Desperate NY Times: Valid Soros Criticism Equals 'Republicans Echo Antisemitic Tropes'

May 10th, 2024 11:49 AM

As pro-Hamas campus protesters scream end-of-Israel slogans on college campuses and President Biden cuts off weapons to Israel, the New York Times put its investigative journalism to a very political task, neutralizing any attempt by Republicans to campaign against antisemitism: 

How Republicans Echo Antisemitic Tropes Despite Declaring Support for Israel

Prominent Republicans have seized on campus protests to assail what they say is antisemitism on the left. But for years they have mainstreamed anti-Jewish rhetoric.

The Times spent some 3,500 words and used Artificial Intelligence and four staffers (Karen Yourish, Danielle Ivory, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, and Alex Lemonides) to try to paint the GOP as the true anti-semitic party. Their methodology? 

The Times used a variety of methods to examine the extent to which federal politicians have used language promoting antisemitic tropes.

Reporters examined official press releases, congressional newsletters and posts on X (formerly Twitter) of every person who served in Congress over the past 10 years that contained the words “Soros,” “globalist” or “globalism” — terms widely accepted by multiple historians and experts on antisemitism as “dog whistles” that refer to Jews.

The paper’s ideologically motivated thesis rests heavily on the false assumption being that criticism of left-wing ideological financier George Soros is by definition anti-Semitic.

Some “seizing” occurred on the “largely peaceful” (really?) campus protests, which the Times severely underplayed.

Amid the widening protests and the unease, if not fear, among many Jews, Republicans have sought to seize the political advantage by portraying themselves as the true protectors of Israel and Jews under assault from the progressive left.

While largely peaceful, the campus protests over Israel’s bombardment of Gaza that has killed tens of thousands have been loud and disruptive and have at times taken on a sharpened edge. Jewish students have been shouted at to return to Poland, where Nazis killed three million Jews during the Holocaust. There are chants and signs in support of Hamas, whose attack on Israel sparked the current war. A leader of the Columbia protests declared in a video that “Zionists don’t deserve to live.”

Debate rages over the extent to which the protests on the political left constitute coded or even direct attacks on Jews. But far less attention has been paid to a trend on the right: For all of their rhetoric of the moment, increasingly through the Trump era many Republicans have helped inject into the mainstream thinly veiled anti-Jewish messages with deep historical roots.

The conspiracy theory taking on fresh currency is one that dates back hundreds of years and has perennially bubbled into view: that a shady cabal of wealthy Jews secretly controls events and institutions contrary to the national interest of whatever country it is operating in.

The Times will not tolerate any criticism of leftist financier George Soros.

The current formulation of the trope taps into the populist loathing of an elite “ruling class.” “Globalists” or “globalist elites” are blamed for everything from Black Lives Matter to the influx of migrants across the southern border, often described as a plot to replace native-born Americans with foreigners who will vote for Democrats. The favored personification of the globalist enemy is George Soros, the 93-year-old Hungarian American Jewish financier and Holocaust survivor who has spent billions in support of liberal causes and democratic institutions.

The reporters extrapolated wildly to make standard political rhetoric “hate-filled speech of the extreme right.”

This language is hardly new -- Mr. Soros became a boogeyman of the American far right long before the ascendancy of Mr. Trump. And the elected officials now invoking him or the globalists rarely, if ever, directly mention Jews or blame them outright. Some of them may not immediately understand the antisemitic resonance of the meme, and in some cases its use may simply be reflexive political rhetoric.

But its rising ubiquity reflects the breaking down of old guardrails on all types of degrading speech, and the cross-pollination with the raw, sometimes hate-filled speech of the extreme right, in a party under the sway of the norm-defying former, and perhaps future, president.

The reporters spared a few paragraphs of their diatribe to note left-wing anti-Semitism, referencing the campus protests and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) “for her statements after the Hamas attack, including ‘from the river to the sea.’”

The Times repeated the same snotty “In fact…” formulation for the pro-Hamas protests. An “indirect” connection is still a connection, no matter how often the press throw around “anti-Semitism” in Soros’s defense.

In fact, Mr. Soros’s connection to the protests is indirect: His foundation has donated to groups that have supported pro-Palestinian efforts, including recent protests, according to its financial records….