On Antisemitism and Double Standards

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Back in October 2018, Rep. Kevin McCarthy tweeted the following:

I think accusations of "buying" elections tend to range from silly to demagogic, but it seems fairly obvious why McCarthy picked these three guys: They were 3 of the top 5 Democratic donors that cycle, and the most well-known (or notorious in Republican circles). Various critics, however, accused McCarthy of antisemitism for picking on three Jews. Steyer himself called the tweet a "straight up antisemitic move." Two problems: (1) Steyer, though he has a Jewish father, identifies as a Christian, and I doubt 1 in 100 people seeing that tweet knew he was of partial Jewish descent; and (2) Almost all of the Democrats' top donors are Jews, so if you say that criticizing donors who are Jewish is antisemitic, than you can't criticize the top Democratic donors. Nevertheless, even now, over two years later, I see this tweet cited as "obviously" antisemitic.

Meanwhile, consider this flyer I spotted on Twitter:

Near as I can tell, none of the critics of McCarthy's tweet have expressed the slightest outrage at the Warren flyer. In fact, I challenged a couple of longstanding McCarthy critics on Twitter to explain why the McCarthy tweet was antisemitic, but the Warren flyer is not. I was met with silence, including from a couple of folks I interact with frequently. (By the way, my Twitter handle is @ProfDBernstein.)

This strikes me as an obvious double-standard, so I started thinking about the source of it. My tentative conclusion is that people, especially liberals in the media and in Jewish organizational circles, believe there is a large reservoir of antisemitism among conservatives that doesn't exist on the left. So if a Republican, for example, seems to associate Jews with money and buying elections, that's likely an appeal to latent or blatant antisemitism. But if someone like Warren seems to do something similar, that's not antisemitic because, after all, who would she be appealing to?

The problem is that this is based on a false premise. Antisemitism certainly exists within Republican and conservative circles (especially on the far right) but it also exists in Democratic and liberal circles. Indeed, the most antisemitic demographic groups in the U.S.–Latinos (especially the foreign-born), African Americans, and Muslims, all vote strongly Democrat. So there is no a priori reason to interpret a Democrat's ads or slogans charitably, but not a Republican's.

Please note: I don't believe that either McCarthy's tweet nor Warren's flyer had antisemitic intent, and indeed I doubt that in either case the Jewishness of the subjects entered into the relevant actors' minds at all.

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  1. I sure see a difference, but I guess you do not. First, targeting someone who is running for a political office is fair game. Targeting (at least perceived) Jewish donors who are not running for anything seems quite different. The fact that Bloomberg is throwing his money at *his own campaign* hand-over-fist makes the Warren ad not only unremarkable; I think pretty much everyone thinks it would be political malpractice to Not mention it as often as possible.

    Context matters, and even though this sometimes results in unequal standards, that’s just the way it is. If Angelina Jolie were running in a huge group for the Dem nomination, and she were running against (among others) Dr Ben Carson and Cory Booker, I think a political cartoonist would be fine drawing her with huge exaggerated lips eating a watermelon at a fundraiser. But, of course, a similar cartoon of either of the black candidates would be met with outrage? Fair? I think so. Not equal, but fair. The blacks-with-huge-lips-eating-watermelon is an invidious anti-black stereotype. A beautiful woman eating watermelon, well, isn’t.

    Context matters. Things don’t just happen in a vacuum.

    1. targeting someone who is running for a political office is fair game. Targeting (at least perceived) Jewish donors who are not running for anything seems quite different

      Massive political donors are certainly playing the political game. They’re fair targets.

      1. Of course I agree with you. My point (one I really did not explicitly state, which was my fault) was supposed to be that, whatever standard applies to being a donor or a political commentator, or a local assemblyman . . . it’s an entirely different game when one is running for the most powerful position on earth. When Trump was a businessman, I did not care one lick that he cheated (in one sense of the word) on every wife he’s ever had, or that he cheated (in another sense of the word) thousands and thousands of workers or students at his ‘university.’ But when he ran for president, all that matters.

        I did not care at all that citizen Biden (or even VP Biden) helped get his son a cushy gig that his son was totally unqualified for (the number of US politicians who do this, to one degree or another, undoubtedly runs into the thousands). But when he started to run for president, it all became very relevant to me.

        Rush Limbaugh has about 13,000 skeletons in his closet. I could care less. But if he runs for president, then I wanna hear about them all.

