Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

George Soros: Is He Boycotting Israel?

by Gad Nahshon

George Soros is one of the richest men on earth. George Soros is the most talented 'moviemaker' who lives in our universe, a super-magician, a mysterious King Midas.

Certainly, he is the greatest international philanthropist of the last century, at least. Soros reached the climax of generosity in the service of mankind. He feels like he is the citizen of our universe, perhaps a pure cosmopolitan person. Soros is Jewish. He was born in Hungary 70 years ago. As a child he had to learn to survive as a Jew, a victim of Nazism and Hungarian anti-Semitism of World War II. He learned as a child that a Jew can run away but can't hide! Assimilation then did not work for Jews. As we know, 444,000 Jews were deported from Hungary (and Budapest) to the Nazi gas chambers. Many were murdered in Hungary itself. It was the last Nazi 'achievement' of their 'final solution.'

As a child, Soros learned that the world community took the position of stand-by. It was silent. The genocide of the Hungarian Jews took place in 1944 when it was clear that Nazi Germany lost the war. The Red Army advanced to Budapest. But the world did not move to rescue Jews. Surprisingly, in New York, under the leadership of the Bergson Group, the American-Hungarian community organized many protests in order to rescue Jews. They even put pressure on Rome and the Catholic Church. These protestors deserve credit because they protested when the Jewish establishment was silent in general.

Soros should know this fact. He should live also with this reality. Soros was lucky: As a young boy he managed to escape to London, alone. He survived the Holocaust. Even his parents and other members of his family survived and later joined him in 1956 in the U.S. This experience of the Holocaust, the message of survival, this chapter in his life should be his 11th commandment! But Soros, according to his first illuminating, fascinating, biography, ignores this commandment. He is not ashamed to say that he is boycotting Israel. He referred to his Jewishness as the following: "It did not express itself in a sense of tribal loyalty that would have led him to support Israel." Judaism is tribal loyalty? Jews are not a tribe, they are a nation. Jewish civilization is not tribal. It is more cosmopolitan, thinking about our contribution to the universal civilization. Let's say that to be a Jew is to support Israel. So what? Is it a crime?

Soros, a philosopher, a crusader for liberalism and democracy, the leader of the idea of an 'open society' does not consider Israel to be a democracy. So he does not like Israel. He stays away from Israel. He has no heart. He has no love for 5 million Jews who live in Israel, defending their survival, heroes who combat terrorists, beasts and Arab dictators, as well. Do not they also defend the western democratic ideology, the victory of liberalism in the regressive-Muslim, Arabic-Hamas fundamentalist Middle-East region? They would like to genocide Israel like the Nazi's final solution. They are sadistic murderers who often love to mutilate bodies of victims. They are closer to the cannibals than to the so-called 'Freedom Fighters.'

Soros ignores these realities. He does not notice that, today, like during the Holocaust, Jewish or Israeli blood is cheap. The great financial wizard is a by-stander. Today, when Israelis, the true heroes of our time, cannot even celebrate their holidays, their seder (Netanyahu, Israel: The Seder Massacre, March 27, 2002. Do not forget!!)

George Soros, a non-Jewish Jew, is quiet. He does not want to visit Israel. Recently, Michael T. Kaufman published a great pioneer biography of George Soros, Soros, the Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire (Alfred A. Knops publishers, New York, 2002). He explained that "Soros had developed a contempt for tribal sectarianism of all kinds and found much of the zeal of pro-Israel Zionists to be unappealingly chauvinistic. Why does he think that the Jews do not deserve a state of their own, the right for self-determination? That is his conclusions of Zionism and the Holocaust. But he recognizes, for example, the right of Lithuanians to have a free state. It's no surprise to find that he supports the right of Palestinians to have a state. Is he aware of the Arab's Final Solution of Israel? Is he not aware of the Arab's Nazi propaganda? 'Blood Libels' in their press?

