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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘George Soros’

George Soros Dumps SodaStream

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Originally posted at Jewish Business News.

Billionaire investor George Soros sold his stake in SodaStream, consisting of 550,000 shares. SodaStream, whose main factory is in the West Bank, is once again in the spotlight, but a spokesman for Soros refused to comment on the reason for the sale.

The timing of the move, giving the raging conflict between Israel an Gazans, led to speculation by Pro-Palestinian news agencies that Soros, either through pressure of conviction, was divesting from SodaStream for political reasons. The Abu Dhabi based publication, The National, reports:

“The decision comes as a group of big international investors, including the fund lined to Microsoft found, Bill Gates, join a burgeoning financial boycott of Israel amid a push by the boycott, divestment and sanction movement (BDS) and other groups seeking more rights for Palestinians.” SodaStream is a major employer of Palestinian Arabs, and provides them with wages equivalent to their Israeli counterparts as well as a mosque on the premises. That hasn’t stopped SodaStream from becoming the target of BDS venom, most notably, the departure of actress Scarlet Johansson from Pro BDS Oxfam over her controversial advertisements for SodaStream.

With talk that Starbucks may purchase SodaStream, there are threats among BDS of massive boycotts of the most prominent coffee company. Omar Barghouti, Palestinian activist and co-founder of the BDS movement told VICE:

“If Starbucks partners with SodaStream, it will face an unprecedented boycott campaign against it in the Arab world, the U.S., and in many other countries …” Barghouti might sound a bit ambitious here (especially since polls show the majority of Americans support the recent military defense by Israel in Gaza) that the typical American is going to give up the morning Frapuccino. However, massive boycotts of Starbucks in Europe because of BDS might make a dent, although the coffee company has been doing as well in China in recent years as it has in Europe. Of course, if BDS drives Starbucks away from Sodastream, it is likely to hurt West Bank Arabs who work for SodaStream at least as much as their Israeli employers.

Who knows if the Pro-Palestinian news sources are correct and if Starbucks will shy away from SodaStream, although BDS hasn’t stopped takeovers of Israeli tech startups. And keep in mind like chain smokers, coffee addicts are not just addicted to the drug, but to the brand. Still, it pays to be cautious about the possible fallout rather than complacent, while keeping in mind that neither George Soros nor a spokesman was willing to comment on the reason for the sale of the SodaStream stake.

BDSers Call for an ‘AidCott’ of Soros for Daring to Invest in Israel

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Ask anyone deeply involved in the current social wars against Israel to name the biggest funders of the hate, and one of the first names they’ll offer is George Soros.

But recent reports revealed that Soros invested in the popular carbonated drink maker Soda Stream, one of whose factories is located in Maale Adumim, a suburb of Jerusalem one the haters’ wrong side of the Green Line. It was also revealed that the aging billionaire increased his holdings in Teva Pharmaceuticals, an Israel company which manufactures generic drugs.

Now Soros is in the doghouse along with everyone else who dares to invest their money in Israeli companies.

As reported in The Tower, The Palestinian BDS National Committee posted an official statement on its website, BDSMovement.Net, calling for

a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies

which, the BNC  says, violate international law.

The BDS movement teaches that Israeli communities and businesses located beyond the 1949 Armistice Line (often referred to as the Green Line) constitute war crimes.

Teva Pharmaceuticals is despised because, although its offices are located in Petach Tikva, within the 1949 Armistice Line, “Teva enjoys the benefits generated by the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, allowing the company to exploit the Palestinian market,” according to a local human rights group.

The Soros universe of beneficiaries apparently includes just about every center-left to further-left to extreme-left group imaginable. A site gives a lengthy list – with links – of organizations to which Soros has funneled billions of dollars including, of course, Media Matters for America, the New America Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the American Friends Service Committee, and The Tides Foundation, all of which have been extremely hostile to Israel.

In a fascinating twist, the BNC suggests all the Israel-bashing and trashing organizations which have been feeding at the Soros waterhole for so long engage in a reverse boycott, an “aidcott.”

Usually the goal of economic warfare against problematic practices is to encourage as many people as possible to refrain from patronizing the alleged wrongdoer so that its profits plummet and the wrongdoer stops engaging in the criticized activity in order to turn on again the lifeblood flow of cash.

In this case, the BNC is telling non-profit organizations that they should tell Soros unless he “cleans his investment portfolio,”and stops investing in (profitable) Israeli companies, they should threaten Soros that they will “refrain from applying for funds from those foundations.”

