Glenn Beck’s segment on George Soros two nights ago—in which he alleged that the Jewish financier was a “puppet master” orchestrating a conspiracy to cripple currencies, crash economies, and bring the world under one government—may have seemed a blatant enough articulation of almost parodically classical anti-Semitism to get people in a guff. But apparently Beck does this sort of thing all the time, and the story did not get wide play. (Although new Tablet Magazine columnist Michelle Goldberg did rail against it, calling the program the “Protocols of the Elders of Soros”).
However, yesterday, on his radio show and then his second Soros segment, Beck must have tripped some wires, because prominent folks have come forth with condemnations, and I’d bet more are on the way. On radio, Beck reportedly accused Soros (a Holocaust survivor) of “helping send the Jews to the death camps,” prompting Simon Greer, of Jewish Funds for Justice (who has butted heads with Beck before), to accuse him of “Holocaust revisionism.”
Then, on Fox News, Beck quoted former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad—who famously said, “The Jews rule the world by proxy. They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong”—as an authority on Soros’s perfidy; he also quoted someone else saying that Soros “sucks the blood from people,” perhaps the most hardy anti-Semitic trope (the German word is Blutsauger, and it was a favorite of Viennese mayor Karl Lueger, Hitler’s idol).
“It takes a cold, cold heart,” Beck also said of Soros, “to have full knowledge that what you are doing, to make a buck, is literally destroying the lives of people.”
“Glenn Beck’s use of the Holocaust to discredit George Soros is beyond repugnant,” said Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy in a statement I was emailed.
No one who truly understands “the sensitivity and sacred nature” of the Holocaust [as Beck had said he did in the course of his prior conflict with Greer] would deliberately and grotesquely mischaracterize the experience of a 13 year old Jew in Nazi-occupied Hungary whose father hid him with a non-Jewish family to keep him alive. Many other Jews survived the attempted extermination of the Jewish people by changing their identities and hiding with Righteous Gentiles.
With today’s falsehoods, Beck has engaged in a form of Holocaust revisionism.
Here is a clip, courtesy Media Matters, from last night’s show:
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.