Furthermore, Soros refuses to donate even to Jewish organizations. He expressed antipathy toward them. Kaufman explained this attitude as a result of personal memories: Jewish organizations made bad impressions on him when he was a young man in Europe and because of "his disregard for sectarian groups in general, and Jewish charities in particular...". The boycotting of Jews sticks out when one learns from Kaufman's biography: "An extraordinary vivid and colorful portrait" about the great global achievements of Soros, a capitalist genius, a messianic billionaire who became a leading world philanthropist of our time. Kaufman, an ex-New York Times senior reporter and a distinguished author, traced in detail the life story of Soros, a self-made man, a Hungarian Horatio Alger.

Kaufman pointed out that between 1994 and 2000, Soros' contributions to his foundations, the 'Open Society' and others, amounted... "to more than $2.5 billion, growing from $300 million to $574.7 million in 1998 and some $570 million in 1999" one expert concluded: "Not since (John D.) Rockefeller and Carnegie has such a force been seen in that field of donorship." Soros has a vision, a courage and initiative. He is a sophisticated man of all seasons. He is a philosopher. He is a writer who wrote books such as underwriting Democracy. But it is hard to swallow the fact that he invested money in Lithuania in order to promote democracy there. Democracy? In Slovakia, he was attacked by anti-Semites as a Jew! Kaufman tells this story of 'The Theater of the Absurd': In East Europe, the democracy, or the free press, was used by the anti-Semites! Young people who were born after World War II became anti-Semites! As to Lithuania, the press there refuses to recognize the responsibility of the Lithuanian people to their collaboration with the Nazis.

We shall remember the following story: In June 1942, the Red Army evacuated Kovno. The German army and the 5.5 Units did not yet enter the city. Then suddenly, Lithuanian local authorities, the police together with criminals, managed a pogrom, in three days, in which 20,000 were massacred. Later, even the 5.5 expressed their praise to the Lithuanians. They were so effective in their Lithuanian's final solution. But Soros did not care to challenge the Lithuanian denial of their Nazi behavior. He helped them to promote democracy. But there is no democracy when anti-Semitism celebrates inside the soul of the masses!

Soros wants to change the world. But he should first of all combat anti-Semitism in East Europe or in Western Europe as well. I do not know if Soros will agree with my views. Kaufman tells the readers: "He did not convert." His mother, who immigrated from Hungary after 1956, did convert before she died in Florida. Kaufman, who wrote the first biography of Soros, presented the saga of his hero in two parts: 1. The story of a money maker, a genius, a miracle story of a teenager who was a self-made man in London and later in this country. For many years, Soros was an enigma, a mystery superman in business; 2. Soros as a unique philanthropist who had a concept of the targets of his donations: He was a champion of democracy. He tried and not always was successful in his personal mission. Often countries or people were unthankful. They loved his money but did not like his goals. He also promoted culture, education and scholarship. He especially has promoted the academic field of philosophy. His idol has been the British philosopher, Karl Popper, perhaps the most famous philosopher of our times.

Indeed, Soros was looking not only to revolutionize regimes but also to revolutionize our modern intellectual life. Kaufman tries to explain the economic secrets of Soros: How did he become a multi-millionaire? Soros himself explained his financial Wall Street magic in his book, The Alchemy of Finance. Soros' elements of success were based on the following: 1. Intellectualism; 2. Philosophy. He tried to publish his own philosophy. He lives with a concept of life; 3. European Background. Soros was a globalist before we discussed the issue of globalism. He built his career here on his knowledge of the European economy, monetary system and... the military ramifications of the Yom Kippur War (Oct. 1973). Soros loves Oxford University. He loves the European culture and he never really, Kaufman points out, did Americanize himself; 4. Soros argues that his decision-making was based on intuition! He does not like to rationalize. He also has courage in business. He was lucky to work with great effective partners or advisors such as Gary Gladstein. (By the way, many of them were Jews). Soros' turning point was the year of 1973: he became an independent company with 17 million dollars (Soros Fund Management). After six years, he made $100 million. Then he established his 'Soros Quantum Fund'. In 1998, the value of quantum was $6 billion!

