Former New York mayor and President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed to be “more of a Jew” than George Soros. He also claimed that Soros is responsible for many of Trump’s ambassadors and that he is “employing the FBI agents.” While the Anti-Defamation League condemned him, a Jewish national security consultant defended him.
Giuliani made the remarks to New York magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi. “As we sped uptown, he spoke in monologue about the scandal he co-created, weaving one made-up talking point into another and another. He said former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom he calls Santa Maria Yovanovitch, is ‘controlled’ by George Soros. ‘He put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the FBI agents.’ I told him he sounded crazy, but he insisted he wasn’t,” Nuzzi wrote.
“Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” Giuliani reportedly said. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DAs in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.”
The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer immediately condemned the president’s lawyer. “Giuliani arguing that he is ‘more of a Jew’ than a literal Holocaust survivor is the logical conclusion of Trumpist Jews’ argument that liberal and left wing Jews (the majority of American Jews!) are not really Jewish,” he tweeted.
Giuliani arguing that he is “more of a Jew” than a literal Holocaust survivor is the logical conclusion of Trumpist Jews’ argument that liberal and left wing Jews (the majority of American Jews!) are not really Jewish. https://t.co/1X4OUrWT9C pic.twitter.com/thyIyXlF0H
— Adam Serwer🍝 (@AdamSerwer) December 23, 2019
Jonathan Greenblatt, president of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), condemned Giuliani’s remarks as anti-Semitic — but not just because he attacked Soros.
“Opposing Soros isn’t what’s [anti-Semitic]. Saying that he controls ambassadors, employs FBI agents and isn’t ‘Jewish enough’ to be demonized is,” Greenblatt tweeted. “Our experts explain the [anti-Semitism] behind Soros conspiracies.”
Opposing Soros isn’t what’s #antiSemitic.
Saying that he controls ambassadors, employs FBI agents and isn’t “Jewish enough” to be demonized is.
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) December 23, 2019
Soros survived the Holocaust by hiding with a non-Jewish family. Some have suggested this makes him less of a Holocaust survivor because he never experienced the horror of the concentration camps, but Soros still experienced the climate of terror under Nazi Germany. Some have suggested he betrayed Jews by working as a Nazi collaborator, although this claim is hotly debated.
Yet Soros has established himself as a liberal billionaire and financier of far-left causes.
While Israel’s ambassador to Hungary condemned a Hungarian billboard attacking George Soros as anti-Semitic in October 2018, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs followed up with an explanation that criticism of the left-wing billionaire is not just not anti-Semitic but quite justified.
“Israel deplores any expression of anti-Semitism in any country and stands with Jewish communities everywhere in confronting this hatred. This was the sole purpose of the statement issued by Israel’s ambassador to Hungary,” the ministry stated. “In no way was the statement meant to delegitimize criticism of George Soros, who continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected governments by funding organizations that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.”
In a May 2018 letter to the World Jewish Congress, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the Open Society Foundation and Soros “bear personal responsibility for the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe. They have brought people to Europe — among migrants — whose political and religious views have dramatically increased the vulnerability of our Jewish communities.”
David Reaboi, a Jewish national security consultant, actually defended Giuliani.
“Rudy is 100% right. Soros spent his life funding projects dedicated to harming the Jewish people as Jews. Rudy fought for us. Go Gaslight at a Queer Jews for Palestine mixer,” Reaboi tweeted.
Rudy is 100% right. Soros spent his life funding projects dedicated to harming the Jewish people as Jews. Rudy fought for us. Go Gaslight at a Queer Jews for Palestine mixer. https://t.co/b7ThmsSXwM
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) December 23, 2019
While criticism of George Soros is not necessarily anti-Semitic, Giuliani’s statements were totally uncalled for. His claims concerning Yavonavych and the FBI agents seem both unlikely and hyperbolic. Although Soros is secular and does not practice Judaism, he is still Jewish by blood. Giuliani, who has described himself as a “not-so-good Catholic,” is neither Jewish by blood nor by faith.
As a secular Jew who funded anti-Israel causes, Soros has arguably rejected the Jewish community. That does not justify Giuliani’s offensive comments, however.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.