Left-Wing Rabbis Condemn Right-Wing Pundit

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Someone tell me why this is news?

For the record, I don’t know what point Glenn Beck was intending to make about George Soros, and he may have exaggerated about the extent of Soros’ participation as Jewish property was being confiscated by the Nazis. But Beck was careful to say that Soros was not a voluntary participant, and it is accurate that Soros was being sheltered by a man who had to confiscate Jewish property.

There is nothing here worth condemning, and we have heard far worse rhetoric from both sides. All it is is a politically motivated attack, and evidence of the left’s knee-jerk reaction policy. They are trying to make Beck the story rather than Soros, who spends his wealth supporting left-wing and anti-Israel causes (remember the lengths to which J-Street went to hide the fact that Soros was a major funder). It’s interesting that the Orthodox rabbis who joined with various leftists on the petition are so “prominent” that none of their names are mentioned in any of the materials thus far. I guess we will have to wait for the ads to appear to know the identity of the 400 rabbis.

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21 Responses

  1. One Christian's perspective says:

    “On the other hand he (George Soros) was one of the main causes in bringing communism’s downfall in Eastern Europe. This downfall has allowed the remaining Jews of Eastern Europe to come and go as they please, as well as provide a possibility for new Jewish institutions to florish.” – evanstonjew

    Interesting comment on George Soros. Another point-of view, appeared in the “Washington Times”, Feb. 3, 2011, entitled “Regan an Actor on God’s Stage, son says”. The article jumped out at me because I had just read in the Book of Isaiah, that God is Sovereign over human history and raises up rulers and brings them down.
    Michael Regan, in the article, responds to a comment Lady Margaret Thatcher made to him that she often thought it was tragic that Ronald Regan was not elected in 1976: perhaps the Cold War would have ended four years earlier and the would would have been spared so much suffering”. Michael responds with “Actually, I think Ronald Regan became president at exactly the right time. If he’d been elected in 1976, I don’t think he would have accomplished so much. …… My father needed allies to bring down the Iron Curtain. Lady Thatcher, you were Dad’s strongest ally, and you became prime minister in 1979. Pope John Paul II came on the scene in 1978 – and his visit to Poland sparked the rise of Lech Walsea and the Solidarity movement. And there was Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia in 1977. And Mikhail; Gorbachev didn’t
    come to power until 1985. None of Dad’s allies were in place in 1976 – but nearly all of you were there in 1981. It took all of you, working together, to end the Cold War.” Why, I never thought of that, she said. ” I(Michael) believe God chooses the times and selects the people to accomplish his purpose in the world. …..God chose the right time for Ronald Regan’s election. … On March 30, 1981, He arranged events to the split second to prevent my father from being killed by an assassin’s bullet. And He chose the right time for the Iron Curtain to fall. God places the actors on the grand stage of history. As they play their parts, the drama of history unfolds.”

    George Soros, from your comment, was playing a part. Who knows what other ‘players’ not so famous who also played a part but the real glory belongs to God, Maker of Heaven and Earth who sustains all things by His Word and power……….and that is very exciting.

  2. raphael berger says:

    L. Oberstien,need I remind you that Joe Lieberman spoke at the 2008 republican convention and endorsed mcain/palin.

  3. evanstonjew says:

    It’s very difficult to refute slanders against George Soros when being a liberal and in favor of democracy or Obama is considered a terrible sin. Soros is indeed not interested in Judaism or being Jewish or even Israel, and he has given virtually no money to Jewish causes. On the other hand he was one of the main causes in bringing communism’s downfall in Eastern Europe. This downfall has allowed the remaining Jews of Eastern Europe to come and go as they please, as well as provide a possibility for new Jewish institutions to florish.

    I personally feel Soros has done much good, and it is outrageous he should be forced to defend himself against the likes of Glen Beck.I find it very troubling that good Jews cannot see the ruse that singles out Soros but means the demonic power of the Jews, and their control of everything.

    Fortunately there is material on the internet detailing how his billionas donated to charity have been spent, as well as his own account of his years in Budapest during the Nazi occupation. They speak eloquently in his defense.

