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Elon Musk Accused of Antisemitism for Tweet About Soros

Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, tweeted that billionaire and Jewish philanthropist George Soros reminded him of a Marvel villain. The tweet has received 45 million views and sparked a round of controversy that has resulted in a rebuke from Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Anti-Defamation League. Musk considers himself a free-speech absolutist and has not backed away from the remark (other than to apologize to the Marvel character).

Musk tweeted that Soros “hates humanity” and reminded him of Magneto, a villain from the Marvel X-men series. Both the fictitious Magneto and Soros are Holocaust survivors. Musk’s tweet sparked a frantic trend of “The Jews” and fired up a tweetstorm of antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories.

Soros, a billionaire, funds lots of leftwing causes and supports leftwing politicians. Criticizing him is not antisemitic. It is comparing him to a Jewish villain who also survived the Holocaust. It would appear that Musk is saying that he does evil because he is a Jew. And that is antisemitic. I am no fan of Soros or his activities, but his agenda has nothing to do with his ethnicity or religion.

“The phrase ‘The Jews’ spiked today on the list of topics trending on Twitter following a tweet with antisemitic overtones by none other than the owner and CEO of the social network, Elon Musk,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry tweeted in response. The Foreign Minister said Musk’s tweet “immediately led to antisemitic conspiracy theories on Twitter.”

The foreign ministry’s Director of Digital Diplomacy, David Saranga, scolded Twitter for failing to stop the antisemitic wave and then tweeted a famous quote from Martin Niemöller, the German theologian who was imprisoned in concentration camps for opposing the Nazi regime.

“‘First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me,'” Saranga quoted. “Niemöller’s words serve as an indictment of passivity and indifference during the Holocaust.”

Not everyone agrees that it was antisemitic. Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli stood up for Musk, saying he was a role model and took aim at Soros as well.

“Criticism of Soros – who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is anything but anti-Semitism, quite the opposite!” Chikli wrote on Twitter.

A liberal Jewish reporter tried to stick up for Soros, saying that his intentions are good, just misunderstood or misrepresented. Musk responded, “You assume they are good intentions. They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted: “Soros often is held up by the far-right, using antisemitic tropes, as the source of the world’s problems. To see Elon Musk, regardless of his intent, feed this segment — comparing him to a Jewish supervillain, claiming Soros ‘hates humanity’ — is not just distressing, it’s dangerous: it will embolden extremists who already contrive anti-Jewish conspiracies and have tried to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result.”

That is what makes this so troubling. Musk is inspiring white supremacists and Jew-haters, because for them, Soros is code for all Jews.

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