Top Republican defends anti-Semitic ads a day after synagogue shooting


The latest ad features philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros, who was recently targeted with a pipe bomb, sitting behind piles of money.

The official campaign committee for Republicans in Congress is running a new ad that promotes the same anti-Semitic messages that apparently motivated a Pittsburgh mass shooter to murder 11 innocent people worshipping at a synagogue — and the committee's chairman is defending the vile ad as "factual."

The Pittsburgh shooter, who declared that "all Jews must die," had numerous social media postings promoting the conspiracy theory, also embraced by several prominent Republicans, that philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros is financing a caravan of Honduran refugees seeking asylum.

Soros, who is Jewish, has been turned into a boogeyman by the right for well over a decade because of his support for Democrats and progressive causes.

The demonization of Soros plays into some well-worn anti-Semitic tropes — and that ugliness is on full display in the latest ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which features Soros sitting behind piles of money.

Yet Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), chairman of the NRCC, defended the ad Sunday morning on NBC's "Meet the Press" — just one day after the horrific massacre.

"That ad is factual," Stivers told host Chuck Todd. "And it also has nothing to do with calling for violence. That ad is a factual ad."

The NRCC ad is also being broadcast after a serial mail bomber serial mail bomber sent an explosive device to Soros at his home. The bomber, a fanatical Trump supporter, sent functioning pipe bombs to a dozen people who are routinely demonized by Trump.

Stivers isn't alone; other top Republicans have also repeated the same anti-Semitic dog whistles about Soros that have now led to multiple violent attacks.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Leader, sent out a tweet attacking Soros for trying to "buy" the election.

And Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted out a video that he falsely claimed featured the Honduran refugee caravan, and speculated that the refugees were funded by Soros. Trump retweeted that video, which spread far and wide in right-wing fever swamps.

Trump has embraced hateful anti-Semitic bigots with open arms. He described Nazis as "very fine people" after they murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, and routinely uses other anti-Semitic dog whistles like the word "globalists."

But he has support from congressional Republicans, and even the party's official campaign arm, who are not just blaming the victims but also making common cause with the aggressors.

The Republican Party is officially promoting a hateful message that is indistinguishable from that of a mass murderer and serial bomber.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.