  4. L. Oberstein says:

    Conspiracy theories are best left to the Middle East. Today I learned by watching CNN (while walking on the treadmill at the JCC) that the pro-regime Egyptian media is blaming the demonstrations in Tahrir Square on an alliance of the USA,Israel and Hizbolla and Hamas. Who can argue with that logic. Again, I have no stake in defending Soros. I do have one in believing that the elected President of the United States is, at the moment, seeming to be following Israel’s advise on how to deal with unfolding events in Egypt. He is clearly backing Suliman and ignoring El Baradai. Israel couldn’t have asked for better if it were pullng the strings (which the Arabs believe Israel does anyway).Obama has followed and srengthened Bush’s war in Afganistan and the Wiki Leaks show how allied Israel and the USA are. So, even those who oppose Universal Health Care and would have preferred a major Depression over loans to the auto companies, should by now recognize that our President is not an anti Semite. If he advocates solutions that I myself am sceptical of, that does not make him more anti Israel than a large percentage of Isaelis. Hatred of Obama has gone too far adn in that I agree with Avi Shafran. He is a Republican, I am happy to call myself a Democrat in the Joe Lieberman mold, whatever that may mean nowadays.

  5. One Christian's perspective says:

    L. Oberstein, I meant no disrespect to you or the Jewish people by my comments. Over the years, when you have explained how and why your perceptions were shaped, you toughed my heart with your humanity – the image of G-d. My perception too has been developed by my experiences as well. My father’s danish countrymen rescued most of their neighbors who happened to be Jewish while the merchant ship on which he sailed was confiscated by the USA so it would not fall into German hands. My very good friend has lost all of her relatives in the Holocaust. In my youth, I worked at a bank in a Jewish neighborhood and met and cherished many survivors who bore numbers engraved on their arms. In later years, my Jewish friend and I met with a retired Catholic Priest – a stranger to both of us – who willingly and kindly translated her mom’s remembrances of her farewell to her relatives and her last days in Poland before coming to America. This priest from Poland, whom we met by God’s providence, happened to be placed in Dachau for 5 years because of his faith and one day before his scheduled termination, the camp was freed. He saw the very documents that ordered his termination. He and his family had many Jewish friends in Poland.

    I am studying the book of Isaiah this year. This morning I read chapter 41 and was greatly encouraged by G-d’s hand in the course of Israel’s history. His promise to Israel to alleviate their fears: “All who rage against you will be ashamed & disgraced; those who oppose you will perish as nothing. Your enemies enemies will not be found. Do not be afraid, do not fear, I MYSELF will help you declares the L-RD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”

    Sir, the Nazi’s are no more. Native peoples were ashamed and disgraced when the allies opened the gates of the camps and marched them through to see the horrors that were committed in their midst that they ignored. The Holy One of Israel is more powerful than those like Kleenex that dissolve into nothing. He hasn’t changed.

    I don’t believe the Holocaust is trivialized in the hearts and minds of righteous informed people of all nations. Museums dedicated to those who suffered so horribly in this realm of evil have been opened and visited by Jews and gentiles alike. They are hard to walk through without tears and great sadness and pain. Yet, I cannot allow the depths of mankind’s disgrace through vile evil deeds to bring my spirit down to despair because my hope is in the L-RD whose grace is greater than anything. Righteous people remember this evil as if it just happened because that is what it seems like it is so recent, but in His great love and mercy, G-d has given the Jewish people a Passover to remember and many other miracles of His mighty works. There will always be well-meaning or not so well-meaning people who will offend and hurt……..because our world is broken. We no longer live in the Garden. After Sept 11, 2001, my pastor said “the seeds of evil dwell in the hearts of each of us” and it is up to us to not water them but this can only be done through G-d’s power and grace. Those who have no fear or love of G-d are either doomed to repeat history or to be shown what G-d has shown us – His love.

