(JTA) — The National Rifle Association tweeted that three prominent liberal Jewish billionaires are pushing “their elitist agenda on Americans.”
The tweet came three days after a shooter killed 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue. In the responses, a number of readers charged that the tweet fed into far-right notions of a Jewish conspiracy, as critics also noted in February when NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre gave a speech accusing the same three men — George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg — of promoting “socialism” and “social engineering.”
“Another billionaire is pumping unlimited money into electing anti-gun lawmakers,” Tuesday’s tweet read. “Notorious anti-gunner George Soros joins anti-gun billionaires Steyer and Bloomberg. There is no end to how much they’ll pay to push their elitist agenda on Americans.”
The tweet linked to a CNBC article about Soros donating to liberal candidates ahead of the midterm elections. Soros, a Holocaust survivor and philanthropist who funds liberal and pro-democracy causes, has been a frequent target of the far right in the United States and abroad who often invoke anti-Semitic tropes to exaggerate his influence in politics and economic affairs. A Florida man is allegedly behind a pipe bomb sent to Soros’ house.
Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have also criticized Soros for funding left-wing causes.
Michael Bloomberg, a former New York mayor, has funded a variety of liberal causes, and Steyer is a prominent liberal donor from California.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the House majority leader, accused the same three billionaires of buying the election for Democrats in a tweet that he later deleted. Steyer, whose father was Jewish, called McCarthy’s tweet a “a straight-up anti-Semitic move.”