You can no longer say the BDS movement never produced anything original – aidcott is a first.

“Teva enjoys the advantages generated by the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands allowing the company to exploit the Palestinian market. – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/soros-funds-foundations-investments-israeli-violations-12092?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bdsmovement+%28Palestinian+BDS+National+Committee%29#sthash.Sv1spGYK.XzgCionX.dpuf
a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced[1]  – first-quarter 2014 — investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies that are deeply involved in violations of international law. – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/soros-funds-foundations-investments-israeli-violations-12092?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bdsmovement+%28Palestinian+BDS+National+Committee%29#sthash.Sv1spGYK.XzgCionX.dpuf
called today for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced[1]  – first-quarter 2014 — investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies that are deeply involved in violations of international law. – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/soros-funds-foundations-investments-israeli-violations-12092?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bdsmovement+%28Palestinian+BDS+National+Committee%29#sthash.Sv1spGYK.XzgCionX.dpuf

called today for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced[1]  – first-quarter 2014 — investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies that are deeply involved in violations of international law. – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/soros-funds-foundations-investments-israeli-violations-12092?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bdsmovement+%28Palestinian+BDS+National+Committee%29#sthash.Sv1spGYK.XzgCionX.dpuf
called today for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced[1]  – first-quarter 2014 — investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies that are deeply involved in violations of international law. – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/soros-funds-foundations-investments-israeli-violations-12092?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bdsmovement+%28Palestinian+BDS+National+Committee%29#sthash.Sv1spGYK.XzgCionX.dpuf
called today for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced[1]  – first-quarter 2014 — investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies that are deeply involved in violations of international law. – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/soros-funds-foundations-investments-israeli-violations-12092?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bdsmovement+%28Palestinian+BDS+National+Committee%29#sthash.Sv1spGYK.XzgCionX.dpuf

Is Soros Pumping Money into ‘A Jewish Voice for Peace’?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

I’ve written ad nauseum that the most energetic and effective anti-Zionists are Jews, not Arabs or Muslims. A perfect example is the group called “A Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP), based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but with chapters all over the country, mostly on college campuses.

JVP has been growing by leaps and bounds, with their 2011 form 990 (a tax form which all non-profits are required to make publicly available) showing an income from contributions and grants of $871,250. This is very big money for an organization whose membership appears to be mostly students and young people, and there is reason to believe that they have recently started to receive much more. Unfortunately non-profits that don’t give money to political candidates are not required to disclose the identity of their donors.

This week, during the annual AIPAC meeting in Washington DC, JVP has purchased 100 advertising signs in DC Metro stations, working with the very professional “Avaaz” group (more about them later), to “challenge [AIPAC's] influence on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.” Here’s an example:

JVP-Aavaz ad in DC Metro

Ads like these cost between $400-$950 per ad for 4 weeks, depending on “timing and market.” So let’s say (very conservatively) that they are paying $250 per ad for two weeks. Their 100 ads cost them at least $25,000, probably twice that.

JVP likes media attention, and one of its favorite tactics is to disrupt pro-Israel speakers and events. Both the advertising and the disruption appear to be intended at least as much to attract attention — and recruits — to their organization as they are to change public opinion about their issues (promoting boycott-divestment-sanctions, portraying Israel as an apartheid state and human-rights violator, etc.).

Here is something else that I noticed on JVP’s form 990, which supports the idea that it is focused on growth. It has only one paid officer, Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, who is listed as receiving total compensation of less than $75,000. But they also list $355,090 in “other salaries and wages.” Who are the additional employees? What do they do? It’s not the janitorial staff of JVP’s small Oakland office.

My guess is that they are organizers stationed on college campuses and other places where young Jews can be found. Although the organization wants to give the impression that it is an all-volunteer, ‘grassroots’ group, it seems that it is actually a disciplined professional operation that is rapidly growing. Their grants and contributions have increased by an average of more than $100,000 a year (with the exception of 2008, a bad year for all nonprofits).

Someone is pumping JVP up, and I think we can get a clue about who from the partnership with Avaaz. Avaaz is not (yet) big in the U.S., so you may not have heard of it. But let me quote from NGO Monitor’s analysis:

Avaaz was co-founded in 2007 by “Res Publica, a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org.” The former received grants totaling $290,000 from the Soros Open Society Institute in 2008. The latter received a $1.46 million grant from George Soros in 2004. Res Publica describes Avaaz.org as its “primary current project.”