        1. Incredibly, I agree with you completely about this = ….it’s an entirely different game when one is running for the most powerful position on earth

          As long as there is a consistent standard to apply, I err on the side of having more transparency, and not less transparency for POTUS candidates.

        2. “I did not care at all that citizen Biden (or even VP Biden) helped get his son a cushy gig”

          If you’re aware of any evidence that Biden did anything to help Hunter get that gig, please post it. To my knowledge, there’s none.

          1. He gave him his name

            1. Yes, that’s probably the sum of it.

    2. So you’re saying the McCarthy ad is antisemitic while the Bloomberg one isn’t?

      1. Listing 3 Jews versus 1 is certainly more of a pattern.

        1. So you want this rule where you have to throw in a token person of another race or gender or whatever regardless of the reality of the situation whenever you’re mentioning something? If Gibbons didn’t include at least one transgender Mayan in his list of bad Roman Emperors is he bigoted against Italians? The people funding the Dems are who they are. Its you guys who are making this into a race issue.

        2. But for the fact that Steyer isn’t a Jew, doesn’t have a Jewish sounding name, and has no public profile as a Jew.

          1. Hah. I stand corrected. Shows what I know about Jewish sounding names.

            1. For what it’s worth; I always thought Steyer was a Jewish-sounding name. I’m surprised to read that it, apparently, is not. And that he, himself, is not Jewish.

              1. Jewish sounding names, to me, are ones ending in stein/stone, berg/burg, water/wasser, hammer, witz/wich/vitz/vich and the like, or very common ones like Cohen, Levy, or associated with famous Jewish people, like, say, Sandler or Streisand. Steyer comes within the category of “vaguely Germanic-sounding names that I guess could be Jewish.” I have met one Jewish Tom in my life (Orthodox Jew named after his Gentile doctor), but it’s very uncommon.

          2. Not to mention that all three are virulently anti-Israel, and that Soros as a teenager actually worked for the Nazi party looting the homes of victims of the Holocaust. I have no use for anti-Semitism, but it’s laughable to give any of these three credit for being victims of it — they’re all bigger anti-Semites than any of their foes will ever be!

            1. Your Soros boogeyman myth seems to have grown beyond reality in the telling.

              Also, maybe don’t be so quick on the trigger to call Jews antisemitic.

              1. He only dies that when he doesn’t like their politics.

            2. Soros is “objectively antisemitic” (in the “objectively pro-fascist” sense), i.e. he is actively and consciously acting against the interests of the Jewish nation. He denies his own membership in that nation, and indeed denies its very existence. He regards being Jewish as a completely insignificant trait, such as being descended from Charlemagne, or being precisely 170 cm tall. For that reason all Jews ought to oppose him.

              But that is no excuse for making up stories about his experience in Nazi-occupied Hungary. All the evidence is that he did nothing wrong; he was fortunate enough to find a comfortable refuge, where he thrived and enjoyed himself while conscious of the fact that others who were not so lucky were suffering. There’s nothing wrong with that; depriving himself wouldn’t have helped them.

              He did not work for the Nazi party, he did not loot homes, he did not inform on anyone, and while he seems to have spent a summer living on a looted estate he did not participate in that looting in any way. Really, what was he supposed to do, when his host family went there for the summer? Refuse to go with them?! Or grimly go but refuse to take any pleasure while there?!

              In the famous interview on which these stories are based he “confessed” to not experiencing survivor’s guilt. Well, good for him. Survivor’s guilt is a mental dysfunction, an irrational and harmful emotion whose sufferers need therapy to overcome. If he escaped it we should be happy for him.

              1. Soros is “objectively antisemitic” (in the “objectively pro-fascist” sense), i.e. he is actively and consciously acting against the interests of the Jewish nation.

                This devaluing of what antisemitism is? This is not helping. Cut it out.

            3. Talk about stupid, I just accidentally flagged my own comment!

        3. There are not three Jews in the ad.
          What I see is a Christian, a Jew and a former Nazi.

          1. Sigh. Soros is not a former nazi. And he is a Jew, even though that means nothing to him.

    3. Sheldon Adelson isn’t a politician and you can certainly find a lot of criticism of him online. Is that anti-Semetic?

      And probably the most criticized political donors ever are the Koch brothers. They aren’t Jewish, so that’s not the reason they were singled out. So why should criticism of Soros, Bloomberg, and Steyer be considered anti-Semetic?

      1. Indeed. Criticizing a Jewish person for how they spend their money isn’t facially antisemetic.

        Roping in an otherwise irrelevant Jewish person when you’re complaining about how others are spending their money is at least worth checking for other dog whistles.

