September 8, 2019

THE ANALYSIS CAN END AT "JEWISH":

Why is billionaire George Soros a bogeyman for the hard right? (BBC, 7 September 2019)

He's a Jewish multi-billionaire philanthropist who has given away $32bn. Why does the hard right from America to Australia and from Hungary to Honduras believe George Soros is at the heart of a global conspiracy, asks the BBC's Mike Rudin.

One quiet Monday afternoon last October in leafy upstate New York, a large manila envelope was placed in the mailbox of an exclusive country mansion belonging to multi-billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

The package looked suspicious. The return address was misspelt as "FLORIDS" and the mail had already been delivered earlier that day. The police were called and soon the FBI was on the scene.

Inside the bubble-wrapped envelope was a photograph of Soros, marked with a red "X". Alongside it, a six-inch plastic pipe, a small clock, a battery, wiring and a black powder.

More than a dozen similar packages were sent to the homes of former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats.

None of the devices exploded. The FBI traced the bombs to a white van covered in pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers, parked in a supermarket car park in Florida.

Immediately the right-wing media claimed it was a "false-flag" operation intended to derail President Donald Trump and the Republican campaign, just two weeks before the crucial US mid-term elections.

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs tweeted: "Fake News - Fake Bombs. Who could possibly benefit by so much fakery?" Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh added: "Republicans just don't do this kind of thing."

Soon the internet was awash with allegations that the bomb plot was a hoax organised by Soros himself.

President Trump condemned the "despicable acts", but when a member of the audience at a White House reception shouted "Soros! Lock him up!" the president seemed amused. [...]

But it was Donald Trump's election victory that took the attacks on Soros to a new and dangerous level.

Eight months into Trump's presidency, in August 2017, neo-Nazis held a torchlit procession in Charlottesville, Virginia. Clashes with counter-protesters ended in tragedy, when a white supremacist drove a car into a crowd and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Among US right-wingers it was soon claimed that the violence was orchestrated and financed by Soros, in order to tarnish the reputation of President Trump. And they said the key to the secret plot was a man called Brennan Gilmore, who filmed the car being driven into the counter-protesters. Right-wing radio host Alex Jones claimed Gilmore was paid $320,000 a year by Soros and was part of a deep-state coup to oust the president. [...]

Last autumn thousands of migrants left Honduras bound for the USA, just a month before the mid-term elections that threatened to weaken Republican control of Congress.

Immediately the so-called migrant caravan was blamed on Soros. Fox News repeatedly broadcast claims that Soros wanted open borders and unrestricted immigration.

Jack Kingston, a former Republican Congressman, told me: "It is a very organised effort and somebody is behind this, somebody is paying for some of this and it would be typical of George Soros to get involved in that."

For his part, President Trump retweeted a video that claimed to show cash being handed out to people in Honduras to "storm the US border", with a suggestion that the cash might have come from Soros.

When asked outside the White House whether Soros was funding the migrant caravan, he replied: "I wouldn't be surprised. A lot of people say yes."

Posted by at September 8, 2019 7:22 AM

  

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