  6. david l.bernstien says:

    In response to Rabbi Oberstien,I apologize and ask mechila from Rabbi Shafran and CC if the tone of my post was vituperative and offensive.I will not,however, apologise for the the intent of what I wrote as it came in response to something more than just offensive but rather down right dangerous.Lets first establish some facts. It is obvious and well documented that George Soros is a man with blatantly evil ideas regarding Israel(not to mention other issues).He might very well have the status of a “tinnuk shenishba”,but that is irrelevant to our discussion.It is also a well documented fact that Soros was and is the major financial patron of President Obama ,and as such is extremly influential in matters of policy that he finds of interest or import.This leads to the logical and irrefutable conclusion that regarding Obama’s Israel policy,the president is susceptible to the influence of, if not in full agreement with, Soro’s toxic,repulsive views.I went back and “chazered” Rabbi Shafrans posts to see if I was mistaken in what I perceived to be his intentions.Unfortunetly I was not.Rabbi Shafran clearly opined that we,Jews, not be overly judgemental regarding the Presindents Israel policy and “history will have its say in time”.Implicit in this approach is to absurdly disregard/whitewash the Obama/Soros connection(not to mention all the other points Rabbi Rosenblum raised ).Rabbi Shafran is a widely read writer, connected to a powerful and influential organization who’s words carry much wieght.A naive voter might feel inclined to vote for Obama after reading Rabbi Shafran complain that we dont give the poor President his due accolades(“Mr Obama simply cannot win”).Worse yet a fence sitting politician might feel inclined to follow the Presindents/Soros lead on Israel policy knowing that a major Jewish spokesman will have his back,reserve judgement and not criticize.Even the small posibility of the above happening “chas vashalom ” and compromising the safety of Israel is enough to make Rabbi Shafran’s post highly irresponible.Rabbi Oberstien mentions “Jewish values and mentchlichkite”,none is more important that protecting Jewish life,hence i stand by the intent of my original post.

  7. Sara Politi says:

    Soros uses his Jewish heritage only when he wants to condemn anything Conservatives. Sorus stated that his mother was very anti-Semitic. His father selected the man for his son to live with. Sorus stated that he was not bothered by the actions of his guardian. In fact it one of the best times of his life.

    Anyone who says Glenn Beck is a fear-mongerer who uses Holocaust and Nazi too much has either not watched and read his works or they hate him for being an effective conservative.

  8. L. Oberstein says:

    I cannot accept that”Today, many decades after WWII, the name “Nazi” has become a trademark, if you will, much like “Kleenex” has to the tissue industry. ”

    I have not reason to defend Soros or to justify any of his words. He is who he is and when one is a billionaire, he can buy a lot of attention and power to influence others. Unfortunately, he and many others do not see Eretz Yisroel the way I do. He is not alone and Israel is in for a rough period if there is upheaval in the Middle East.

    I do not feel that it is in our interests to join in trivializing the Holocaust,even if others do. I also find it disheartening when people who know better accept demangogue as spokeemen for American values. The decline in comity, the willingness to throw all “liberals”, all “Democrats”, all people who call for decency in dialogue into the same cess pool, which I see from time to time in certain comments, is a cause for sadness.

  9. One Christian's perspective says:

    Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 02/ 3/2011 Washington Post
    Soros blames Jews for Egypt
    By Jennifer Rubin

    “Today George Soros’s latest dose of vitriol against Israel appears in the pages of The Post. Soros vouches for a potential Egyptian government comprised of the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed ElBaradei. But then he goes on:

    The main stumbling block is Israel. In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is no longer monolithic or the sole representative of the Jewish community. The main danger is that the Obama administration will not adjust its policies quickly enough to the suddenly changed reality.”

    L. Oberstein:
    “I wish some Hungarian Jews would know how to be mekarev him (Soros), but that doesn’t give right wing demoagogues the right to call him a Nazi. The facts are clear, it is only a matter of how one interprets his actions during WWII. Glen Beck and those like him are making a fortune playing a role. Smart Jews shold not take everything they say at face value , they are performers, not newsmen.”

    L. Oberstein, in all respect, we live in a nation that is polarized by politics. I find it disturbing how we no longer respect “the other” view even when we do not agree with it. I don’t know Glen Beck personally and usually, I don’t watch his shows but once in a while, he makes a thought provoking point. Today, many decades after WWII, the name “Nazi” has become a trademark, if you will, much like “Kleenex” has to the tissue industry. Both have similar functions. The later wipes away filth while the former spreads it around. I think the Holocaust, as well as, all other genocides that our generation has witnessed are expressions of the vilest most filthy kind of evil that mankind has committed. From todays Washington Post snippet, I am inclined to agree with Glen Beck. Evil takes root with the voice of one person in a position of power, “wealth” and influence whose intent is self-serving and not G-d honoring. I cannot imagine democracy growing in the midst the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood.

