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The MRC's Dirty War Against George Soros: The Hamas Smear

The Media Research Center maliciously tried to portray George Soros as a supporter of Hamas terrorism by taking a 2007 speech out of context. Plus: The MRC continued to falsely portray the standard liberal views of Soros' son as "extreme."

By Terry Krepel
Posted 4/19/2024

George Soros

One of the Media Research Center's initial 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. The first salvo came in 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 purports to be -- Vazquez got the group's subtitle wrong; it's "The Palestinian Policy Network," not the "Middle East Policy Network." And despite all his ranting about the group purportedly advancing "anti-Semitic drivel," Vazquez identified no specific attacks from the group on Jews per se; he didn't explain how the group's copious criticism of Israel is "anti-Semitic." And as ConWebWatch has 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 actual direct 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 Vazquez 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 -- and it 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.

Both Olohan nor Schneider omitted 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.

While it was taking George Soros out of context to falsely portray him as a supporter of Hamas terrorism, the MRC was attacking Soros on other fronts as well. Tom Olohan used an Oct. 13 post to invoke right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro to portray Soros as the Jew you're allowed to hate:

Daily Wire founding editor-in-chief and editor emeritus Ben Shapiro has had enough of leftists holding their friends to one standard and their opponents to another.

During an Oct. 11 appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored, Shapiro contrasted the vehemence with which the left condemned Soros’ critics as antisemites with the consideration and excuse making the left shows to Hamas and its supporters. Shapiro said, “There’s an amazing double standard when it comes to anti-Semitism and its treatment in the media and the way it seems to work in the media these days is if somebody politically says something about George Soros, then they will be labeled a Nazi and if somebody actually says, ‘I am a Nazi,’ then they will say, ‘Well there’s probably some sort of justification over territorial disputes.’"

This is not the first time Shapiro has called out this double standard, “Soros spends lots of money backing progressive prosecutors. Saying so does not make you anti-Semitic,” Shapiro wrote in a 2022 post. “It makes you correct. And unsurprisingly, many of those who find dog-whistles in mentioning Soros are totally silent about Hamas firing rockets at Jews, and support Ilhan Omar.”

Olohan asserted that "If the media covered Soros fairly, they might note his vast donations to anti-Israel groups," but he didn't explain how, exactly, those groups are "anti-Israel" nor why nobody is allowed to criticize Israel.

The MRC also continued its usual guilt-by-association attacks:

Meanwhile, the MRC was continuing to perpetuate its dishonest Hamas-related attacks on Soros. Vazquez huffed in a Nov. 7 post:

Leftist billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations finally released a statement condemning Hamas’ hellish attacks on Israel nearly three-and-a-half weeks after the Oct. 7 massacre. However, it did so while trying to make believe that the fortune it funneled into groups championing Hamas' barbarism didn’t exist.

The OSF Fact Sheet, “The Open Society Foundations in Israel and Palestine,” which supplemented the organization's Nov. 1 press release on Hamas, attempted to equivocate the conflict involving the Jewish state and the terrorist organization as a territorial dispute between Israel and “Occupied Palestinian Territories.” OSF flexed its decades-long bona fides of “proudly support[ing] efforts” to “contain escalating violence between state and non-state actors on both sides.” OSF had the audacity to claim that “[a]ll the groups we support are committed to nonviolence and adhere to the principle that human rights and safety should be enjoyed by Israelis and Palestinians alike, both currently and in whatever political solution eventually emerges in the region.” But this statement is demonstrably false. [Emphasis added.]

The MRC has shown that OSF has given to numerous pro-Hamas groups. The sordid list includes, but is not limited to: Al-Shabaka, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, the Palestinian Institute for Public Diplomacy and Dream Defenders, among others. Not only that, but Soros himself even called for the United States and Israel to embrace Hamas.

Two questions arise: Why would OSF feel the need to release a statement three and a half weeks after the Oct. 7 massacre? And why would it attempt to undercut its own record of funding pro-Hamas organizations?

Of course, Vazquez will never admit that it was his and his employer's dishonest smears of Soros that likely prompted OSF to set the record straight. He laughably added: 'MRC Business reached out to Open Society Foundations for comment but received no response as of the publication of this article." As if OSF would want to legitimize Vazquez's bad-faith attacks on it.

