As Alana reported yesterday, the Jewish Funds for Justice twisted itself into a pretzel in an effort to avoid criticizing left-wing financier George Soros for his comments on CNN on Sunday in which he compared FOX News to Nazi propagandists. According to the group, all Soros was doing was discussing the history of the press in the Weimar Republic.
Nice try. But we doubt that the group that organized an ad denouncing Glenn Beck and FOX News honcho Roger Aisles for their inappropriate allusions to the Nazis when referring to the left — and that scrupulously avoided referencing any of the numerous instances of left-wing hate speech wherein Nazi terms were wrongly thrown around — wouldn’t accept that sort of a weasel-worded rationalization from supporters of Beck or anybody else on the right.
But this isn’t the first time that George Soros has played the Nazi-comparison game. In fact, it is hard to think of anyone who is fonder of this sort of insult than Soros. Here are two of the more celebrated instances of his use of this kind of language:
In November 2003, Soros told the Guardian that defeating George W. Bush’s re-election was crucial because of the administration’s “supremacist ideology.”
He uses the emotive terms like “supremacist ideology” deliberately, saying that some of the rhetoric coming from the White House reminded him of his childhood in Nazi-occupied Hungary. “When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans,” he said in yesterday’s interview. “My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me.”
And in 2006, in his book The Age of Fallibility, Soros compared Bush’s campaign to “the Nazi and Communist propaganda machine.”
At this point nobody — and that includes the Jewish Funds for Justice — should be laboring under any illusions about George Soros’s willingness to make inappropriate comparisons between Republicans and Nazis. This is not a question of interpretation or a misunderstanding or just a public figure engaging in hyperbole in the heat of the moment. Soros thinks there’s little difference between American conservatives and Nazis and has said so repeatedly.
That is why it is disappointing to see that the Jewish Funds for Justice — a group that devotes most of its energies to raising money for inner-city development projects that are praiseworthy but that has decided to raise its profile by statements that purport to defend the memory of the Holocaust from political exploitation — would rather play the hypocrite than to take on Soros for the same offense it thought so awful when committed by Beck and FOX.
We believe that any comparisons of contemporary political figures, parties, or news organizations to the Nazis are out of bounds no matter who is doing the talking. And we stand by our own criticisms of Beck’s comments about Soros’s experiences during the Holocaust that the Jewish Funds for Justice quoted in its ad.
It is one thing to criticize union extremists and Democrats in Wisconsin for their inappropriate Nazi slurs, as the Jewish Funds for Justice did this weekend, albeit while also attempting to downplay the offenses in a manner that could just as easily be applied to similar incidents involving the Tea Party. But until this group is willing to show us that they have the guts to denounce Soros, a truly powerful figure on the left, for his repeated use of the same slanders, I’m afraid no one should take seriously any further statements from this group about inappropriate rhetoric.