Well,well; it’s amazing what one finds out by reading the Guardian. Had I not read the October 28th editorial “In praise (I think that’s British understatement) of George Soros” for instance, I would never have discovered that I’m apparently of a curmudgeonly persuasion.
It turns out too that I’m deemed to remain “an ill-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions” (according to the dictionary) for the Guardian informs me that “[o]nly the most curmudgeonly of his critics could fail to admire what the billionaire is doing with his money”.
As a socialist, I do resent the fact that the Soros fortune was mostly made by carelessly playing around with the lives of the little people affected by currency speculation. Short sellers and operators of hedge funds for the super-rich are not the traditional type of praiseworthy hero for a Left of centre newspaper, but the Guardian’s apparent ‘conversion’ indicates just how far it is prepared to go in sanctifying the methods in order to realise the aim.
I’m afraid that I must also plead guilty to holding on to the stubborn notion that the legalisation of drugs – one of Soros’ pet campaigns – is not a positive step for society to take, particularly in light of the well-known link between drugs and the financing of terror, but also due to my experience as a health-care professional who has often had to deal with the devastating effects of drug use not only upon the lives of addicts themselves, but also upon their families and even innocent bystanders.
But the aspect of Soros’ ‘chequebook advocacy’ which makes me most ill-tempered is his support for organisations which aim to eliminate the Jewish nature of Israel and undermine the elected government of a democratic nation by means of delegitimisation. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to live in a society in which we count votes, not cash; in which every voice carries equal weight, regardless of wealth or connections. The sad thing is that once upon a time, the Guardian believed in that too.
Soros’ ‘Open Society Institute’ funds a whole host of operations in Israel such as Adalah, Peace Now, Breaking the Silence, Gisha and Yesh Din. Adalah works towards a one-state ‘solution’ in which the Jewish nature of Israel would be replaced by a “democratic, bilingual and multicultural” framework. Jewish immigration would only be permitted for “humanitarian reasons.” In other words, millions of Palestinian refugees would be brought to Israel, but Jews would be severely limited in their right to immigrate as the Law of Return would have been abolished. Adalah promotes the erroneous and delegitimising concept of ‘Israeli apartheid’ and contributed significantly to the infamous Goldstone Report. Soros’ Open Society Institute has provided legal assistance to Adalah in its attempts to overturn the Israeli law which states that spouses from enemy states are not automatically granted Israeli citizenship for reasons of security. That’s not only foreign intervention in the internal legal affairs of a sovereign state, but also reckless gambling with the lives of Israeli citizens.
Soros recently donated $100,000,000 in matched funding over a period of 10 years to Human Rights Watch. Readers will no doubt remember that just over a year ago Human Rights Watch’s founder, Robert Bernstein, accused the organization of “helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state”. The generous Soros pledge does not bode well for any kind of improvement in the organizational culture at HRW ; in fact one might even say that this is a case of ‘birds of a feather’ joining forces – supposed political agenda-free ‘human rights’ activists using the language of civil rights and democracy in order to promote extremist ideology. And if that sounds a little far-fetched, consider the following.
The vice-chair of Human Rights Watch’s Children’s Rights department is Bernardine Dohrn – a Clinical Associate Professor at Northwestern University’s Department of Law and formerly a member of the advisory board of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has also enjoyed Soros funding. Of course North American readers may better remember her as a member of the radical Weather Underground Organisation which was active in domestic terrorism in the USA in the 1970s. Yet another former Weather Underground member, Linda Evans, was the recipient of a ‘Soros Justice Fellowship’.
However,it appears that old radicals do not change their spots; in December 2009 Dohrn and her husband Bill Ayres (also a former Weather Underground leader) were to be found in Egypt on the Gaza Freedom March organized by the Free Gaza Movement which includes George Galloway’s ‘Viva Palestina’, the Muslim Brotherhood linked IHH and the Hamas sympathizing International Solidarity Movement, as well as the Movement for a Democratic Society, (under the umbrella of the ‘US Campaign to end the Israeli Occupation) of which Dohrn is a member and which is a reconstituted version of ‘Students for a Democratic Society’ which gave birth to the Weather Underground group. Dorhn blogged about her Egyptian trip:
“As we stood in the morning chill of the stunningly polluted Cairo sky, those boarding the buses felt that it was a partial victory to have two busloads depart for Gaza, that we would take supplies, and witness the realities of life under the occupation/blockade. We thought that our primary objective was to break the isolation of Gaza, and to join with the civil society forces there who wanted us to come join them.”
Here then we have a member of the Soros funded Human Rights Watch who is prepared to go beyond the compilation of excessive numbers of biased reports in order to delegitimise Israel and actually lend physical co-operation to the attempts by Hamas to gain international support for the breaking of the blockade aimed at preventing terrorists from getting their hands on weapons with which to kill, maim and intimidate the Israeli civilian population.
Dohrn’s penchant for violent radicals is by no means confined to Hamas; anybody who is against Israel as a Jewish state will apparently be deserving of her support, as indicated by the fact that she travelled to Tel Aviv in March 2010 in order to meet representatives of the ‘Smash EDO’ group from Brighton in the UK and far Left activists from Israel. According to their own reports, they discussed “strategies” and a “plan for the future”.
One has to ask just how these actions of a member of an organization funded by Soros can possibly align with his purported visions of “vibrant and tolerant democracy”, and of course they don’t unless one is either terminally naïve or incurably stupid. The Guardian is neither, but it is part of that section of world opinion which is so drugged up on anti-Israel propaganda (including its own) that it no longer distinguishes between an existing democracy and ideologically inspired attempts to destroy it. That is why it has no problem wasting column space on praising a man who circumvents and undermines democracy by use of hard cash, just as long as he fits in with the “progressive” anti-Israel agenda.
If objecting to such forms of pseudo-philanthropy makes me ‘curmudgeonly’, then so be it. In the case of Soros, it’s a label I’ll wear with pride.