Anti-Defamation League Director Abe Foxman: Beck's Soros smear is "totally off limits and over the top."
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Glenn Beck's two-part attack on George Soros has been steeped in anti-semitic imagery and stereotypes. But smearing Soros on his radio show, Beck went so far as to suggest that Soros helped "send the Jews" to "death camps" during the Holocaust.
In a November 11 Jewish Week article, prominent Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors condemned Beck's use of the Holocaust to attack Soros:
The ADL's Abe Foxman is also a child survivor who lived only because his parents turned him over to his Catholic nanny.
"Look, I spit on Jews when I was six years old," Foxman told me. "Does that make me an anti-Semite?"
The issue of the Shoah "is so sensitive that I'm not even sure Holocaust survivors themselves are willing to make such judgments," Foxman went on "For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say, there's a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, that's horrific. It's totally off limits and over the top."
Beck's comments "were either out of total ignorance or total insensitivity," he said.
Elan Steinberg, vice president of the The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, called the Beck accusations "monstrous; you don't make such accusations without proof, and I have seen no such proof."
Beck's charges, he said, "go to the heart of the instrumentalization and trivialization of the Holocaust."
Simon Greer, president of the Jewish Funds for Justice, met with Fox News executives in July to discuss Beck's "constant and often inappropriate invocation of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany on the air."
Greer and Rabbi Steve Gutow of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) received a handwritten note from Beck saying "Please know that I understand the sensitivity and sacred nature of this dark chapter in Human History. Thank you for your candor and helpful thoughts."
Yesterday's on-air comments by Beck "made a mockery of their professed understanding," Greer said in a statement. "In an effort to demonize a political opponent, Beck and Fox News scurrilously attacked George Soros, a prominent Jewish philanthropist and Holocaust survivor. No one who truly understands 'the sensitivity and sacred nature' of the Holocaust would deliberately and grotesquely mis-characterize the experience of a 13 year old Jew in Nazi-occupied Hungary whose father hid him with a non-Jewish family to keep him alive."
Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy said Beck's "use of the Holocaust to discredit George Soros is beyond repugnant. The Holocaust is one of history's most tragic events and those who survived it are owed our enduring respect."