Vazquez was at it again in a Nov. 10 post, ranting that the head of OSF made the argument that war is not the only solution to dealing with Hamas:

One of leftist billionaire George Soros’ chief henchmen clamored for Israel to employ diplomatic solutions in its conflict with Hamas after the latter’s genocidal Oct. 7 attacks on the Jewish state. Open Society Foundations president Lord Mark Malloch-Brown joined BBC Newsnight on Nov. 7 to give his organization’s position on the conflict, patronizing Israel on how it should deal with its attackers. His take was nothing short of ridiculous. Malloch-Brown claimed that there were “several other ways” of neutralizing the Hamas terrorists “rather than just — you know — beating the last one to the ground.” He lectured Israel, advocating that the country instead take a carrots-and-sticks approach to dealing with the terrorists: “You’ve got to use both the tools of diplomacy and military action but not compromise on the basic point that Israel must be guaranteed its security.” He even had the audacity to lecture that the reason why Palestinian military leadership repeatedly returns after being “taken out of the region” was because of the “absence of a two-state solution.” Utter nonsense.

However, Malloch-Brown’s position makes slightly more sense when recalling George Soros’ own writing in a 2007 Financial Times op-ed, where Soros ridiculously stated that the United States and Israel “must open the door to Hamas.” Malloch-Brown was apparently just channeling his boss’s anti-Israel sentiments and regurgitating them on live TV. In fact, Malloch-Brown himself previously expressed similar views when he was in the U.K. parliament. In 2007, Malloch-Brown outrageously called for Hamas to have a seat at the negotiating table before the House of Lords:

Vazquez yelped that this view was "absolutely horrific" -- but, again, he censored the fact that Hamas portrayed itself as a more moderate organization in 2007. Still, he concluded by huffing: "Rule of thumb: Israel can’t negotiate with terrorists who don’t believe it even has the right to exist. But for the Soros lackeys at OSF, doing anything to push an agenda that’s advantageous to Hamas and detrimental to Israel appears to be the goal."

Attacking Alex Soros again

The MRC continued cranking out its anti-George Soros hits into November:

The MRC then did another bit of rehashing by cranking out a second attack on Soros' son, Alex, in a Nov. 15 post that took Joseph Vazquez, Tom Olohan and Dan Schneider to write:

George Soros — the most notorious leftist billionaire in American politics — has chosen a successor to take over his $25-billion nonprofit empire. Thirty-seven-year-old Alex Soros is replacing his father and, based on his political history, he will be even worse.

The elder Soros named his self-proclaimed “more political” son Alex as the new leader of the Open Society Foundations in June. This follows after Alex was chosen to lead his father’s enormous political action committee — Democracy PAC — in 2022. Alex then oversaw at least $32,648,000 spent during the midterm elections to support leftist candidates.

Alex’s extreme views are evident because of the politicians and organizations he supports. He could well be more radical than his father on everything from abortion to climate change to the weaponization of race to demonize his political opponents.

As ConWebWatch pointed out after the MRC's previous attack on Alex Soros, his views aren't "extreme" -- they're pretty standard liberal takes. They only look "extreme" if you're as far-right as the people who work at the MRC. The post used the word "radical" 10 times, but no evidence was offered that anything or any view attached to that label actually was. All this ranting was made into a fancy-looking PDF, but there's no evidence that anything new or noteworthy has been added -- it's just more Soros derangement.

A Nov. 16 post by Luis Cornelio hyped the PR effect of the MRC's Soros derangement, courtesy of its buddies at Fox News:

Leftist billionaire George Soros and his heir Alex Soros came under further scrutiny by Fox News following the release of the second installment of an MRC Business exposé into the Soros empire 2.0.

During a segment on disturbing theft reports, Fox Business Washington correspondent Grady Trimble on Wednesday drew attention to Republicans attributing the alleged skyrocketing crime to extremist left-wing district attorneys, and most strikingly, the individuals financing their campaigns. Trimble — citing an MRCB report on Alex Soros — highlighted the empire’s new plan to interject itself into U.S. politics, in line with the elder Soros’ disturbing vision of bending the “arc of history” to fit his ideal:


Trimble’s reporting specifically cited MRCB’s bombshell report into Alex Soros’ demonstrably more draconian and grotesquely partisan nature. Notably, Alex Soros, who inherited the Open Society Foundations in June, admitted that he is “more political” than the elder Soros, potentially marking the beginning of a new era of even greater political meddling.

