The Telegraph has published an antisemitic ‘Jewish conspiracy’ about Brexit. And it’s jointly written by Theresa May’s former chief adviser, Nick Timothy.
The Telegraph conspiracy
George Soros isn’t a universally-known name in the UK. But in the US, he is the bogeyman of the far right. Trump supporters and right wingers claim the Jewish billionaire is lurking sinisterly behind every liberal campaign and media outlet going. Now, the antisemitic flu has crossed the Atlantic. Because on Thursday 8 February, The Telegraph newspaper published [paywall] this:
In reality, Soros has provided financial support to pro-EU groups openly. The same cannot be said for the financial backers of Brexit, expertly exposed by Green MEP Molly Scott Cato last week.
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Transparency on funding here welcome, unlike hidden sources behind funding Brexit&Mogg&Banks&Farage,plus Priti Patel's corruption& lies @demindblower @joglasg @JohnClarke1960 @TheMendozaWoman @MrTopple @JohnPandit1 @Rachael_Swindon @mrplannings @TomLondon6 https://t.co/z5LK6M1AaI
— anwar akhtar (@aakhtar) February 8, 2018
So, The Telegraph article is wrong. But what makes it antisemitic? Put simply, it promotes the long-running antisemitic conspiracy theory that rich Jews run the world. A theory promoted heavily in 1930s Germany, culminating ultimately in the Holocaust. As the Editor of The Jewish Chronicle points out:
Telegraph story is disturbing because of the use of the idea it’s a “secret plot.” Soros is incredibly open about what he does. Say it’s wrong; fine. But idea it’s a secret plot is exactly the line being used in Hungary and elsewhere precisely because he is Jewish.
— Stephen Pollard (@stephenpollard) February 8, 2018
And others too:
For a lot of far right propaganda sites ‘Soros’ has become synonymous with ‘Jews’ as a way of smuggling anti-semitic scaremongering under the radar. One assumes the Telegraph is aware of this. https://t.co/KlXC9cLQOp
— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) February 8, 2018
The lead Telegraph story, jointly penned by Theresa May's ex-chief of staff, alleges a conspiracy led by George Soros against Brexit. It uses a smear campaign by Hungary's dictatorship as evidence.
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) February 7, 2018
Odious but somehow entirely predictable that opposing Brexit would eventually get cast into that fave far-right antisemitic conspiracy theoryhttps://t.co/i5xYPxbKLl
— rachel shabi (@rachshabi) February 7, 2018
But not everyone was bemused. Those on the far right of UK politics celebrated this ‘great unveiling’. And former UKIP leader Nigel Farage led the way.
Glad we are finally talking about the influence of George Soros. Time to wake up. https://t.co/2yxrJP7Lxd
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) February 8, 2018
Mail columnist Dan Hodges also expressed his support for the piece.
Not entirely sure what all the criticism of @NickJTimothy is this morning. I've read his piece. Seems like good, solid journalism.
— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) February 8, 2018
But then, we know Hodges has form here. Here’s how Hodges (not Jewish) responded when a Jewish blogger asked him to stop using Judaism as a political football:
This is a lesson that Britain should not need to learn again. British racists have long demonised the Black community as too angry and too violent. They have decreed all Muslims as time bombs awaiting radicalisation. And they have promoted the conspiracy theory that the Jewish community is too rich and too influential. These attitudes belong in the dustbin of history, alongside signs in windows of bed and breakfasts saying: “No Irish, no blacks, no dogs”.
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