Elon Musk claims that George Soros “hates humanity”. Anti-Defamation League says Musk’s attacks ‘will embolden extremists’

New York (CNN) Elon Musk launched a baseless Twitter attack on George Soros, a frequent target of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, accusing the financier of hating humanity days after Soros revealed he sold a modest stake in Tesla.

While Musk’s remarks do not refer to the billionaire’s ethnicity, Musk has been criticized for dangerous rhetoric that could fuel further attacks on Soros.

in tweet Late Monday, Musk compared him to X-Men villain Magneto, who like Soros was a Holocaust survivor, according to the character’s backstory in comics. When a Twitter user defended Soros as well-intentioned, criticizing those who disagree with his politics, Musk replied“You assume it’s good intentions. It’s not. He wants to erode the fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, a right-wing civil rights group that tracks and combats incidents of antisemitism, criticized Musk’s comment and said it would “embolden extremists”.

Greenblatt: “Soros is often endorsed by the far right, using anti-Semitic tropes, as the source of the world’s problems.” chirp. “To see Elon Musk, no matter his intent, fuel this segment—comparing him to a Jewish villain, whom Soros claims “hates humanity”—is not only sad, it’s dangerous: he would embolden extremists who are already devising anti-Jewish plots and have, as a result, They tried to attack Soros and the Jewish communities.”

Soros, 92, is a longtime target of right-wing conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites. He is a prominent contributor to Democratic candidates and liberal causes. Open Secrets, which tracks political contributions, shows he contributed $50 million to the Democracy PAC II Superpac in November, and $125 million in the fall of 2022.

He is also a founder and major contributor to the Open Society Foundations, with the stated goal of working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. And it angered some authoritarian regimes, including the regime of Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, Soros’ hometown. Orban is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, accused of his authoritarian steps in Hungary.

Attacks on Soros have increased in recent years along with a broader increase in incidents of anti-Semitic attacks. The league said American antisemitic incidents reached their highest level last year since the group began recording them in 1979.

Some right-wing influencers in the US have embraced authoritarian leaders abroad whom Soros opposes, such as Orban. Former President Donald Trump and several Republicans who attacked New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg for filing criminal charges against Trump were quick to point out that Bragg received campaign support from Soros.

Musk has come under fire since taking over Twitter for allowing Nazi sympathizers back on the social media platform as part of a broader mass unbanning of accounts previously suspended over his stated policy of supporting “freedom of speech”. Among those allowed back on Twitter was Andrew Anglin, a white supremacist who founded the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.

Studies by the ADL and the Center for Combating Digital Hate found that the volume of hate speech on Twitter has grown exponentially under Musk’s direction. Musk called the reports from both monitoring groups “totally false,” claiming that “hate speech impressions,” or the number of times a hate speech tweet was seen, “continues to drop” since the early days of his ownership of the company when the platform saw a sharp rise in traffic. Hate speech designed to test Musk’s tolerance.

Musk, who has nearly 140 million Twitter followers, has amplified right-wing tropes and some conspiracy theories on Twitter, including an unsubstantiated claim about the violent attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Musk later deleted his tweet.) Musk has also taken personal shots of people he disagrees with or those who have criticized his companies.

Soros’ investment in Tesla was modest in terms of his total investment portfolio. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show he purchased 89,600 modified shares split in the second quarter of 2022, holding them through the third quarter before purchasing an additional 242,000 shares in the last three months of 2022. But he sold his entire stake sometime in the first three months. From this year, according to the last file he submitted last week.

In fact Musk sold much more than that Tesla (TSLA) He shares himself in recent months as he dealt with mounting losses at Twitter, which he bought in October. He recently sold 22 million shares in December. But he’s still Tesla’s largest shareholder to date.

— CNN’s Allison Morrow and Oliver Darcy contributed to this report.

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