Tuesday, March 20, 2007
by Martin Peretz - The New Republic
Post date: 02.02.07
Issue date: 02.12.07
George Soros lunched with some reporters on Saturday at Davos. He talked
about spending $600 million on civil society projects during the 1990s,
then trying to cut back to $300 million, and how this year it will be
between $450 and $500 million. His new projects aim, in Floyd Norris's
words, to promote a "common European foreign policy" (read: an
anti-American foreign policy) and also to study the integration (or so he
thinks) of Muslims in eleven European cities. He included among his dicta
a little slight at Bill and Melinda Gates, who "have chosen public health,
which is like apple pie." And then, after saying the United States was now
recognizing the errors it made in Iraq, he added this comment, as reported
by Norris in The New York Times' online "Davos Diary": "To what extent it
recognizes the mistake will determine its future." Soros said Turkey and
Japan were still hurt by a reluctance to admit to dark parts of their
history and contrasted that reluctance to Germany's rejection of its
Nazi-era past. "America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in
Germany. We have to go through a certain deNazification process."
No, you are not seeing things. He said de-Nazification. He is not saying,
in the traditional manner of liberal alarmists, that the United States is
now where Weimar Germany was. He is saying that the United States is now
where Germany after Weimar was. Even for Davos, this was stupid. Actually,
worse than stupid. There is a historical analysis, a moral claim, in
Soros's word. He believes that the United States is now a Nazi country.
Why else would we have to go through a "certain de-Nazification process"?
I defy anybody to interpret the remark differently. The analogy between
Bush's America and Hitler's Germany is not fleshed out, and one is left
wondering how far he would take it. Is Bush like Hitler? If it is
"de-Nazification" that we need, then in some sense Bush must be like
Hitler. Was the invasion of Iraq like the invasion of Poland? Perhaps. The
more one lingers over Soros's word, the more one's eyes pop from one's
head. In the old days, the Amerika view of America was propagated by angry
kids on their painful way to adulthood; now, it is propagated by the
Maecenas of the Democratic Party.
But nobody seems to have noticed. I did not see Soros's canard reported in
other places, and on the Times' website on the day I saw it there were
only four comments. Imagine the outcry if a Republican moneybags--say,
Richard Mellon Scaife--had declared that Hillary Clinton is a communist or
that Bill Clinton's America had been in need of a certain de-Stalinization
process. But I hear no outcry from Soros's congregation. People who were
repelled by Bush's rather plausible notion of the "axis of evil" seem
untroubled by Soros's imputation of even worse evil to Bush. Because Bush
really is a fascist, isn't he? And Cheney, too; and Donald Rumsfeld, and
Antonin Scalia, and even Joe Lieberman, right? Or so I fear too many
liberals now believe. There seems to be a renaissance among liberals of
the view that there are no enemies to the left. I hear no Democrats
expressing embarrassment, or revulsion, at Soros's comment. Whether this
silence is owed to their agreement or to their greed, it is outrageous.
But if Soros lives in a Nazi state, what does that make him? I still
recall Karl Jaspers's devastating point, in The Question of German Guilt
in 1947, that every German shares in the guilt of Hitlerism. Such guilt
was not, in Jaspers's mind, an abstraction or a purely political matter.
But Soros does not appear to accept any responsibility for the Nazi-like
crimes he ascribes to the United States. Perhaps he thinks that, having
contributed $18 million to elect John Kerry in 2004, he was an American
hero, a dissident, a resistance fighter, the Grill Room's representative
of the White Rose. And if, in 2008, Soros's gang comes to power, how will
de-Nazification work? Whom shall we send to prison? Perhaps we should
prevent everybody who voted or argued for the war from running for office.
At the very least, the neocons must be brought to justice. (Maybe Ramsey
Clark can represent them.)
hat makes Soros's remark even more twisted is that he himself experienced
something of Nazism. He was 14 when the Nazis entered Budapest. On
December 20, 1998, there appeared this exchange between Soros and Steve
Kroft on "60 Minutes":
Kroft: "You're a Hungarian Jew ..."
