What Does Israel Have against George Soros? Quite a Lot, Actually

July 21 2017

On Monday, the New York Times published an opinion piece by a far-left Israeli journalist named Mairav Zonszein arguing that the billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros “should be”—but is not—“a darling of the Israeli establishment.” The obstacle: he does not offer “unconditional support for [Israel’s current] government.” Elliot Kaufman begs to differ:

Israel is not concerned about Soros’s lack of “unconditional support for the government.” Rather, it detests the fact that he provides millions of dollars to organizations that seek to boycott, isolate, and delegitimize Israel. . . . Soros has given over $1 million to I’lam, a Palestinian media center that accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and argues that “the practical meaning of the Nakba,” an Arabic term for the creation of Israel, “undermines the moral and ethical foundation of Zionism and, hence, of the state of Israel.” . . . An NGO Monitor report from 2013 also revealed that Soros funds the Institute for Middle East Understanding and Mada al-Carmel, both of which call for international boycotts against Israel.

He funds multiple organizations that specialize in suing Israel domestically and internationally, including Al-Haq, which is led by a senior activist of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, considered a terrorist organization by the United States. . . .

There is no mystery as to why Soros is despised in Israel: he is engaged in a campaign to subvert it from within and attack it from abroad. Soros’s foundation treats Israel like an adversary and a rogue state, to be targeted, pressured, and sanctioned. Soros has even publicly compared Israel to Nazi Germany, amateurishly contending that the victim has become the victimizer.

The defense of Soros in the Times was provoked by a recent kerfuffle over the Hungarian president Viktor Orban’s rhetorical campaign against him, which raised charges of anti-Semitic undertones in rhetoric about the alleged manipulations of a Jewish financier. Israel responded with a statement condemning anti-Semitism while making clear that it had no objections per se to Hungarian politicians condemning Soros. In the Times, Zonszein concludes that this was more evidence of Netanyahu’s supposed indifference to anti-Semitism, whether from Orban or—so she writes—Donald Trump. Kaufman comments:

From [Israel’s] evenhanded, commonsense position, taken to smooth over an Israeli state visit to Hungary, the New York Times jumps to publish Zonszein’s article, headlined “Israel’s War on George Soros.” . . . Zonszein concludes that “Netanyahu sees little value in safeguarding Jewish communities outside Israel, since he would prefer that Jews immigrate to Israel.” . . .

This is sophistry. If Netanyahu doesn’t interfere in U.S. and Hungarian politics, it is [supposedly] because he doesn’t care about the Jewish Diaspora. But if Netanyahu had intervened in the U.S., Zonszein could just as easily condemn him for conflating Jewish and Israeli identity. She could ask: what makes Netanyahu the voice of American Jewry? Then the New York Times could publish an op-ed on its next-favorite subject, just behind criticizing Israel: the divide between Israel and American Jews.

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Read more at National Review

More about: Anti-Semitism, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hungary, Idiocy, Israel & Zionism, NGO

 

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship