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Forward 50 2018

George Soros

Anti-Semites’ Favorite Boogeyman

The newly empowered white nationalist movement has a favorite boogeyman — 88-year-old Jewish billionaire and Holocaust survivor George Soros.

From neo-Nazi websites like The Daily Stormer to Republican campaign ads, from the NRA to presidential tweets, the racist trope of the Jewish conspiracy has made an unwelcome return — this time it’s painted with Soros at its center.

The midterm elections saw members of the Republican Party falsely describe Soros as the funder and string-puller of both the Kavanaugh protests and the refugee caravan trudging from Honduras to seek asylum in America.

Until recently the purview of the dark web or marginal white supremacist groups, anti-Semitic conspiracy statements have traveled from the Trump campaign dog-whistles to Senator Charles Grassley and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Through all the mud-flinging Soros has continued to fight for his good name and his beliefs. For two generations Soros and his Open Society Foundations were acknowledged as evangelists for American democracy in the shadow of the Soviet Union. Now he has even had to brush back the Jewish leadership of Facebook who paid a PR company to smear him.

But, after 40 years of struggle to make democracy accessible and responsive to the people, Soros is not about to shirk his responsibility, even if it’s placed on his shoulders by racists.

— Dan Friedman

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