September 18, 2017


Soros hatred is a global sickness (Gideon Rachman, 9/19/17, Financial Times)

In the 1990s, Mr Soros was in tune with the spirit of the age, as he used the billions he had made in finance to support the transition to democracy in post-communist Europe and elsewhere. But now the global political climate has changed and liberal ideas are in retreat. For a new generation of nationalists -- from the US to Russia and Hungary -- Mr Soros has become the perfect villain. He is an internationalist in an age of nationalism. He is a supporter of individual rights, not group rights. He is the 29th-richest man in the world, according to the Forbes rich list. And he is also Jewish, so is easily cast in the role of the shadowy and manipulative international financier, once reserved for the Rothschilds.

One of the nastier bits of anti-Soros propaganda this year explicitly linked him to the old slurs against the Rothschilds. When America First nationalists became worried that HR McMaster, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was purging their allies in the White House, they set up a website called "McMaster leaks" which featured a cartoon of Mr McMaster being manipulated by puppetmasters labelled "Soros" and "Rothschilds". [...]

There is clearly an echo-chamber element to the anti-Soros campaigns around the world, as far-right groups pick up on the same conspiracy theories. But some strongman leaders have more concrete reasons to fear Mr Soros's Open Society Foundation, which funds civil society organisations that promote education, a free press, minority rights and anti-corruption initiatives. In 2015, Vladimir Putin's government chucked the Open Society Foundation out of Russia since it was no longer willing to tolerate the latter's support for organisations such as Memorial, which promoted research into the Soviet terror.

Mr Soros's activities have even made him a target in Israel. The obvious anti-Semitism in many of the anti-Soros campaigns around the world evidently matters less to the Netanyahu government than Mr Soros's support for Palestinian rights and other causes unpopular on the Israeli right.

There is also a personal element in prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's anti-Soros ire. As an anti-corruption probe has got closer and closer to Israel's first family, so they have lashed out against Mr Soros. Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister's son, complained recently that the "Fund for the Destruction of Israel, funded by Soros and the European Union, is threatening me". He even re-published a cartoon of Mr Soros dangling the world in front of a reptilian creature, the kind of image that his father would routinely denounce as anti-Semitic if it had been published by another source.

There are always Jews to blame.

Posted by at September 18, 2017 8:46 AM