        On a separate note from the OP, whenever people these days cry about the globalist conspiracy I more or less draw a conclusion about antisemetic tropes being…not even repurposed. Painted over, maybe?

        I would also note a partisan asymmetry there. Even among this blog’s comments.

        1. Anti-semites under every bed?

          1. Not under every bed. But check out the comments on this thread.

    4. This is dumb.

      Soros is far more politically important and influential than Bloomberg and Steyer combined, especially globally. He has a very open and particular political agenda and he chooses to devote enormous amounts of time, skill, attention and resources to it. That’s just how it is.

      1. You think the Soros demonizing is not problematic, but as I recall from past posts you also think there’s an evil globalist cabal trying to control the world.

        1. I think it can be problematic, or it can be legit. Link to this post you’re talking about? Don’t conflate honest and open policy disagreements about globalism with conspiracy theorizing.

          1. Until there’s a better comment search function, can’t tell you.

            But you don’t remember posting about how there are powerful globalists working to wreck Western Civilization. And they are actually evil. And they must be fought by any means necessary.

            I posted back that you sounded pretty crazy. You doubled down.

          2. But the tweet is not at all about policy.

            1. I was referring there to my own comments.

  2. My tentative conclusion is that people, especially liberals in the media and in Jewish organizational circles, believe there is a large reservoir of antisemitism among conservatives that doesn’t exist on the left.

    I think you’re missing a significant factor: people act strategically. Publicly reading something as antisemitic in one context might be strategically useful, whereas it wouldn’t be useful in another context.

    1. Yeah. Prof B is overthinking this. No one ever really thought McCarthy was being antisemitic. The distinction in critical comment is no deeper than “cui bono ? “

  3. I agree, criticising rich Jewish Democrats for spending lots of money should be fair game. (Only Democrats, obviously. Sheldon Adelson is still off limits.)

    Where the McCarthy tweet becomes suspicious is where he includes Soros in the list. I am not aware of any unusual involvement by Soros in the November election, and mentioning him is a notorious antisemitic dog whistle.

    (As far as I can tell, Soros created a PAC – Democracy PAC – and donated about $5m to it. But it doesn’t look like that PAC received/spent any other money, and that $5m doesn’t exactly put him in the Bloomberg/Steyer bracket…)

    1. The ability of libs to psychically know when people are being racist or not with no evidence or indication that could be picked out by a normal sane person is amazing. Curiously it always works out so that they pick it up for their opponents and never for themselves. Coincidence I guess.

    2. Also if a person has no problem with a person of ethnicity J and ideology A but has a problem with person of ethnicity J and ideology B, wouldn’t it be more logical to come to the conclusion that they probably dislike ideology B rather than claim that they are racist against J but at the same time complain that they’re not racist against all of J? I dunno how that bigbrained scientific consensus progressive thinking works I guess.

    3. Here is a list of progressive organizations that Soros founded or gave substantial contributions too:
      Democracy Alliance
      Center for American Progress
      American Bridge 21st Century
      Institute for New Economic Thinking

      1. Organization Soros gave money to Cont:
        Democracy PAC
        $12.05 million – Joint Victory Campaign
        $7.50 million – America Coming Together
        $2.50 million – MoveOn.org
        $3.65 million – America Votes
        $3.50 million – The Fund for America
        $150,000 – Win Back Respect
        $120,000 – Majority Action
        $100,000 – Campaign Money Watch

        And 17 Billon to his Open Society Foundation in 2017 which has made countless other grants.

        To say Democracy Pac is the sum total of Soro’s involvement in politics is ridiculous. And McCarthy sent the tweet out 17 months ago before the 2018 midterms, so there was nothing wrong with basing his tweet on Soro’s activity in previous campaigns which was actually more active than Bloomberg and Steyer before the last two elections.

        1. If you’re going to count all his donations, it’s certainly going to add up to a lot of money. Good for him. But the question (or at least my question) was whether he’d made partisan donations with respect to the 2020 election.

          1. That’s not relevant for McCarthy’s tweet, which was about the 2018 midterms.

          2. McCarthy sent the tweet October 2018, it didn’t have anything to do with the 2020 election.

    4. So, the fact that Soros funds causes rather than particular candidates makes him exempt from criticism?

  4. Silly or demagogic such statements may be, but Mini Mike certainly believes it to be possible. https://mobile.twitter.com/RealSaavedra/status/1232481180211019776

    1. You used the same insult as Trump. Oh snap…that’s one great burn you just did. Can’t wait for your brilliant usage of “sleepy Joe” or “crazy Bernie.” Let me guess . . . you are one of the slack-jawed yahoos at Trump rallies yelling, “Lock her up!”

