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Monday, December 4, 2023
Dirty War: MRC Takes Soros Quote Out Of Context To Claim He Supports Hamas Terrorists
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the Media Research Center's intial reactions to the attack on Israel by Hamas appears to have been: How can we exploit it to attack George Soros? That's what it did in the days after the attack, trying to tie Soros to anything even remotely pro-Hamas. Theh first salvo was an Oct. 10 post by Joseph Vazquez:

A radical pro-Hamas group funded by leftist billionaire George Soros offered a statement of support for the abhorrent, genocidal terrorist attacks on Israel.

Al-Shabaka, also known as the “Middle East Policy Network,” published a disgustingly brazen post on X (formerly Twitter) in support of Hamas roughly a day after the terrorist group launched thousands of rockets on Israel and proceeded to rape women, murder civilians and kidnap children and the elderly. “We stand alongside those committed to this effort [of decolonization from Israel] and to the liberation of Palestinians worldwide,” Al-Shabaka spewed on X Oct. 8. “Al Shabaka rejects the Israeli regime’s colonial borders that work to fragment and ultimately erase Palestinian existence.” 

Open Society Foundations records show that when George Soros was in charge, OSF gave the group a sizable $550,000 between 2017 and 2021 alone. George Soros’ son Alex, the newly-minted, unhinged heir to the $25 billion OSF empire, was deputy chairman during the funding period. In the group’s Spring 2022-Spring 2023 annual report, Al-Shabaka listed OSF as one of its “valued supporters.”

“Iran and its allies have been clear about their goals to end America, eliminate Israel and exterminate Jews everywhere. If George and Alex Soros cannot define the enemy here, there can be no more doubt about where their allegiance lies,” MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider said. “It is beyond horrific that the Soros fortune is being used to support Al-Shabaka and numerous other backers of terrorism, murder and war crimes. The Soros family is on notice: it is a crime to aid and abet the enemy.”

In addition to all his wildly slanted language -- which makes him look much more like a crazy person than the "media researcher" he purprorts to be -- Vazquez got th egroup's subtitle wrong; it's "The Palestinian Policy Network," not the "Middle "laced with anti-Semitic drivel," Also, Vazquez failed to identify any specific attacks from the group on Jews per se; he didn't explain how the group's copious criticism of Israrel is "anti-Semitic." And as we've documented, despite Vazquez's attempts to portray him as "unhinged," Alex Soros' expressed views are within the realm of standard liberalism; of course, to a far-right activist like Vazquez, anything even slightly to his left must look "unhinged." He also made sure to frame Soros as the Jew right-wingers are allowed to hate for not giving Israel the free pass that right-wingers demand:

Soros has already been shown to have used his fortune to fuel anti-Israel causes. “‘[N]o single person has done more to damage Israel’s standing in the world, especially among so-called progressives, than George Soros,’” said Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz. Israel Heritage Foundation Chairman Farley Weiss wrote in a Jan. 23, 2023 article for the Jewish News Service that “[N]o one has financed more destructive attacks on Israel and the American Jewish community than [George] Soros. He is, at best, a self-hating Jew, and shouldn’t be let off the hook because of his ancestry.”

The next day, Vazquez presented a Soros quote out of context to attack him further:

In a 2007 op-ed, leftist billionaire George Soros outrageously called on America and Israel to “open the door[s]” to Hamas, and now that clarion call has come back to haunt him. 

Following Hamas terrorist attacks that resulted in at least 1,200 people in Israel being killed with another 2,700 wounded, MRC called on Soros to provide an explanation for funding the pro-Hamas group Al-Shabaka, which celebrated the terrorist invasion. However, it turns out that Soros has an even longer history of supporting Hamas.

The disturbing pro-Hamas headline from his March 19, 2007 screed posted on his personal website speaks for itself: “ America and Israel Must Open the Door to Hamas.”


“George Soros has consistently and continuously funded the most hateful, anti-American and anti-freedom organizations in the world, and that includes terrorist organizations that want to bring an end to a Jewish state,” said MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider. “But instead of shining a light on his disgusting plans, legacy media has protected him from criticism."