Kroft: "... who escaped the Holocaust ..."
Kroft: "... by posing as a Christian."
Kroft: "And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death
Soros: "Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that's when my
character was made."
Kroft: "In what way?"
Soros: "That one should think ahead. One should understand that--and
anticipate events and when, when one is threatened. It was a tremendous
threat of evil. I mean, it was a-- a very personal threat of evil."
Kroft: "My understanding is that you went ... went out, in fact, and
helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews."
Soros: "Yes, that's right. Yes."
Kroft: "I mean, that's--that sounds like an experience that would send
lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it
Soros: "Not, not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't ... you
don't see the connection. But it was--it created no--no problem at all."
Kroft: "No feeling of guilt?"
Kroft: "For example, that, 'I'm Jewish, and here I am, watching these
people go. I could just as easily be these, I should be there.' None of
Soros: "Well, of course, ... I could be on the other side or I could be
the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense
that I shouldn't be there, because that was--well, actually, in a funny
way, it's just like in the markets--that is I weren't there--of course, I
wasn't doing it, but somebody else would--would--would be taking it away
anyhow. And it was the--whether I was there or not, I was only a
spectator, the property was being taken away. So the--I had no role in
taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt."
So this is the psychodrama that has been visited on American liberalism.
We learn Soros never has nightmares. Had he been tried in a
de-Nazification process for having been a young cog in the Hitlerite
wheel, he would have felt that, since other people would have confiscated
the same Jewish property and delivered the same deportation notices to the
same doomed Jews, it was as if he hadn't done it himself. He sleeps well,
while we sleep in Nazi America.
oros is ostentatiously indifferent to his own Jewishness. He is not a
believer. He has no Jewish communal ties. He certainly isn't a Zionist. He
told Connie Bruck in The New Yorker--testily, she recounted--that "I don't
deny the Jews their right to a national existence--but I don't want to be
part of it." But he has involved himself in the founding of an anti-aipac,
more dovish Israel lobby. Suddenly, he wants to influence the character of
a Jewish state about which he loudly cares nothing. Once again, he bears
no responsibility. Perhaps his sense of his own purity also underwrites
his heartlessness in business. As a big currency player in the world
markets, Soros was at least partially responsible for the decline in the
Forget my differences with Soros's Jewishness. Call it shul politics. But
the characterization of the United States under Bush as Nazi is much
bigger, and more grave, than shul politics. It casts a shadow over U.S.
politics. In the same conversation at Davos, Soros announced that he is
supporting Senator Barack Obama, though he would also support Senator
Hillary Clinton. So my question to both of those progressives is this:
How, without any explanation or apology from him, will you take this man's
Martin Peretz is editor-in-chief of The New Republic.
2. Supreme Court Sleaze:
3. The New Blood Libel
New York Sun Staff Editorial
March 19, 2007
Since at least the Middle Ages, the approach of Easter has been marked
anti-Semites who make the false allegation that Jews slaughter gentile
children and use their blood to bake unleavened bread for Passover.
alleged bloodthirst among the Jews is a classic anti-Semitic myth,
the blood libel, that has been used over the years to justify the
killing of many actual Jews.
This holiday season, a new blood libel is being bandied about, though
wielding it would be appalled to think they are dealing in the same
They are, after all, neither Cossacks nor rednecks marauding through
woods of Eastern Europe or the American South. We are not saying they
anti-Semites. They are a two-time Pulitzer-Prize winner and a
philanthropist, writing in publications that appeal to an intellectual
audience in America.
