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Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Protocols of the Elders of Donald

At Slate, Daniel Marans reports on a Trump ad.  Using audio from a recent Trump speech, the ad has anti-Semitic overtones.
As Trump says “levers of power in Washington,” we see footage of George Soros, a billionaire investor and philanthropist. And when Trump says, “global special interests,” Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen appears on screen.
Both Soros and Yellen are Jewish.

The audio for the beginning of the ad comes from remarks Trump made at a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, in October that critics had already condemned for antisemitism. (Toward the end of the video, we see Trump making the speech.)
Splicing the remarks together with images of Soros and Yellen, however, heightens this anti-Semitic effect. The combined use of the troubling rhetoric and images of those individuals resembles more explicitly anti-Semitic narratives throughout modern history.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a late 19th-century publication likely commissioned by the Tsarist Russian government, helped spread the conspiracy theory that a Jewish-run cabal of global financial elites dictated world affairs. Some version of this theory continues to inspire antisemites.
Soros, a major funder of progressive political causes, has long been the target of conservative vitriol that veers into anti-Semitic invective.
The Federal Reserve, whose past three leaders including Yellen have been Jewish, is also a frequent object of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists. In fact, an Islamic State propaganda video calling for a return to the gold standard portrays the central bank as a front for Jewish global domination.
Politico reporter Glenn Thrush noted that the video also features an image of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who is also Jewish.