Following the discovery on October 22 of a mail bomb that was sent to the home of financier George Soros, the media responded with the claim that opposition to Soros was based on Antisemitism.
The Guardian headline was ‘Dripping with poison of antisemitism’: the demonization of George Soros’
The Guardian article quotes from a post on the ADL blog, written 11 days before the attack – “The Anti-Semitism Lurking Behind George Soros Conspiracy Theories.“
In that post, The ADL warns against:
well-worn anti-Semitic tropes such as control of the media or banks; references to undermining societies or destabilizing countries; or language that hearkens back to the medieval blood libels and the characterization of Jews as evil, demonic, or agents of the antichrist.
The Washington Post joins the chorus with Conspiracy theories about Soros aren’t just false. They’re anti-Semitic.
And the New York Times?
Already last year The New York Times came out with Israel’s War Against George Soros, an op-ed contributed by Mairav Zonszein, a journalist who blogs at 972mag.com.
In the op-ed, Zonszein writes that Soros is pro-Israel, yet is attacked because of his criticism of Israel:
“For years Mr. Soros largely avoided Israel-related philanthropy, but he became involved in 2008 when he contributed to J Street, a moderate pro-Israel, pro-peace lobbying group based in Washington, after it was founded.”
|George Soros, from a screen capture of a YouTube video|
Well, that’s one way of putting it.
Ira Stoll responded to the op-ed in The Algemeiner, highlighting Nine Flaws With New York Times ‘Israel’s War on George Soros’ Article. Stoll noted a pattern:
o Already back in 1995, Soros admitted to the New Yorker how detached he felt from Israel: “I don’t deny the Jews their right to a national existence — but I don’t want to be part of it.”
o In 2003, Soros publicly blamed Israeli and American policies for antisemitism. For its part, Commentary Magazine noted that “Soros likened the behavior of Israel to that of the Nazis, invoking some psychological jargon about victims becoming victimizers.
o Soros described himself in a 2007 piece in the New York Review of Books as neither a Zionist nor “a practicing Jew” — and he denounced denouncing Israel as bloodthirsty:
“The current policy of not seeking a political solution but pursuing military escalation — not just an eye for an eye but roughly speaking ten Palestinian lives for every Israeli one — has reached a particularly dangerous point.”
o Far from becoming involved in Israel-related topics only since 2008, as Zonszein claimed, Soros is a longtime and major funder of Human Rights Watch – an organization so critical of Israel that its founder abandoned it.
The actions Soros takes and the organizations he supports derive from that attitude toward the Jewish right to a national existence:
“I don’t want to be a part of it”
This distance sheds light on what groups Soros pours money into and what kinds of groups he creates.
In 2016, Tablet Magazine came out with an article on Soros Hack Reveals Evidence of Systemic Anti-Israel Bias. Soros’ network of philanthropic organizations — The Open Society Foundations — was hacked and its confidential reports made available on the website DC Leaks.
o the Soros network has given $2,688,561 in 14 grants since 2001 to Adalah, which accuses Israel of war crimes in international forums, and has called on governments to sever their diplomatic relations with Israel.
o $1,083,000 went to I’lam, a Palestinian media center which accused Israel of ethnic cleansing, claiming that “the practical meaning of the Nakba undermines the moral and ethical foundation of Zionism and, hence, of the State of Israel.”
Then there is the OSF’s Arab Regional Office (ARO). A 2014 document reviewed ARO’s Palestine/Israel international advocacy portfolio:
According to a leaked report, the Arab Regional Office was motivated by
“a particular shift in political dynamics particularly in the US reflected by the publication of the Walt and Mearsheimer article ‘The Israel Lobby’ in Spring 2006 which pointed out the lobby’s role in, among other things, influencing the Iraq invasion.” Another encouraging shift, according to the report, is the rise of the international movement to boycott Israel: “A number of factors make this a good moment to review this portfolio,” it reads, “including some new or improved opportunities we may choose to exploit. In recent years there’s been heightened international solidarity around Palestinians’ rights, the rise of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and other economic levers, and increased use and traction of arts and culture by Palestinians as a means to raise awareness of violations and the impact of the conflict.” [emphasis added]
Soros and the OSF decided not to work with the concerned parties — Israel and the Palestinian Arabs — but instead to work on exerting external pressure on Israel, forming various groups in the US and the EU, and in Washington DC to be trained in advocacy.
Groups were also formed in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza,
creating a web of small organizations supporting each other’s goals in the media, vis-à-vis foreign governments, and elsewhere. This, traditionally, is how an echo chamber works: by creating an enclosed system of like-minded partisans that appears sufficiently diverse in scope, it is often able to amplify its messages and lend them credibility. A number of the Soros-funded organizations, for example, including Adalah and others, have been key in promoting the false accusation that the Israel Defense Forces wantonly massacred innocent Palestinian civilians in Jenin in 2002. Coming from a plethora of well-funded Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, all geared exclusively towards communicating with European and American government and lobbying groups, these false accusations were reported extensively in the international media and were widely considered factually true. [emphasis added]
Soros is not some Israel-related philanthropist involved in moderate pro-Israel, pro-peace lobbying.
Neither is he evil incarnate.
He has the money and the means to push his agenda.
There is nothing wrong in pointing out what that agenda is — and pushing back.
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