- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 9, 2017

Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has caused a stir for sharing a crude political meme on social media showing Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros controlling the world’s affairs, including his father’s political opponents.

The image was posted on the prime minister’s son’s Facebook page Friday and has sparked a regional uproar over its links to anti-Semitism.

Captioned “food chain,” the image shows Mr. Soros dangling a fishing rod with planet Earth at its end in front of a reptilian creature who in turn is holding a rod of its own that’s dangling an occult symbol in front of a cloaked figure representing the Illuminati. The cloaked figure has a rod of theirs dangling money in front of former Israeli prime minister and Netanyahu critic Ehud Barak; Mr. Barak dangles a paper ballot in front of fellow Netanyahu foe Eldad Yaniv; and Mr. Yaniv dangles bait before Meni Naftali, the former caretaker of the Netanyahu’s property in Jerusalem.

The image is a variation of a “viciously anti-Semitic” meme typically used to suggest Jews are conspiring to control the world, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.

The younger Netanyahu obtained the image it from a Facebook group that uses crude and sometimes hateful humor to fight against the Israeli Left and is associated with the so-called alt-right movement, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Multiple Israeli outlets have panned the meme as anti-Semitic, and Mr. Barak, the prime minister’s predecessor, took aim Saturday from his own social media account.

“Is this what the boy hears at home? Is it genetics or his very own mental illness? No matter, at any rate, we should pay for his mental therapist and not his security detail and personal driver,” Mr. Barak tweeted in Hebrew, the Post reported.

“Every Jew should feel revulsion and shame this cartoon,” opposition leader Isaac Herzog added, according to the newspaper. “Delete it, apologize, speak out against it.”

Mr. Soros, 87, is Jewish and survived the Holocaust as a child. He made billions as an investor and business magnate in adulthood and donates heavily to liberal organizations and activists in the U.S. and abroad. He’s frequently targeted by far-right commentators and conspiracy theorists alike on account of his involvement in left-wing groups around the globe, and more than 100,000 people recently signed a petition on the White House website declaring he be designated a domestic terrorist — enough to trigger a response from the Trump administration, according to the site. 

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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