How Republicans echo antisemitic tropes despite declaring support for Israel

How Republicans echo antisemitic tropes despite declaring support for Israel

The New York Times reports:

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 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.

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.

In a July 2023 email to supporters, the Trump campaign employed an image that bears striking resemblance to a Nazi-era cartoon of a hook-nosed puppet master manipulating world figures: Mr. Soros as puppet master, pulling the strings controlling President Biden. [Continue reading…]

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