The Anti-Defamation League has called on public figures to stop sharing antisemitic conspiracy theories that blame rich Jews for “stealing” the U.S. election, in which incumbent President Donald Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
Since the results of the election emerged over the past week, Trump supporters have shared false and unproven theories about mass-scale election fraud in favor of the winning Biden-Harris ticket. In some cases, the president’s supporters have adopted a classic, decades-old antisemitic canard by accusing Jewish philanthropist George Soros of “orchestrating” the fraud.
One such instance took place on Sunday, when former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told Fox News: “I think [Biden] would have to do a lot to convince Republicans that this is anything except a left-wing power grab financed by people like George Soros, deeply laid in at the local level. And, frankly, I think that it is a corrupt, stolen election.”
Gingrich, who has pushed Soros-centered conspiracy theories on Fox News before, also said that poll workers are “Democrats” and that the “deep state” was also involved.
Trump quickly echoed Gingrich’s claims that the election was stolen, citing him in various tweets. Gingrich failed to provide any hint of evidence that Soros was somehow involved in “stealing” the election.
In response to the false attacks on Soros, who is Jewish and a Holocaust survivor, the ADL – the most prominent organization in the United States devoted to fighting antisemitism – told Haaretz in a written statement: “There’s a long history of the antisemitic canard that rich Jews secretly manipulate and control world governments. So it’s disappointing that some political pundits would implicate a Jewish philanthropist in a false claim that the U.S. election was stolen.”
The organization’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, added, “We urge all public officials to avoid engaging in false Soros or antisemitic conspiracy theories in the aftermath of the election.”
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The billionaire investor and philanthropist has long been a target of conspiracy theories. He was recently falsely accused of orchestrating and funding the protests over police killings of Black people, which have roiled the United States over the past six months. Amplified by a growing number of people on the far right, including some Republican leaders, online posts about Soros have skyrocketed since June.
Soros, 90, has donated billions of dollars of his personal wealth to liberal and antiauthoritarian causes around the world, making him a favored target among antisemitic groups. The Hungarian-American has also been the subject of antisemitic attacks and conspiracy theories from Viktor Orbán’s government in his native Hungary.