 campaign to advance one of the progressive movement’s core goals — reshaping the American justice system.” Then again, Rubio’s detractors could also have read about the effort from the man himself: “Why I Support Reform Prosecutors,” is the headline of a piece that ran in the Wall Street Journal a little over a week ago.
Needless to say, the notion that a moderate Florida senator, who has a long record of championing Israel and the Jewish people, is sending out anti-Semitic dog whistles is a bizarre one. Republicans—like Democrats, who have aimed their ire at the Koch brothers or the late Sheldon Adelson (also Jewish, though not of the self-hating variety)—go after big donors all the time because it’s politically useful. Soros doesn’t get special dispensation from criticism. But when you’re wracked with paranoia, and see fascism behind every proposition you dislike, you tend to become a hysteric.
That’s, of course, if we concede that these accusations aren’t just fabricated, cynical efforts to chill speech and smear Rubio, which is far more likely. We shouldn’t forget that most of Rubio’s detractors have never uttered a harsh word about the vile anti-Semites of The Squad, who peddle blood libels and cheer on terrorists. Or even Weingarten, president of the powerful American Federation of Teachers, who led the fight to deny Jewish communities access to their schools during Covid — and beyond. When confronted, Weingarten said, “American Jews are now part of the ownership class. What I hear when I hear that question is that those who are in the ownership class now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it.”
Can you imagine the media’s reaction if a powerful Republican had been grousing about the Jewish “ownership class?” Weingarten, who is married to a “rabbi,” is regurgitating an enduring anti-Semitic canard: Jews horde power to deny others success. There is not a single person who’s had even fleeting acquaintance with the American Jewish community who could possibly believe it is trying to take away “the ladder of opportunity.” This is Marxist twaddle.
Speaking of which … Soros, both powerful and born Jewish, is also a man of faith. But it’s not Judaism, to which he has shown zero cultural or religious connection. Soros, in fact, is a generous funder of anti-Semitic organizations around the globe—including BDS—and the leading patron of “pro-Israel” front groups in the United States. There is nothing Jewish about his behavior. Opposing him is a pro-Jewish position.
None of this is to say that fringe types never connect George Soros to a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. Rubio certainly isn’t one of them. Neither are most of the people who bring up Soros, deeply involved in our political battles, in the public discourse. Yet seemingly the only time “anti-Semitism”—or the Holocaust, for that matter—is useful to progressives, is when they can appropriate it to slander their opponents. Cynical, politically motivated accusations of anti-Semitism are odious because they diminish the seriousness of the real thing. Not that these people care.