samantha bee anti-semitism

Samantha Bee Calls Out the Not-So-Subtle Anti-Semitism of the Republican Party

The Full Frontal host breaks down the hate-based conspiracy theories of the right.

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After a particularly horrific week, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee dives headfirst into the fallout from the Tree of Life synagogue shooting that left 11 people dead with a segment titled “We Need To Talk About Anti-Semitism.” The clip touches on not only the Republicann party’s history of anti-semitism, but also the global hatred of Jews that has existed for … well, for as long as Jews themselves have.

Bee takes on the horrific history of anti-semitism with her well-known brand of education and humor, which is a challenge with such dark subject matter. She opens the segment by calling the events of last week “one of the worst things I’ve ever seen,” before joking that she isn’t talking about Chris Hardwick’s awkward red carpet poses with his wife so he doesn’t seem so short. She makes a veiled reference to his sexual assault allegations before calling him a “tiny creep” and moving on to the subject at hand.

Bee opens the segment by stating the obvious, saying that while the President and Republicans may have condemned the shooting itself, “the truth is the Republican party tolerates anti-semitism and benefits from it.” She then calls out the dog whistle terms that conservatives have embraced in lieu of openly stating that they hate Jews: “globalist,” “coastal elite,” “New York City values,” and “liberal Hollywood” all signify the same anti-semitic rhetoric.

The biggest and most popular symbol of this type of dog whistle anti-semitism is the Republican party’s obsession with Jewish billionaire George Soros. Soros is a holocaust survivor and wealthy philanthropist who conspiracy theorists and Fox News have turned into the Liberal Boogeyman. Soros has been falsely blamed for a laundry list of offenses, ranging from funding political protesters to bankrolling the caravan of asylum seekers headed towards the border.

The patently false rhetoric surrounding Soros is so rabid that the billionaire was a target of one the the so-called MAGA bomber’s mail bombs from last week. And while conspiracy theories have always existed on the fringes of politics, the Soros conspiracy has been mainstreamed by Fox News, Republican senators (including Chuck Grassley), party officials and even President Trump.

Bee traces the “Soros as puppet master” myth back to a 2010 clip from Glenn Beck’s eponymous talk show, which features an unhinged Beck surrounded by a set full of puppets (Fox News never skimps on the props budget, do they?). Bee takes a closer look at Soros mania by exploring the historical context of this anti-semitism, saying “the idea of Jews as wealthy scheming world dominators goes way back, farther than 2010. It’s as old as Mike Pence thinks the Earth is.”

She delves into the history of anti-semitic attacks on wealthy Jews, starting with Nathan Mayer Rothschild, a wealthy German Jewish banker from the 1800s whose name was smeared with false accusations of war profiteering. From there, the idea of “wealthy Jews controlling the world’s money” spread throughout Europe, where it was boosted by the rise of Nazism.

And these same anti-semitic tactics are now being used by the mainstream republican party, in campaign ads for both Trump and Republicans running in next week’s election.

Bee ends the segment by stating that, “Republicans didn’t ask their supporters to take an AR-15 and massacre praying Jews, but Republicans were speaking a language that shooter heard loud and clear.” She pointed to the rise in anti-semitic hate crimes since Trump’s election and the toxic and dangerous effects of the country’s embrace of these conspiracies and talking points.

Horrified by all of this? Do something about it and vote these anti-semitic peddling disgraces out of office on Tuesday.

(via Deadline, image: screengrab)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.