When did criticizing someone for his or her deeds become an antisemitic slur just because the person is Jewish?
The answer, in our hyper-polarized world, is when it is politically advantageous to do so.
Nowhere is this more apparent than when the name George Soros is brought up.
Soros has been in the news in recent years for his part in pouring millions of dollars into local district attorney races to “advance one of the progressive movement’s core goals – reshaping the American justice system,” in the words of Politico, a Left-leaning news outlet.
See the following map of Soros’ political influence in local elections:
Soros, a multi-billionaire, also happens to be Jewish. Yet, mention George Soros – especially regarding the causes he funds (and the results of that funding) – and accusations of antisemitism begin flying.
A stunning display of this reality came recently when a Fox News panel on the show “Outnumbered” censured commentator and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for bringing up Soros in connection with problems in cities where violent protests this summer have taken lives, wrecked many others and caused an estimated more than $1 billion in insurance claims.
“The number one problem is all these cities are George Soros-elected, Left-wing, anti-police, pro-criminal district attorneys who refuse to keep people locked up … they are a major cause of the violence we are seeing because they keep putting the violent criminals back on the streets,” Gingrich said.
WATCH: Fox News panel quiets Newt Gingrich for linking Billionaire George Soros to BLM riots
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 17, 2020
Gingrich was summarily silenced by two Fox News commentators on the show, Melissa Francis and Marie Harf, the latter a former spokesperson for the Obama State Department. Both expressed that “George Soros doesn’t need to be part of this conversation.”
After Gingrich replied, “So it’s verboten?” the show’s host, Harris Faulkner, let the airwaves go silent, appearing to listen to directions coming into her earpiece on how to proceed.
After a long and awkward pause, Faulkner said, “OK, we’re going to move on.”
Faulkner later issued an apology for not allowing Gingrich to “be allowed to speak with the openness and respect that the show is all about,” yet she missed the point when she then went on to offer platitudes about free speech.
“Do we debate with fire here? Yes. But we must also give each other the space to express ourselves,” Faulkner continued after the apology.
What Faulkner should have pointed out was that silencing talk about someone who is wealthy, uses that wealth to gain influence and happens to be Jewish is the very definition of antisemitism – namely, invoking the common antisemitic trope that Jews control the world with their money.
The best test of whether or not commenting about George Soros is antisemitic is to imagine the same scenario but substitute Soros’ name with a random, secular, Christian billionaire.
Would talk about such a donor be verboten? Of course not, because the relevant issue is the donation of money to foster a political agenda – and not the donor’s religion.
It is telling that while the political Left cries antisemitism when Soros’ well-documented agenda is brought up, it gives a pass to real antisemitism when it comes from the ranks of their own, especially one of their newest rising stars, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Last February, when Omar tweeted out antisemitic tropes (less than a month after her “apology” for her previous antisemitic tweet), the Democrat-majority House of Representatives could not muster the votes to condemn her for her actions.
As reported at the time by AP:
“’It is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against Anti-Semitism in their conference,’ the president said on Twitter. ‘Anti-Semitism has fueled atrocities throughout history and it’s inconceivable they will not act to condemn it!’
“Democratic leaders had initially pushed the resolution condemning anti-Semitism after new remarks this weekend by Ms. Omar, Minnesota Democrat, questioning the motives behind her colleagues’ support for Israel.
“But liberal activists rose to defend Ms. Omar …”
In the case of George Soros, the Left has successfully shut down inconvenient political conversations about their mega-donor by using faux antisemitism.
This strategy has been so effective that we now see mainstream Right-wing media confused by it, as witnessed by Harris Faulker, who was literally at a loss of how to proceed in a politically correct manner when Soros’ name was brought up on her show.
Antisemitism is a real scourge in the world at present; using it as a political weapon does a tremendous disservice to those who are trying to fight it – and ultimately to the Jewish people who suffer its consequences.