  10. L. Oberstein says:

    “I’m so confused,didn’t Rabbi Shafran write recently that the Soros backed Obama was realy good for Israel and those that think otherwise are are just uninformed racists?If so why didn’t more frum Rabbis sign?”

    After mulling the implications of the above comment, I feel that Cross-Currents erred in allowing this falsification of Rabbi Avi Shafran’s message to stand un rebuffed. Rabbi Shafran does not need my help in explaining his position, it is quite clear and not confusing at all. The comment above shows a vituprative spirit that is contrary to Jewish values and menchlichkeit and he owes Rabbi Shafran and Cross Cruuents a request for mechila.

  11. raphael berger says:

    The latest development with this story is that even abe foxman of the adl (he of notorious poor judgement)has dissasociated himself from this letter.

  12. L. Oberstein says:

    In his riviting book The Prime Ministers, Yehudah Avner writes how Satmar demonstrators outside of Begin’s hotel room in New York brought him to tears. He could not deal with their calling him -Menachem Begin- a Nazi because he was a Zionist. I think some of your commentors just see the world through different eyes. We Jews are in a precarious position, what is happening in Egypt is still not clear and who knows what it will mean for Israel. We cn’t think like we are secure enough to join nativist and know nothing factions. Soros is not a friend of Israel, he is the son of highly assimilated self loathing Jews whose own mother converted to Catolicism after her husband’s death and whose father was a devotee of the international language Esperanto. Jews like that recoil from being reminded of their Jewishness, it is viewed as a disability. I wish some Hungarian Jews would know how to be mekarev him, but that doesn’t give right wing demoagogues the right to call him a Nazi. The facts are clear, it is only a matter of how one interprets his actions during WWII. Glen Beck and those like him are making a fortune playing a role. Smart Jews shold not take everything they say at face value , they are performers, not newsmen.

  13. david l. bernstien says:

    I’m so confused,didn’t Rabbi Shafran write recently that the Soros backed Obama was realy good for Israel and those that think otherwise are are just uninformed racists?If so why didn’t more frum Rabbis sign?

  14. shloi says:

    “the Heterodox movements are wholly owned subsidiaries of the political left wing.”

    You can say exactly the same thing about the charedim: “the Ultra-orthodox movements are wholly owned subsidiaries of the political right wing.”

    The truth is that both the Left and the Right are biased by their political opinions. The orthodox right-wing will justify any statement made by a Republican politician and the heterodox left-wing will justify any statement made by a Democrat politician.

    The orthodox right-wing would support Pat Buchanan if he was not openly antisemite.

  15. Tal Benschar says:

    “Have these so called Rabbis ever called out Norman Finkelstein?He has no problem calling anyone that disagress with him a Nazi”

    More to the point, a few years ago there were prominent and mainstream left-wing organizations — including MoveOn.org — who compared President Bush to Hitler, and even put out advertisements touting the comparison. How many of these “Rabbis” protested that?

    (As to Norman Finkelstein, the predictable defense is that he is an obscure radical academic, so not in the league of Glenn Beck, who seems to have a large following on the right. Not that I buy it, but I would expect to hear it.)

  16. aron feldman says:

    Have these so called Rabbis ever called out Norman Finkelstein?He has no problem calling anyone that disagress with him a Nazi

  17. BTG says:

    You don’t have to support Soros or left-wing causes to say that Glenn Beck is a fear-mongerer who uses Holocaust and Nazi imagery way too much.

  18. aron feldman says:

    I am sure these good Rabbis have prepared a statement condemning Brooklyn College for their hiring of a pseudo academic who justifies arab suicide bombing

  19. Ori says:

    As you know, I’m Heterodox. I hate how often I feel that the Heterodox movements are wholly owned subsidiaries of the political left wing.

  20. Bob Miller says:

    Regardless of public affiliation, it’s fair to say that a rabbi who would stand up for the likes of Soros values liberalism above all other considerations.