Beck website pushes right-wing Jewish group's defense of Beck's Soros smear

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

Last week, Jewish organizations quickly condemned Glenn Beck's horrendous smear of George Soros as a Holocaust collaborator. Anti-Defamation League national director Abe Foxman called Beck's smears "horrific," "totally off limits," "over the top" and made "either out of total ignorance or total insensitivity," and he was not alone. Even Commentary magazine, which describes itself as "the flagship of neoconservatism" and has deep Jewish roots, criticized Beck's attacks as "dead wrong."

Now, six days after Beck was roundly condemned, his website has finally found a Jewish organization willing to back the Fox host. In an article headlined "Major Jewish Group Slams Attacks on Beck over Soros Programs," TheBlaze.com reported that "The national Jewish group Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has come out strongly against Jewish leaders critical of Glenn Beck's recent George Soros expose, which detailed his actions during the Holocaust, calling such criticism of Beck 'painful, troubling and disquieting.'"

Weekly Standard founding editor William Kristol and former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer are scheduled to be keynote speakers and honorees at ZOA's upcoming annual dinner. Previous honorees include Cal Thomas, Daniel Pipes, and Republican congressman Eric Cantor. Vice President Joe Biden was also honored by the group, but they attacked him earlier this year for his "public criticism" of Israel.

In their press release, the ZOA claims that "a 1998 interview with Soros conducted by Steve Kroft on '60 Minutes' shows that Beck did not misstate the facts." But taking a page out of Beck's book, the ZOA deceptively crops the Kroft interview, suggesting that Soros had admitted to helping confiscate Jewish property as a 14-year-old boy in Nazi-occupied Hungary by removing his statement that he "had no role in taking away that property.

From the ZOA press release (emphasis in the original):

KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes. [Ed. note: Right here, George Soros acknowledges the accuracy of Beck's statement]

KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

Mr. 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 difficult?

Mr. 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?

Mr. SOROS: No.

KROFT: For example that, 'I'm Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.' None of that?

Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c-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 markets-that if I weren't there-of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would-would-would be taking it away anyhow" ('Interview with Steve Kroft,' '60 Minutes,' December 20, 1998).

From Nexis, with the portion ZOA excised in bold:

KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

Mr. 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 difficult?

Mr. 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?

Mr. SOROS: No.

KROFT: For example that, 'I'm Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.' None of that?

Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c--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 markets--that if 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.

In Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire -- a book cited by Beck during the program -- Michael T. Kaufman detailed Soros' reaction during the interview, as well as Soros' actions in Nazi-occupied Hungary:

While he was living with Baumbach as Sandor Kiss, an event occurred that more than a half a century later would become the basis of charges that George Soros, the international financier and billionaire, had somehow collaborated with the Nazi occupiers of his homeland and had exploited his fellow Jews. The issue was raised in a bizarre television profile and interview of Soros aired on the CBS television program 60 Minutes in December of 1998. In the segment, Steve Kroft, the interviewer, noted with prosecutorial gusto that George's father had "bribed a government official to swear that you were his godson," and added that this survival strategy "carried a heavy price tag." For, he continued, "as hundreds of thousands of Jews were being shipped off to the Nazi death camps, a thirteen-year-old George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his rounds, confiscating property from the Jews." Visibly dumbfounded by the line of questioning, Soros could only manage to say that he had no role in the seizure of property and was merely a spectator. To underscore Kroft's point, film footage showed masses of Hungarian Jews being led away at gunpoint.

This is what actually happened. Shortly after George went to live with Baumbach, the man was assigned to take inventory on the vast estate of Mor Kornfeld, an extremely wealthy aristocrat of Jewish origin. The Kornfeld family had the wealth, wisdom, and connections to be able to leave some of its belongings behind in exchange for permission to make their way to Lisbon. Baumbach was ordered to go to the Kornfeld estate and inventory the artworks, furnishings, and other property. Rather than leave his "godson" behind in Budapest for three days, he took the boy with him. As Baumbach itemized the material, George walked around the grounds and spent time with Kornfeld's staff. It was his first visit to such a mansion, and the first time he rode a horse. He collaborated with no one and he paid attention to what he understood to be his primary responsibility: making sure that no one doubted that he was Sandor Kiss. Among his practical concerns was to make sure that no one saw him pee. [Page 37]

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Glenn Beck
Show/Publication
The Blaze
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.