Here's the two-time Pulitzer-winner, Nicholas Kristof, in yesterday's
York Times: "B'Tselem, a respected Israeli human rights organization,
reports that last year Palestinians killed
17 Israeli civilians (including one minor) and six Israeli soldiers. In
same period, B'Tselem said, Israeli forces killed 660 Palestinians,
the number killed in 2005. Of the Palestinians killed in 2006, half
taking part in hostilities at the time they were killed, and 141 were
Here is the billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, writing in the
York Review of Books of April 12: "The current policy of not seeking a
political solution but pursuing military escalation - not just an eye
eye but roughly speaking ten Palestinian lives for every Israeli one -
reached a particularly dangerous point."
Aside from the fact that Israel was being attacked by the Palestinians
withdrawing to the 1967 borders of the Gaza Strip, here's some context
Mr. Kristof left out. B'Tselem is funded by German church groups, the
governments of Switzerland and the European Union, and the same Ford
Foundation that underwrote the anti-Israel agitation that preceded the
United Nations' Durban conference.
Moreover, the statistics Mr. Kristof cites don't include Israelis
other Arab terrorists working in league with the Palestinian Arabs and
funded by the same Iranian terror master. In 2006, that included 43
civilians and 117 Israeli soldiers who were killed in the war with
Lebanese-based Hezbollah. The B'Tselem statistics do include - but Mr.
Kristof omits - the 55 Palestinian Arabs killed in 2006 by other
Arabs, a figure to which can be added another 84 killed in intramural
violence in January and February of 2007.
For these deaths, it seems Mr. Kristof hasn't yet figured out how to
the Israelis. Nor does Mr. Kristof's selective use of the B'Tselem
statistics include the Americans and those from other countries who
killed by Palestinian Arab terrorists, such as Daniel Wultz, a
from Florida who was slain in a 2006 suicide attack on the old central
station in Tel Aviv.
More broadly, both Messrs. Soros and Kristof ignore an essential
The Israelis are out to minimize both their own casualties and those of
noncombatants behind whom their enemies hide. They build bomb shelters
every building and have established a culture where civil rights
independent commissions, and a Supreme Court investigate allegations of
misconduct beyond the collateral damage that is an inevitable
The Palestinian Arabs, in contrast, are out to maximize casualties,
their children as suicide bombers in hopes that they will become
so that gullible Westerners who haven't thought the matter through will
their deaths to extract concessions from Israel. The Palestinian Arabs
attack Israeli civilian targets such as pizza parlors, banquet halls,
wedding parties, and buses as a matter of policy, while the Israeli
goes to great lengths to avoid targeting civilians.
Given Mr. Soros' significance as the moneybags of the activist core of
Democratic Party, it is going to be illuminating to see how the party
to the billionaire's call for the party to "liberate itself from
influence." In his New York Review of Books piece Mr. Soros comes
close to buying into the whole paranoia of Professors Mearsheimer and
Mr. Soros, who describes himself in the New York Review of Books as
a Zionist nor "a practicing Jew," claims to have a great deal of
"for my fellow Jews" plus "a deep concern for the survival of Israel."
says he is prepared to be subjected to "a campaign of personal
vilification." We don't desire to vilify either Messrs. Soros or
nor do we draw any conclusions about their motives. At a certain point,
though, people stop caring about what their motives are.
The fact is that they write at a time when a war against the Jews is
underway. It is a war in which the American people have stood with
for three generations. The reason is the same that moved America to
side it took in the war against the Nazis and communists, from whom Mr.
Soros fled as a youth in Europe. The reason is that Americans are wise
enough to understand which side in the war against the Jews shares our
values - and to sort out the truth from the libels.
4. More NY Slimes:
5. March 20, 2007
Straight Talk on Palestine
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
March 20, 2007; Page A19
Even before the Palestinian "unity" government was sworn in Saturday at
least five European countries announced that they would resume their
business with the Hamas-led coalition.
The U.S. has endorsed Israel's position on the Palestinian government --
namely, that its political platform does not meet the conditions set by
the so-called "Quartet" of the U.S., EU, U.N. and Russia for ending the
boycott. Washington is now under heavy pressure from its Arab allies in
the Middle East to deal with it.
Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh.
