George Soros is the Jewish Business News’ Jewish Businessman for 2020. No he did not start a new company. No he was not behind the latest big IPO or exit to come out of Startup Nation. But no other philanthropic Jewish billionaire has ever had to endure the kind of anti-Semitic mud-slinging which this man went through this year and he never stooped to the other side’s level. Therefore, he deserves this honor.
There was nothing new about the slurs levelled against Mr. Soros in 2020. But they were heightened by the Presidential elections this year. Significant and prominent American figures like former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich joined in on the attacks. And, of course, not a word came out of the mouth of President Trump to condemn the many slanders.
Gingrich accused George Soros of somehow helping Joe Biden to “steal” the election this year. He told Fox News, “I think he [Joe Biden] would have to do a lot to convince Republicans that this is anything except a left-wing power grab financed by people like George Soros, deeply laid in at the local level. And, frankly, I think that it is a corrupt, stolen election.”
Even Rabbi Pesach Lerner, President of the Orthodox “The Coalition for Jewish Values,” once defended attacks on George Soros saying, “Yes, Soros is part of the Jewish nation, but ideologically he is not merely distant but openly hostile towards Israel and Jewish interests. It is ridiculous to link an accurate critique of the use of Soros’ wealth to influence certain public officials to hateful, anti-Semitic lies about Jewish communal control over government at large.”
Lerner told JTA, “He is not part of the global Jewish community, other than being Jewish by birth. One must be aware and sensitive to anti-Semitic tropes in terms of how to express the criticism. But the damage done by Soros is so great that silence is by far the greater danger — and valid criticism can rebut the notion that he in any way represents ‘the Jews.’”
So many people simply regurgitate whatever they hear on talk radio or the news channels. One such smear of Soros is the accusation that he was a collaborator who served in the Hitler Youth during World War II. So many Jews repeat this horrible libel.
The Jewish Telegraph Agency at one point this year compiled a list of attacks made against the 90-year-old Soros by various Jews.
In October, the Anti Defamation League cited a disturbing increase in the number of anti-Semitic posts on Twitter. These posts included many which targeted George Soros. The news came as social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have been engaging in campaigns to block hate speech on their platforms.
The existence of anti-Semitic rhetoric, specifically directed against Jewish lawmakers, is not surprising. But the ADL says that it had found an “alarming” prevalence of such comment on Twitter.
Even Benjamin Netanyahu’’s son Yair got in on the act in 2020. He once tweeted, “Soros is the number 1 anti Israeli and anti Jewish world actor.”
The fact is Soros, who was born in Hungary, survived the war by living with a Christian Hungarian family. He was forced to hide his religion and Hungarian law required him to join its fascist youth organization. And for the record, he was just a teenager at the time.
So why? Why do these people target George Soros? Well the answer is simple: he is a liberal who supports liberal causes.
This explains why political conservatives in America don’t like George Soros. And these days any attack on, or criticism of, Donald Trump is met by his supporters with rage and contempt. Even the Pope and Julia Roberts would be demonized by these people if they spoke out against President Trump.
But how can Jews let themselves become a party to calling a man who survived the Holocaust a nazi collaborator? How can they allow themselves to get caught up in such clearly anti-Semitic attacks?
All things being equal, George Soros should be a role model for Republicans and businessmen alike. He is a completely self-made man who built his fortune by playing the game of capitalism the way it was intended. He engaged in investments and currency speculations, winning big when taking risks like when he bet against the British Pound.
His is a Horatio Alger type rags to riches story. But he is also a Jew. Could that perhaps be the reason why he is so scorned? Does a rich Jew in America need to be a supporter of conservative causes to avoid such scorn?
So how does George Soros respond to all of this? He does not. He has character and takes the high road. The most he has said was in response to questions asked of him on this matter in the documentary about George Soros released in 2020, simply titled “Soros.”
“The fact that I have become involved in so many different issues, and have taken controversial positions, is now actually working against me,” said George Soros.
This, in part, is why George Soros is our Jewish Businessman of the year for 2020.