It was the night before Christmas, and Rudy Giuliani accused George Soros of funding Israel’s destruction.
Known for his frequently eyebrow-raising remarks, Giuliani accused the billionaire Soros of bankrolling organizations that boycott Israel and deny its right to exist, according to the Washington Examiner. The president’s personal attorney was doubling down on his recent controversial comments that he is more Jewish than Soros because the Hungarian-American opposes Israel, whereas Giuliani supports the Jewish state.
“Soros has funded many enemies to the State of Israel, including groups that support BDS, who’s ultimate goal is to destroy the Jewish homeland. Those who oppose these groups are not only better Jews, but better people than him. Most certainly not anti-Semitic,” he tweeted Tuesday.
Giuliani accuses Soros
Giuliani set off the controversy with an interview in New York Magazine in which he claimed that Soros enjoyed significant influence over Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was hailed by the media for her impeachment testimony against President Trump. Allies of the president, including Joe diGenova, have been accused of anti-Semitism for claiming that Soros has unusual influence at the State Department or is otherwise behind nefarious dealings in Ukraine, according to NBC News.
“Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” Giuliani said. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DAs in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.”
The comments sparked outrage, particularly because Soros survived the Holocaust. But Giuliani, who is Catholic and Italian-American, poured more fuel on the fire Tuesday night by again accusing Soros of seeking Israel’s destruction, tweeting that Soros’ support for BDS, or the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement, makes him less of a Jew than Gentiles who support Israel.
Soros has been financially linked with numerous BDS groups, Breitbart reports, and he has been sharply critical of Israel. He celebrated in a 2011 Washington Post op-ed that the pro-Israel group AIPAC “is no longer monolithic or the sole representative of the Jewish community.”
Left alleges anti-Semitism
Giuliani has faced pushback from the Anti-Defamation League and other leftist, so-called “anti-hate” groups for his comments, which they have labeled anti-Semitic. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, also accused his predecessor of anti-Semitism.
“I am entitled to disagree with (Soros) and question his priorities without attacks from our failed mayor,” Giuliani told the New York Daily News in response. “Indeed, our failed mayor should attack Soros for his destructive actions toward Israel. The whole wall placed around Soros that if you criticize him you are anti-Semitic is absurd… Another left-wing phony connection.”
Progressives often argue that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic and that making support for the Jewish state into a litmus test for anti-Semitism is disingenuous. But defenders of Soros have played fast and loose with “anti-Semitism” accusations themselves, despite Soros’s documented backing of a host of far-left organizations, including BDS groups.
If defenders of Soros argue that criticizing Israel isn’t anti-Semitic, certainly they can appreciate the reasoning behind the argument that criticizing one of the most influential political donors in America isn’t inherently racist either.
However, anti-Israel progressives will no doubt continue using that line of attack to silence dissent against one of their largest benefactors.