  5. Here’s the deal. People accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of, and what they feel guilty about because they tolerate it among their own. By lashing out and accusing others of it (unjustly), they can ignore it among their own.

    There is a deep, antisemitic trend within the Democratic Party. Most notably, in part of the African American community, with Louis Farrakhan and Ilhan Omar. The antisemitism here is real, and it’s not among people who are exiled by the larger community, but by people who are embraced by the larger community.

    1. People accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of, and what they feel guilty about because they tolerate it among their own.

      So American conservatives are guilty of destroying the meaning of marriage?

      Interesting thesis.

    2. Farrakhan is not a Democrat. He makes common antisemitic cause with the far right, and has more than once complimented Trump and his underlings for repeating antisemitic tropes.

    3. “People accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of…”

      This is exactly the sort of thoughtful commentary that I would expect from a really good looking, charismatic, morally unimpeachable person like you.

  6. Many of my fellow Jews love to imagine that WASPS and white catholics are the most antisemetic people out there. It is politically convenient and plays to longstanding country club grievances.

    But of course, white american gentiles are some of the least antisemetic people on planet earth. And secular american Jews who believe otherwise—and try to use open borders and third worlders as a bulwark against the mean bad wypipo—are handmaidens of their own demise. Antisemitism in the USA is about to ratchet up just as it has in europe with the arrival of scores of aggrieved young male muslim “refugees”. Jews wont fair well in the victimhood sweepstakes.

    Obviously dems want to inoculate soros from criticism. But it should be fair game given his political clout, like helping to elect far left district attorneys

    1. In the community where I grew up, the Catholics and the Jews banded together against the WASPs: formed their own country club because they weren’t allowed in the established one, ran their own candidates for mayor, etc. etc.

      That’s all early to mid-20th century history at this point though.

  7. So if I convert to Judaism, any criticism of me is automatically racist and invalid.

    Hmmm.

    1. If nothing else, do it for the jokes.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBHL35_JOsI

    2. Not something anyone in the OP or comments is saying.

  8. > Just think what the money could do in your community.

    It fucking IS in your community. When Bloomberg buys ads the money goes to the media industry, which has employees, who then get paid and spend Bloomberg’s money in the communities where they live.

    What Warren is really saying is, “Just think what I could do with this money if I got to spend it instead of you.”

    What a twat.

    1. Yes, Warren would love to dispense those funds to her cronies. And while the 23 year old kid with an otherwise useless communications degree is happily paying off his student loans making internet ads with Bloomberg’s millions, your average person can’t help but think what just an extra $10,000 would mean in their life. I certainly can, so I understand the innate appeal of the add when I see that $500 million was spend on those lame Bloomberg ads I see.

  9. I think the inclusion of Soros is suspect, or at least a bit careless. Look, Soros is not just a major Democratic donor. He is one the right’s great bogeymen and unlike Steyer, he is well-known to be Jewish.

    Soros is constantly accused of financing everything the right doesn’t like, and those accusations often do carry overtones of “Jewish conspiracy.” So it’s not just his campaign contributions that draw ire.

    I’m quite sure McCarthy knows all that, and included Soros to tap into the Soros-hatred that is widespread on the right, and that does have some link to antisemitism.

    1. Can we say that the left is engaging in anti-white bigotry and racism when they go after well known whites like the Koch brothers? Or does this only flow one way.

      Look, I get your point about Soros as a dog-whistle, but they guy should not escape from criticism because he was or is a Jew.

      1. What are the old anti-white tropes? Where is the long history of anti-white persecution? The white blood libel?

        Jewishness has some pretty different context than whiteness.

        Bernard’s point is not that Soros should be immune from criticism, it’s that the right’s enthusiasm in invoking him the boogeyman of liberal globalism ends up going pretty bad pretty quickly.

        Unlike, say, Adelson who so far as I know is thought of on the left as a selfish rich bastidge.

        1. Let Bernard speak for himself. I will reply though.
          First, Jews are white…at least depending on if it’s convenient or inconvenient towards getting diversity status and/or virtue signaling.

          Second, there is plenty of anti-white bigotry today. Nor does historic persecution of Jews mean that it’s acceptable, which is what you’re implying. Soros deserves every ounce of scorn heaped his way, but there is, to Bernsteins point, more anti-semitism on the left than the right.

