George Soros became a lightning rod ahead of last November’s presidential election, especially after the Donald Trump campaign ran a commercial linking him to “the global power structure” – a line that many viewed as an anti-Semitic dog whistle.
But as Nick Cohen points out in a recent op-ed for the Guardian, Soros’s appeal as a scapegoat crosses borders, with many in Eastern Europe’s far-right painting him in similarly apocalyptic and problematic terms.
In Hungary, the increasingly authoritarian government of Viktor Orban is attempting to shutter Central European University, a liberal arts school funded by Soros’s Open Society Foundation – an initiative devoted to advancing values of liberal democracy.
In Macedonia, one of the country’s ex-leaders has called for a “de-Sorosisation” of society and threatened street actions to accomplish that goal. Meanwhile, Romania features some politicians claiming that Soros pays demonstrators to air their grievances against the government.
“Listen to the anti-Semitic echoes of the Nazi and communist eras in the vilification of Soros,” he writes. “They are so loud they deafen.”
Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.
How George Soros Has Become The Ultimate (Jewish) Scapegoat For Europe’s Far Right