Soros leveled outrageous accusations against former President George W. Bush’s administration for “supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognise a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas.” In Soros’s insane worldview, Israel not kowtowing to a murderous terrorist group precluded “any progress towards a peace settlement at a time when such progress could help avert conflagration in the greater Middle East.”

But this, and the headline, are the only quotes from the Soros op-ed -- which actually first appeared in the Financial Times, not merely on his website -- Vazquez cited in his post. He declined to quote Soros explaining the situation at the time:

Many causes of the current impasse go back to the decision by Ariel Sharon, former Israeli prime minister, to withdraw from the Gaza Strip unilaterally, without negotiating with the then Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. This contributed to Hamas’s electoral victory. Then Israel, with strong US backing, refused to recognise the democratically elected Hamas government and withheld payment of the millions in taxes collected by the Israelis on its behalf. This caused economic hardship and undermined the government’s ability to function. But it did not reduce support for Hamas among Palestinians and it reinforced the position of Islamic and other extremists who oppose negotiations with Israel. The situation deteriorated to the point where Palestine no longer had an authority with which Israel could negotiate.

There's one more crucial bit of context Vazauez was silent about: the political situation at the time. As John Oliver pointed out, Hamas was elected in a 2006 election by portraying itself as a more moderate alternative to faction then in power, Fatah, which proved to be corrupt.But Hamas became more radical and has not held an election since, and even most Palestinians say their right to peaceful protest is not protected and that they support a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Israel.

But who needs context and nuance when there are political points to score and partisan attacks to make? But the MRC had its talking point -- however dishonest -- andit was going to flog the thing. An anonymously written Oct. 16 post touted the promotion of said talking points with a bad-faith letter to soros' Open Society Foundations:

MRC President Brent Bozell and MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider rebuked the Soros empire for financing groups that have voiced support for the terrorist group Hamas.

In an Oct. 12 letter to Open Society Foundations (OSF) founder George Soros and his son — OSF Chairman Alex Soros — Bozell and Schneider called on both George and Alex Soros to disclose all of their pro-Hamas grantees, publicly disavow them and terminate all funding to those groups. “Given that your donations have gone straight into the bloodstream of those who seek to exterminate Jews and push Israel into the sea, it is clear that you have an even greater duty to purge yourselves of your transgressions,” Bozell and Schneider wrote. 

Given the MRC's campaign of hate against Soros, there's no reason for him to take this letter seriously. Schneider then went to a far-right TV channel to peddle those talking points again, summarized in an Oct. 20 post by Tom Olohan:

MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider ripped George and Alex Soros for financing groups that have voiced support for the terrorist group Hamas. 

During an interview with One America News that aired on October 19, Schneider told host Dan Baldwin that the Soros family has consistently stood against the Jewish state of Israel. “George Soros and now his son Alex — who has taken over the evil empire — have defined the enemy and the enemy is Israel.  They have, in word and deed, they have consistently supported Hamas and Hezbollah against the Jewish state.  And I know that they claim to be Jewish, but their actions reject the whole idea of a Jewish state,”  Schneider said.


When Baldwin referenced this letter, Schneider broke down Soros’ donations and past statements advocating for Hamas. “George Soros has intentionally and knowingly given money to groups like [Al-Shabaka]. In 2007 he actually called, demanded that Hamas have a seat at the table when negotiating with Israel and the U.S.”

Schneider was referring to a 2007 op-ed by George Soros, where the leftist billionaire ludicrously advocates for the United States and Israel to “open the door” to Hamas in negotiations. The MRC was the first to resurface that horrific op-ed buried in Soros’ archives.

Neither Olohan nor Schneider mentioned the context in which Soros made those remarks. Narratives are more important than facts, after all. And MRC executive Tim Graham did his part by having Vazquez on his Oct. 23 podcast to talk up his attacks on Soros. Context was, presumably, not discussed.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EST

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