Ted Cruz Slams SPLC for Calling Soros Criticism Antisemitic

Ted Cruz Slams SPLC for Calling Soros Criticism Antisemitic

FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Is it antisemitic to point out that the massive, left-wing funding apparatus set up by Hungarian American hedge-fund billionaire George Soros has bankrolled many of the organizations behind anti-Israel protests and riots on college campuses? The Southern Poverty Law Center says that it is, and it smeared Sen. Ted Cruz for citing a Politico report on Soros funding.

Cruz, a Texas Republican, isn’t letting it stand.

“Leftists cannot defend their ideas on the merits, so they instead resort to censorship and cancel culture,” Cruz told The Daily Signal in a written statement Tuesday.

“The SPLC is a chief smear apparatus of the modern Left, and it dutifully attacked me for citing Politico’s investigative report linking George Soros’s money to the antisemitic riots at college campuses across the country,” he noted. “Instead of attacking people for speaking the truth, the SPLC should investigate why George Soros was financially supporting rioters who used horrific antisemitic slurs and attacked Jewish students.”

Soros Funding

Two weeks ago, Politico’s Shia Kapos wrote an article revealing that “some of the biggest names in Democratic circles”—specifically Soros, the Rockefeller family, and Hyatt Hotel heirs Susan and Nick Pritzker—have been funding the groups that support anti-Israel protests. Many of the protesters have reportedly harassed Jewish students, shouting antisemitic slogans.

Two groups, Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, receive funding from the Tides Foundation. That organization gets hefty funding from Soros’ charitable groups Foundation to Promote Open Society (which gave more than $10 million to Tides from 1998 to 2018) and Open Society Foundations (which gave more than $12 million to Tides during that same period).

Soros declined to comment to Politico, but a spokesperson for the Open Society Foundations said the charity has “funded a broad spectrum of US groups that have advocated for the rights of Palestinians and Israelis and for peaceful resolution to the conflict in Israel.”

A few days after Politico published the report, Cruz highlighted it during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

“I want to finally underscore a very important story that broke last week came from Politico, and it was a story [about] the funding for the anti-Israel, antisemitic, anti-American protests occurring at universities across the country,” Cruz said. “Much of the funding came from Joe Biden and the Democrats’ biggest donors.”

“Here’s who Politico identified: George Soros, the Rockefeller brothers, Bill and Melinda Gates, and the Pritzker family,” the Texas Republican added.

SPLC’s Attack

The SPLC published an “analysis” Thursday condemning the “far right” for using “decades-old antisemitic tropes to denounce the protests as inherently antisemitic.”

The SPLC claimed that Soros “is not only a Holocaust survivor but also an outspoken critic of governments and administrations that stifle the free exchange of ideas.” Conservatives often portray him “as a boogeyman” and “a puppet master behind the scenes,” the organization noted.

The SPLC quotes author Emily Tamkin to suggest that any criticism of Soros’ funding is an antisemitic trope.

“We have moved past the point where it can even be called out as antisemitic because it’s now so baked into” American sociopolitics, Tamkin told the SPLC. People may even criticize Soros funding “not realizing it is an antisemitic trope,” she argued.

The Southern Poverty Law Center claimed Politico’s article merely “hinted at a supposed connection between Soros and the campus protests for a cease-fire in Gaza,” claiming that the fact-checking organization PolitiFact had “thoroughly debunked” any such connection. The SPLC added: “Politico has had to attach a long series of corrections to the piece.”

So how did PolitiFact supposedly “debunk” the connection? The outlet acknowledged that “Soros’ grant-making organization, Open Society Foundations, has awarded grants to some groups … linked to the demonstrations.” Yet PolitiFact downplayed this link, stating that “connections between Soros’ money and specific campus protesters involved several degrees of separation.”

Soros critics such as Ted Cruz don’t believe that the 93-year-old philanthropist is personally handing out checks to rioters on the front lines. Rather, they note that the financier’s massive funds contribute money to groups that help organize the anti-Israel protests. PolitiFact didn’t even try to “debunk” this, because it is simply true.

As for Politico’s corrections to its article, none directly involved Soros. Politico corrected the record on the Gates Foundation and the year in which the Rockefeller Brothers Fund contributed to the Tides Foundation.

Noting that Soros funding is behind the antisemitic riots is not itself antisemitic—it also is simply true. Soros himself may not support protesters’ harassment of Jews on college campuses, but it is completely fair to point out that his money, going through intermediaries, has helped the protests.

Vested Interest in Defending Soros

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s tactics here should not be surprising.

As I explain in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC rightly sued Ku Klux Klan groups into bankruptcy. It then took the program it used to monitor the KKK and weaponized it against mainstream conservative and Christian organizations, branding them “hate groups” and “antigovernment extremists.”

The SPLC also has benefited from Soros. The Foundation to Promote Open Society gave the SPLC a $75,000 grant in 2016, “to convene an ‘Anti-Hate Table’ of national anti-bias and Muslim, Arab, and South Asian community organizations.”

According to my analysis of IRS records, the Tides Foundation—one of the funds at the center of Politico’s article—gave the SPLC more than $1 million between 2018 and 2022.

The SPLC just might have a vested interest in responding to attacks on Soros funding and the Tides Foundation.

Original source

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.