But the U.S. should stand firm. The Palestinian government is not
committed to the Quartet's demands that it renounce violence, recognize
Israel and abide by agreements signed with Israel in the past. The
speeches delivered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his new
Hamas partner, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, at Saturday's parliamentary
session show that the Palestinians are determined instead to continue
their strategy of double-talk.
Neither the president nor the prime minister openly called for an end to
terrorism or for recognizing Israel's right to exist. And to add to the
confusion, the two men came up with a political program that contains many
contradictions and ambiguities.
The wording of the program was drafted in such a way as to allow both
Hamas and Fatah to argue that neither party had totally abandoned its
traditional position. The equivocal tone is also designed to appease the
Americans and Europeans. After all, the main goal of the new coalition is
to get the international community to resume desperately needed financial
With regard to the three main demands of the Quartet, the program leaves
the door wide open for different interpretations.
On the issue of terrorism, the program states that the new government
"stresses that resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people
. . . and our people have the right to defend themselves against any
Israeli aggression." But the program also says that the new government
will "work toward consolidating the tahdiya [period of calm] and extending
it [to the West Bank] so that it becomes a comprehensive and mutual
The program sets a number of conditions for halting the "resistance" --
ending the "occupation" and achieving independence and the right of return
for Palestinian refugees, as well as an end to Israeli security measures
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (including the construction of the
security fence). In other words, Fatah and Hamas are saying that the
violence will continue as long as Israel does not meet these demands.
Regarding Israel's right to exist, the program does not even mention the
name Israel. Instead, it refers to Israel as "The Occupation." It also
makes no mention of the two-state solution. Rather, it reiterates the
Palestinians' opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state with
Although the document declares that the "key to peace and stability is
contingent on ending the occupation of Palestinian lands and recognizing
the Palestinian people's right to self-determination," it does not specify
which "lands" -- those captured by Israel in 1967 or 1948.
Fatah representatives, of course, argue that the program refers only to
the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Hamas, on the other hand,
will be able to argue that the phrase "Palestinian lands" applies also to
all of Mandatory Palestine.
Referring to the third demand of the Quartet -- abiding by agreements
between the PLO and Israel -- the political program states that the new
government will only "respect" agreements signed by the PLO.
Hamas leaders have already explained that there is a huge difference
between "respecting" an agreement and making a pledge to fulfill it. In
other words, Hamas is saying that while it accepts the agreements with
Israel as an established fact, it will not carry them out.
Elsewhere in the program, the new government says that it will abide by
unspecified U.N. and Arab summit resolutions, leaving the door open for
Fatah to claim that this is tantamount to recognizing the two-state
solution and all the agreements with Israel. Fatah will cite the 2002 Arab
peace plan that implicitly recognizes Israel.
Hamas, on the other hand, can always claim that among the Arab summit
resolutions that it intends to abide by is the one taken in Khartoum,
Sudan, in September 1967. The resolution contains what became known as
"the three no's" of Arab-Israel relations: no peace with Israel, no
recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.
Although the program makes it clear that the PLO, and not the new
Hamas-led coalition, will be responsible for conducting negotiations with
Israel, it also seeks to tie the hands of President Abbas by stating that
any "fateful" agreement must be approved by the Palestinians in the
PA-controlled areas and abroad through a referendum.
The program, moreover, closes the door to any potential concessions on the
problem of the refugees by emphasizing their "right of return to their
lands and property [inside Israel]."
The international community must demand an end to the era of ambiguity and
double-talk. If the new government is opposed to terror, there is no
reason why it should not state this loudly and clearly.
If it recognizes Israel -- as some of its members claim -- then why not
announce this in unequivocal language? The international community must
insist that the messages coming out of the Palestinian leaders be the same
in both English and Arabic.
There is no point in pouring millions of dollars on the "unity" government
as long as it's not prepared to make a clear and firm commitment to halt
terror and recognize Israel's right to exist.
Mr. Toameh is Palestinian affairs editor of the Jerusalem Post.
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