          Lastly, are you also seriously invoking the spectare of the Holocaust as a reason to avoid criticism a Jew who makes himself prominent in promoting regressive causes? It’s not like random anti-semitic criticism of your neighbor or friend.

          1. Bernard’s post above did speak for him just fine. He pretty clearly wasn’t saying all criticism of Soros is antisemetic.

            Maybe hold off on comparing white victimization to Jewish victimization.

            Antisemitism is of particular moment and concern because of the Holocaust, yeah.

            1. Bigotry against white catholics is pressing in light of holodomor

              1. Bigotry against white catholics is pressing in light of holodomor

                You think Stalin was motivated by the Ukrainians’ religion? Seems doubtful. Aren’t they mostly Orthodox, like Russians? And what difference does it make if religion wasn’t a factor?

            2. Benard comments often enough, let him speak for himself.

              Typical victimhood hierarchy virtue signally nonsense. What’s next, you’re going to tell me not to punch down or some other trope? The Germans mass-killed 11 million, only 6 million of which were Jews. The rest of them deserve a voice to, eh?

              1. The Germans mass-killed 11 million, only 6 million of which were Jews.

                Welp.

                1. Self awareness is not thy name apparently.

              2. The Germans mass-killed 11 million, only 6 million of which were Jews. The rest of them deserve a voice to, eh?

                Are you seriously climbing that the 5 million non-Jews were killed because they were white, that it demonstrates historical anti-white bigotry? By the Nazis!

                You want to think about that, maybe.

          2. “First, Jews are white…at least depending on if it’s convenient or inconvenient towards getting diversity status and/or virtue signaling.”

            Gee, and here I thought Jews were a multi-racial ethnicity. Little did I know the non-white ones only self-identify accurately for the material perks and social status.

            Or maybe you’re just a race-baiting prick. Who knows?

            1. And maybe, just maybe, you’re not aware of Jewishness being a religion and an ethnicity, or both, or neither, depending on the individual’s characteristics. I try to judge people as individuals, how about you?

              This is why people don’t like to talk about race… some prick like you unthinkingly accuses someone of race baiting.

              1. I’m well aware that Judaism is both a religion and an ethnicity. I have, after all, been religiously and ethnically Jewish my whole life.

                What does that have to do with your despicable accusation that non-white Jews only identify as such for personal benefit?

                Nothing. That’s what.

        2. I would think the actual anti-Semites, who seem to be relatively rare, would be quick to put Sheldon Adelson just as high on their list for criticism. Didn’t David Duke say his favorite politician is now Ilhan Omar?

    2. It’s one of those things. It’s hard to have a rational public discourse about immigration, basic logic and empirical facts don’t hold sway, because racists would support less immigration and so anything pointing in a direction other than mass immigration and open borders is suspect. Soros is politically active and open about his preferred policies which are very much objectionable and fair game for criticism, but anti-Semites also HATE him so it’s suspect.

    3. Again, maybe Soros doesn’t contribute directly to Democratic candidates, or directly into party coffers, but he does fund a number of causes that pretty much exclusively appeal to the American left. Can he never be criticised in tandem with name Democrats?

  10. It seems a little nuts to argue over which tweet is more anti-semitic, when clearly neither of them are. However it is hilarious to see Congressman McCarthy warning about Democrats buying an election.

    1. Why hilarious? Bloomy admitted as such on stage.

      1. Do the Republicans not solicit, and get, big contributions from very wealthy individuals?

        How is that not every bit as much “buying an election?”

      2. I’m not at all implying that Democrats don’t try to buy elections.

  11. You lost me Bernstein when you used ‘than’ in place of ‘then’.
    Different words, very different meaning. And when a reader must pause to re-read the flow of your argument is lost. Lawyers use words as the tools of their trade. It is unfortunate when they use those tools poorly.

    1. Its a blog post, not a law review or a legal brief.

      If you can’t stand typos just read law reviews,
      if you are looking for a time killing hobby then of course perusing blogs looking for typos and grammatical errors is probably just what you are looking for. But I will bet Bernstein doesn’t have as much time as you and isn’t going to spend too much time worrying about your suggested corrections.

  12. While I agree that the whole “antisemitic” critique is eye-roll inducing, there is a pretty big difference between targeting one of your direct competitors in an election, who happens to be Jewish, and grouping candidates along with a donor, who all happen to be Jewish, in a more general attack.

