Amb. David Friedman, Prof. Alan Dershowitz and Israeli Minister Condemn Soros’ Antisemitism
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein and Director of Research & Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
Last week, Biden’s Antisemitism Czar Deborah Lipstadt (again) did the opposite of what someone in her position should be doing, when Lipstadt defended antisemitic, hate groups-funder George Soros, and portrayed those who criticize antisemite Soros as antisemitic conspiracy theorists. On May 19, Lipstadt tweeted the following defense of George Soros:
“Irrespective of how one feels about George Soros’s politics or policies, it is entirely disingenuous to deny that many ad hominem attacks on him rely on classic antisemitic tropes and rhetoric. In bygone eras, the antisemites invoked the Rothschild family to advance their conspiracies about Jews. Today they use Soros to do so.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman appropriately tweeted that Lipstadt’s defense of Soros was so wrong, saying: “Wow, so wrong! Weaponizing antisemitism to defend far-left operatives who happen to be Jewish is a new low! . . . Let’s fight real antisemitism, and not defeat ourselves by confusing criticism of progressive politics with Jew hatred.”
Similarly, liberal Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “No single person has done more to damage Israel’s standing in the world, especially among so-called progressives, than George Soros. His financial support has multiplied the influence of the two major organizations [Human Rights Watch and J Street] that have done the most to shift the left wing paradigm against Israel.”
Instead of defending Soros, in order to do her job properly Lipstadt should be condemning Soros for spending millions of dollars every year funding dozens of organizations in addition to the two mentioned by Professor Dershowitz (including organizations affiliated with Palestinian Arab terror groups) that demonize and promote antisemitic boycotts of Jews and the Jewish state; and “racial justice” groups that promote anti-Jewish libels and boycotts, and perpetrated violent anti-Jewish pogroms in the U.S.
(See, e.g., “ZOA: Here are the Facts: Radical Anti-Zionist George Soros Funds Antisemitic Groups Black Lives Matter/M4BL,” Aug. 24, 2020; “Jewish Billionaire George Soros Funds Groups That Support Boycotts Of Israel,” by Jordan Zaitchik, B’nai Brith Canada; “ZOA to ADL: Apologize/Retract ADL’s “Abhorrent” Attack Against Pro-Israel Cong. Gohmert,” Dec. 11, 2018; NGO Monitor report on Soros funding of anti-Israel organizations; Leaked Soros OSF foundation document showing millions of dollars of funding to groups and projects opposing Israel.)
Truthful and accurate criticisms of Soros and his past are not “conspiracy theories.” Elon Musk was correct to criticize Soros. As Israeli Ambassador of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli (who is entrusted with combating antisemitism) tweeted:
“Criticism of Soros – who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is anything but antisemitism, quite the opposite!” We agree.
In addition to his current and decades-long financing of antisemitic anti-Israel hate groups, Soros stated during his infamous 60 Minutes Interview that he felt no guilt about helping his godfather, a Nazi official, confiscate other Hungarian Jews’ property in 1944 (video), as follows:
Q: My understanding is that you went out with this [Nazi] protector of yours, who swore that you were his adopted godson.
Soros: Yes, yes.
Q: Went out in fact and helped with the confiscation of property from the Jews.
Soros: That’s right, yes.
Q: That sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?
Soros: Not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t see the connection. But it created no problem at all.
Q: No feeling of guilt?
We are also concerned that last month, Lipstadt apparently approvingly retweeted Biden’s “International Religious Freedom” Envoy Rashad Hussain’s tweet about wrongly pressuring Israel. A U.S. State Department report reveals that Rashad Hussain pressured Israel to provide more egalitarian space at the Western Wall, and to enforce a so-called “status quo” on the Temple Mount that the Biden administration seems to interpret as forbidding Jews from praying on Judaism’s holiest site. Apparently, the Biden envoys’ interpretation of “religious freedom” does not include religious freedom for Jews. If Lipstadt were doing her job, she would be condemning the Biden administration’s antisemitic opposition to Jewish presence on Judaism’s holiest site.
In 2021, ZOA and others urged that Lipstadt should be disqualified from becoming the U.S. Combatting Antisemitism Envoy, because Lipstadt: defended and promoted then-candidate Joe Biden’s obscene, absurd comparison of philosemitic former President Donald Trump to the Jew-hating Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Lipstadt also defended then-candidate Ralph Warnock’s antisemitism; and praised the far-left New Israel Fund (which funds antisemitic BDS, anti-Israel smear campaigns, and false accusations that IDF defenders of Israel are “war criminals”). Lipstadt also accused Israeli officials and others who oppose NIF of “McCarthyism” and called those who correctly criticize NIF “enemies of the Jewish people.”
(For details on Lipstadt’s deeply concerning record, see, e.g., “ZOA: Deborah Lipstadt is a Divisive, Partisan, Wrong Choice for Antisemitism Envoy,” July 30, 2021; “ZOA Condemns Holocaust Lecturer Deborah Lipstadt for Defending & Promoting Biden’s Obscene Comparison of Trump to Nazi Goebbels,” Oct. 7, 2020; “ZOA Concerned: Israeli Prime Minister Bennet Condemns the Anti-Israel New Israel Fund (NIF), Yet Deborah Lipstadt Praises NIF; Accuses NIF’s Critics of ‘McCarthyism’,” Aug. 3, 2021; “Deborah Lipstadt Should be Voted Down by the Senate,” by Jackson Richman, Washington Examiner, Aug. 3, 2021; “Melanie Phillips Praises ZOA: ‘Once Again, Only ZOA Exposes a Truth Jews Afraid to Cite’ – Problems With Lipstad,” Aug. 6, 2021 “Jewish Press: Has Deborah Lipstadt Undercut Both Herself and Future Antisemitism Envoys?,” by Bennett Ruda, Dec. 12, 2021.)
Unfortunately, Lipstadt’s defense of George Soros last week again demonstrates that we were correct to oppose Lipstadt’s appointment as antisemitism envoy.