Kaufman also illuminated Soros' ability to counter with courage, a loss of $600 million. It is an expression of his economic integrity. I would like to point out that Kaufman's second part is much more fascinating than the first part. Kaufman traced, in detail, Soros' quest for democratic liberal victory in East Europe and China. He challenged post-Communism or even the Communist regime in Red China. He had some successes but also some failures. After all, one should not expect a short-cut for the victory of democratic-Western values.

But Soros tried with courage in the following fields: 1. Supported 'solidarity' in Poland; 2. Established funds for education in Hungary, Lithuania and Romania; 3. He developed a project in Russia which was applied in 156 cities and the life of 5 million Russians. He established many educational projects in Russia. For example, a center for genetic research. Critics argued that his investment in Russia was a failure, an ineffective project. The tool for fulfilling his dream has been his New York based 'Open Society' organization which opened branches in other countries. Soros could not control his many projects. Often his 'train' was derailed; 4. Soros tried to accomplish a mission of democracy inside Red China. He used young intellectuals but in the end the government's Communist leaders dismantled his projects and called him, in the Chinese media, just one more 'American spy.' They have their own way of integrating capitalist ideas into their concept of ruling China. Open society, open markets, is not yet their thing. Furthermore, Soros' Chinese allies were persecuted and he was very sad about it; 5. Soros helped the liberal movement in Czechoslovakia. In 1977, its leader, Vaclav Havel, established 'Charta 77,' a dissident movement. Soros helped Havel and supported him later when he became the president of this country which dismantled its Communist regime; 6. Soros helped Bosnia during its recent crisis; 7. Soros helped 400,000 Kurds who ran away as refugees from their homeland.

As I pointed out, Soros invested $2.4 billion in order to change our globe for good. These goals and dreams gave Soros the opportunity to influence many of our international leaders. Kaufman noted that, in reality, Soros is being depicted as he did: The Messianic billionaire. Soros is a man with a vision. He is an open-minded person. He has some radical views which are not exactly typical to a member of the capitalist elite. Recently, Soros celebrated his 70th birthday. He published a new book Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism. It is time to relax, to 'shrink' activities and donations as well. Time to enjoy his second wife Susan Weber, a Jewish lady from New York.

Kaufman did 'peep' into Soros' private life and even into his mental problems of the past. He exposed some inside family conflicts: love, resentment, hate, but indeed it is marginal facts when we want to learn more about Soros, the great money maker of our time. Condensing Soros' saga and life, one can relate to the following: George Soros was on his own by age fourteen, passing as a non-Jew to survive World War II. In London, at seventeen, penniless but no longer forced to live in disguise, he dreamed of personal glory and of working to make the world less harsh. Ambition and opportunity drove him to Wall Street, where he arrived in 1956 with five-thousand dollars. He became a maverick trader, inventing novel approaches, and soon he was known as "the greatest money manager in the world." His Quantum Fund set the standard for hedge funds, and the details of how he amassed his wealth, on his own and so quickly, are fascinating.

In his early fifties, restless and having made his fortune, Soros turned to doing good as a primary occupation, showing the same energy, imaginations, and courage in spending his money as he had in making it. We see him invest more than a billion dollars through his global network of Open Society foundations in an attempt to undermine the kind of totalitarianism he knew in his youth and to enhance democracy and liberty. Through his (largely unpublicized) projects we see him become a key figure in the collapse of Communism while helping to minimize the trauma of transition. In the process, he has had greater impact on politics in more countries than any other private citizen in the world. We learn of his continuing projects all over the world - and in America, where he is seeking to alter attitudes and policies on end-of-life issues, drugs, and education.

The story of Soros' philanthropy is even more fascinating than that of his financial rise. It is the story of a remarkable, brilliant, hugely generous, constantly surprising, and - until now - little-understood man. This story is fascinating thanks to Kaufman's art of biography and ability to distance himself from his charismatic unique hero. It is an earthy kind of biography: no myths, no romantization of Soros.


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