George Soros Speaks

According to newspaper reports this week, financier George Soros, has a personal net worth of $7 billion, and has given $5 billion away to various charities and initiatives (drug legalization being a big one). No—one can identify a dollar of that $5 billion that ever went to a Jewish cause or to help Israel—region>, where almost half the world s Jews now live.


But now Soros, a Jew, has let us know that he thinks George Bush is the greatest threat to the world, and that rising anti—Semitism has its roots in the behavior of Bush and Ariel Sharon. Soros is not introducing any new ideas here of course. Europeans in 14 of 15 countries polled said Israel—region> is the greatest threat to world peace last week (Italy—region> the only exception). Even worse, Soros says that Bush's America—region> and its drive for world domination remind him of his experience with Nazi Germany, or living under Soviet rule in Communist Hungary.


Soros also says he will put his money where his mouth is, and has contributed north of $15 million to various groups committed to defeating George Bush next year, which Soros says is his number one goal. These enormous gifts are to groups established to get around the McCain Feingold law, and ensure that the Democrats raise as much or more than the $250 million they raised in soft money in the last presidential election cycle.


The hypocrisy of course is delicious. The Republicans easily defeat the Democrats in legal hard money, where the limit has now been raised to $2000 per individual. The GOP has more friends among those who can write a $2000 check. But the Democrats swamp the GOP in soft money— in the past given directly to the parties, and now to 527 (named after the provision of law allowing such groups) groups and other advocacy groups. These are the multitmillion dollar checks from Soros, Haim Saban, Steven Speilberg, Peter Lewis, and others, all of whom say they are committed to getting special interest money out of politics, and all of whom swear their love of campaign finance reform. Soros is a moral idiot.


It was good to see Abraham Foxman denounce his remarks, as did others among the Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. Sadly, other than Eliot Engel, Democratic congressman from New York, no other Democratic Party official condemned Soros's blame—the—victim smear, or his apologies for anti—Semitism. Where are Chuck Schumer, Jerry Nadler, Dianne Feinstein, or Joe Lieberman among Jewish elected officials? Or Howard Dean, John Kerry, Wesley Clark, or Hillary Clinton (all of whom claim Jewish familial roots)? Or for that matter, any of the other candidates, to say anything about Soros other than to behave as the frat pledge did who was being paddled in the movie Animal House and kept uttering: "Thank you sir, May I have another?"?


Big money to the cause turns them all to silent whores when Israel—region> or Jews are defamed. But then again, there is a pattern here. Paul Krugman, another Jew embarrassed by Israel—region>, blamed the same parties—Bush and Sharon, for making the Malaysian Prime Minister spew his anti—Semitic filth a few weeks back. And Tony Judt, another Jew, thinks Israel—region> is just not worth the effort to defend any more anymore.


The new EU model of European man, does not allow for anything so petty as nationalism expressed through Zionism, and some preferences for Jews in their only state. Yet yesterday there was a newspaper story that garnered three full pages of coverage in Le Monde: that France—region> and Germany—region> may merge to ensure their dominance in the new expanded EU. So I guess there still need to be some distinctions among the European peoples. The deal, by the way, announced by Smith Barney, is that Germany—region> will exchange 1 of its shares and 1 bratwurst for each 1.3 shares of France—region>, and 2.4 bottles of a recent vintage Bordeaux. As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up (at least not the merger part).


There is one element that ties all of these specious theories together. The authors of all these noxious screeds, and apologies for Jew hate, begin with a primal loathing of George Bush. Since Muslims seem to hate us more these days, despite our liberation of Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq in the last 13 years, it must be Israel and American support of Israel that has caused this.


Add one more Jew to this simplistic and obscene commentary. Yesterday Tom Friedman described how Saudi Arabia—region> needs to reform, and an Israeli—Palestinian peace deal, leading to Saudi recognition of Israel—region>, would help. This is all wonderful speculation, though the scenario won't play on Planet Earth this decade. But then amidst his good intentions, in a throwaway paragraph at the end, Friedman feels obligated to equate Saudi Wahabbism with the Israeli Wahabbists — the West Bank settlers.


So far, no settlers have hijacked any airplanes and flown them into buildings in other countries (Friedman must believe the settlers are only waiting for maps of the new France—Germany, or Germany—France to appear before they put such a plan into action). Nor for that matter, have they done very much at all, except to build up their communities in the land they consider their own, and where the government, with very few exceptions, has encouraged them to go. And of course, several Israeli governments have already agreed to make them give up that land in the interest of a final peace deal with the Palestinians.


Wahabbism on the other hand is a doctrine spreading around the world, and creating tens of millions of religious fascists committed to the destruction of Jews, Christians, the West, and other Muslims who may be too tolerant for their fundamentalist tastes. So, no I don't see the connection. But for Freidman, any implied criticism of the Arab world must be balanced with an equally strong rebuke of Israeli settlers. For twenty years, Friedman has held to his belief, that if it were not for the settlers, Israel—region> would not be facing this enmity from its neighbors.


Unfortunately, this does not explain Israel's history before there were any settlers, nor does it explain why the Palestinians went to war after Israel offered to remove all the interior settlements at Camp David, as well as do all the others things Friedman now says are necessary to make peace. Above all, Friedman hangs onto the discredited theory about the centrality of settlements because the alternative would be to single out Arab rejection of Israel—region> as the primary reason this conflict has never been resolved. For Friedman, mouthing his condemnation of settlements insures that he is treated as a great world thinker when he wines and dines with the Arab royalty and chieftains on his world tours.