Story by Avi Selk, Herb Scribner
The Washington Post
Elon Musk made a series of attacks on George Soros overnight, tweeting that the Jewish-born investor and liberal philanthropist, who often is subject to virulent antisemitic conspiracy theories, hates humanity and “wants to erode the very fabric of civilization.”
Musk, who has overseen an increase of antisemitism and other hate speech on Twitter since he bought the social media platform last year, did not give a reason for singling out Soros. But he made his comments three days after Soros’s investment fund reported that it had sold all its stock in Tesla, the electric carmaker that Musk also runs.
And Musk seemed to specifically reference the 92-year-old Holocaust survivor’s background by comparing Soros to Magneto — a Jewish supervillain who “fights to help mutants replace humans as the world’s dominant species,” as Marvel’s official character description puts it.
“Soros reminds me of Magneto,” Musk posted at 10 p.m. Monday, apropos of nothing. The tweet triggered a flood of replies comparing Soros to various symbols of evil, recalling long-standing conspiracy theories that paint him as a godlike billionaire Jew who uses his philanthropic foundations to flood Europe with refugees and corrupt American politics.
The left-wing commentator Brian Krassenstein replied to Musk, pointing out that Magneto is a Holocaust survivor in Marvel lore, where the character manipulates magnetic fields to oppose (and occasionally help) the heroes of X-Men films and comics. “[Soros], also a Holocaust survivor, get’s attacked nonstop for his good intentions which some Americans think are bad merely because they disagree with this political affiliations,” he wrote.
Musk replied to Krassenstein five minutes later: “You assume they are good intentions. They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.”
His tweets were condemned Tuesday morning by Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, which has catalogued similar conspiracy theories that hold Soros wants to control the world.
“Soros often is held up by the far-right, using antisemitic tropes, as the source of the world’s problems,” Greenblatt wrote on Twitter. “To see Elon Musk, regardless of his intent, feed this segment — comparing him to a Jewish supervillain, claiming Soros ‘hates humanity’ — is not just distressing, it’s dangerous: it will embolden extremists who already contrive anti-Jewish conspiracies and have tried to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result.”