Again, the MRC demonstrated nothing beyond Alex Soros holding standard liberal views and certainly nothing "draconian and grotesquely partisan." It should be noted that Trimble couldn't be bothered to allowed Soros or anyone else to respond to his report -- so much for "fair and balanced."

Olohan hyped a new parson to spout anti-Soros talking points in a Nov. 22 post:

Spanish Vox Party President Santiago Abascal heavily criticized leftist billionaire George Soros’ activities in Europe during an interview with independent journalist Tucker Carlson.

Abascal told Tucker during a Nov. 17 interview that Soros had not only met with current Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez but had also funded groups contributing to the flood of illegal immigrants into European countries. After Tucker asked why Soros had become so involved in Spanish politics, Abascal responded that, “George Soros is Hungarian. Not only is he unloved in Hungary, he’s not well regarded in other countries around the world, because he tries to exert his influence. George Soros was the first person to meet with the president of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, when he was elected.”

When Tucker responded with disbelief, Abascal added, “Exactly, that’s the news that was published in Spain and the government has never denied it. When I questioned President Sánchez about that meeting, he never answered before Parliament. He has never answered clearly.”

Sánchez also met with George Soros’ son, Alex Soros, at the United Nations in 2019. Alex Soros has spoken with at least 43 world leaders, including many European heads of state or government like Sánchez.

Olohan didn't disclose that Absacal and his party are on the far right, and he laughably portrayed Carlson as an "independent journalist" despite his unambiguous right-wing activism.

The same day, Schneider appeared on a far-right channel to screech about Alex Soros some more:

MRC Free Speech Vice President Dan Schneider warned of the threat posed by the new chair of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), Alex Soros on OAN's Real America Tuesday.

When Ball suggested during a Nov. 21 interview that Alex “was going to take the radical agenda to a whole new level with daddy’s money,” Schneider agreed, pointing out that Soros could have chosen someone else to run the OSF, even a different son, but George chose Alex. Schneider said, “Look, the father had different sons to hand the keys to and he chose the most radical, the most political of all his kids to say, here you go, here’s billions and billions, dozens of billions of dollars to go continue changing the world in the most heinous ways possible and Alex Soros is already on his path to do just that.”


Still, Schneider offered One America News viewers a bit of hope, “It is a disaster, but the good thing is that, while they’ve got all the money, we’ve got all the smarts. We’ve got people who understand common sense solutions so the people have to fight back against this radical empire.”

Only committed right-wingers like Schneider would think there's anything "heinous" about standard liberal opinions. And really, how smart can Schneider be if he's reduced to appearing on a tiny right-wing channel to spew his hatred of Soros?

Olohan returned for a Dec. 1 post dutifully taking stenography for a right-wing radio host's anti-Soros rant:

Syndicated radio host Dan Bongino called out Alex Soros, the son of leftist billionaire donor George Soros. for misleading his followers about the effects of his father’s destructive criminal justice goals.

Blasting Alex Soros as a “propaganda machine,” Bongino laid into a recent Soros post on X (formerly Twitter) that said, “Where Are Murder Rates Actually Higher? Not in progressive cities” on the Nov. 28 edition of The Dan Bongino Show. Bongino said that Alex Soros was “straight up lying and he knows it.”

Bongino cited the Community Note that was pinned to Soros’ post at that time, pointing out that five out of five of the cities with the highest murder rate, St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit and Cleveland were run by Democrat mayors.

Bongino did not stop there, noting the role that Alex Soros and his father George Soros have played in making Americans less safe through funding leftist prosecutors across the country.

Soros was actually repeating an article from a progressive publication making that argument, and neither Olohan nor apparently Bongino addressed any specific claims made in that article. But Bongino is repeating all the right talking points, so Olohan stayed in stenography mode:

“They have this obsession, it’s a bizarre obsession with chaos in liberal cities. They love the idea of criminals running wild,” Bongino said of the Soros duo. Earlier in the show, Bongino drew attention to Alex Soros’ more active role in funding leftist politicians. “The son of George Soros, Alexander Soros, this guy is like a propaganda machine and he’s not as quiet as his dad. His dad was more kind of behind the scenes, influencing races, supporting this candidate and that candidate. The son is out there — like way out there — and he’s gonna take over for the dad, which is big trouble because they’ve got a lot of resources to make a lot of far-left stuff happen.”

Just another reminder that at the MRC, narrative is more important than facts. As long as Bongino stayed on narrative, Olohan was certainly going to make no effort to fact-check anything he said.

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