    1. Steyer and Bloomberg weren’t candidates in October 2018, they were major donors supporting democratic candidates and/or issues just like Soros.

      1. That’s not making the distinction from Warren’s flyer any less stark.

        1. That’s not the point, the point is that the including Soros in with Steyer and Bloomberg doesn’t indicate anti-Semitism because all 3 were just contributors at the time.

          But of course i will agree that Warren has every right to call out Bloomberg for trying to buy the election because thats what he was attempting regardless of what his religion is.

    2. Except that Steyer is not, in fact, Jewish, nor, at the time, would he have been identified as such by almost anyone in the general public.

  13. Once you mention George Soros, whether the criticism is well-founded or not, you will always end up drawing in the worst sorts of antisemitic conspiracies to your side. So you need to be mindful of how your criticism feeds into that.

    1. So Soros can’t be criticised for his involvment in US politics in any way without such criticism being anti-semitic?

      1. The criticisms can. But once you do it, you’re probably going to get a swarm of people using that to promote antisemitic conspiracy theories. You bring up Soros, you get a bunch of puppetmaster iconography that wouldn’t have been out of place in Nazi Germany or in other antisemitic societies in your feed. Or you get something like Ben Garrison just randomly connecting him to the Rothschilds. It’s just asking for a world of grossness to come at you.

        1. But you have to be a dog to hear the dogwhistle.

          I didn’t hear it, but its educational to have someone with more finely attuned hearing point it out for me

          1. So when people point out that something is a dog whistle because of its historical associations, they’re actually the “real” racists/antisemites? Great take.

        2. You bring up Soros you get a bunch of puppetmaster iconography because he actually is a puppetmaster. It’s got nothing to do with his being Jewish.

          Sure, some critics of Soros are antisemites. Many critics of communism in its heyday were antisemites, and the unfortunate fact that Jews were prominent in communism (as they tend to be in every intellectual movement) provided poisonous grist for their mills. But it would obviously have been unacceptable to claim that all, most, or even a significant minority of attacks on Trotsky, Kaganovich, et al were antisemitic, even if they used terms like international puppetmasters, or even blood-thirsty vampires — because that’s exactly what they were.

          Garrison’s attack on Soros may not have been antisemitic, but his inclusion of the Rothschilds was. McCarthy including Steyer in his attack clearly ruled antisemtism out as a motive.

  14. Labels like “anti-Semitism” should not be thrown about lightly.

    That said, Soros is special in that he has long been used as a “dog whistle” for anti-Semitism, e.g. by Orban’s government in Hungary. I don’t think there’s a similar history with Bloomberg, or Steyer. So if the first tweet only said “Bloomberg and Steyer”, both self-funding billionaires, I don’t think any accusations of anti-Semitism would be even arguably proper. But putting Soros first in the list — when he’s not a candidate and hardly the major player — does raise suspicions.

    1. You don’t even need to look very far into right-wing media to find Soros the puppet master imagery, Glenn Beck for instance. Or Soros controlled by the Rothschilds, as Ben Garrison did. He actually had to be dis-invited from the White House.

      1. Right. Liberals dislike Adelson, a lot, but you don’t see the kind of conspiracy-mongering that you see about Soros. And make no mistake, those criticisms of Soros are in line with a very long history of of antisemitic claims.

    2. I don’t believe Soros has been “used as a dog whistle for anti-Semitism by Orban’s government”. I take Orban’s attacks on Soros at face value, because they’re perfectly plausible. Soros is doing all the things Orban says he is. Meanwhile I see no reason to suppose Orban is an antisemite, and I am not impressed when the same people who say he is also say people like Gorka are neo-nazis. It’s like the SPLC calling someone a hatemonger.

  15. My tentative conclusion is that people, especially liberals in the media and in Jewish organizational circles, believe there is a large reservoir of antisemitism among conservatives that doesn’t exist on the left.

    They’re not looking very hard.

  16. I didn’t know Bloomberg is Jewish, and I never heard of Steyer. Is there anywhere (except perhaps NYC) where the odds are that someone with a German name is a Jew? There were 10’s of millions of Protestant or Catholic German immigrants to the USA, most of whom spread out across flyover country, and a few million Jews, not all German, who apparently were more likely to live in major urban centers.

    But if criticizing someone involved in politics who happens to be sort-of Jewish is antisemitism, then antisemitism in the USA peaked in 1964. The media were all piling on Barry Goldwater, whose paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia named Geldwasser – and that _is_ a stereotypical European Jewish last name.

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