According to a 2007 ABC News report on Avaaz.org’s call for the firing of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, Avaaz.org is a “global advocacy group funded by philanthropist and financier George Soros, MoveOn.org and the labor group SEIU.”

According to the 2009 Form 990 (page 87) filed by the Open Society Foundations, OSF gave $600,000 to Avaaz.org via New York-based Res Publica; $300,000 for “general support to Avaaz.org” and $300,000 for “Avaaz.org’s work on climate change.”

A check into OSF 990s for 2010 or 2011 show no grants for Avaaz nor Res Publica. According to its 2011 990, Avaaz.org’s total revenue for that year was $7,519,028. Avaaz.org claims it is “wholly member-funded.” Avaaz does not publish a detailed list of donors on its website or 990 forms, and therefore this claim cannot be verified independently.

Avaaz.org is active in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Its 2011 campaign “Palestine: the time is now,” was aimed at pressuring the UK, France, and Germany to support a Palestinian bid for recognition. The petition and accompanying video titled “Middle East Peace – The Real Story” promotes the Palestinian narrative. In 2007 Avaaz.org launched a petition calling to “End the Siege of Gaza: Ceasefire Now” demanding an end to the “blockade and growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza” and “ensure the free flow of supplies by land, sea or air.”

Soros also funds J Street, the phony “pro-Israel” lobby, although J Street’s director, Jeremy Ben Ami lied in an attempt to keep it secret.

Avaaz, with its huge budget, is as slick as it gets (here is a discussion of how it managed a fake grassroots Internet campaign for Palestinian recognition). My guess is that Soros is getting behind JVP as well, and with the same objective: to create a ‘popular’ Jewish anti-Zionist movement.

Soros, in other words, is pitching a whole line of anti-Israel merchandise to Jews. Are you a progressive who wants to distance himself from Israel along with your left-wing friends, while still remaining a member of your (liberal) synagogue? Buy some J Street! But suppose you want to see Israel replaced by an Arab state and don’t care who knows it — if you are suffering from stage-4 Oslo Syndrome — then JVP is for you.

There is a reason why so much of the heavy artillery of anti-Zionism is turned on the American Jewish community. True or false, it is seen as the key to American support for Israel.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

The Campaign to Undermine American Support for Israel

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

According to Franklin Lamb in the anti-Israel website Foreign Policy Journal, the pro-Israel Community is all hot and bothered by an alleged new study:

It’s a paper entitled “Preparing For A Post Israel Middle East”, an 82-page analysis that concludes that the American national interest in fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel. The authors conclude that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with  Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.

The existence of such a study, even in draft form, is hard to credit as no corroborating evidence has been supplied. But what is certain is that the Arabs have long wanted Israel eradicated from the Middle East and that Lamb has been a notorious shill for them. See here and here and here. The same can be said of elements in the State Department, academia and current and past administrations.

This alleged study simply amplifies Obama’s intention from day one. The New York Times reported in April 2010, that Obama Speech Signals a U.S. Shift on Middle East.

When Mr. Obama declared that resolving the long-running Middle East dispute was a “vital national security interest of the United States,” he was highlighting a change that has resulted from a lengthy debate among his top officials over how best to balance support for Israel against other American interests.

Mr. Obama said conflicts like the one in the Middle East ended up ‘costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure’ drawing an explicit link between the Israeli-Palestinian strife and the safety of American soldiers as they battle Islamic extremism and terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

To show that Obama was not alone in this, the Times buttressed his message by quoting from Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, General Patraeus and Martin Indyk. It might just as well have quoted from The Baker Report, Z Brzezinski and Secretary Clinton.

Actually this shift was a long time in coming. There have always been voices in the  administration that viewed Israel as a liability rather than an asset.

Richard Holbrooke pointed this out in his recent article, “Washington’s Battle Over Israel’s Birth,” He quotes Secretary of Defense James Forrestal who made his case for non-recognition by saying “There are thirty million Arabs on one side and about 600,000 Jews on the other. Why don’t you face up to the realities” Holbrooke concluded:

[To] this day, many think that Marshall and Lovett were right on the merits and that domestic politics was the real reason for Truman’s decision. Israel, they argue, has been nothing but trouble for the United States.

Then as now, Israel was opposed by the substantial anti-Zionist faction among leading Jews, [including] the publishers of both the Post and the New York Times.”

The problem that these anti-Zionist forces and their running-mates had, was that the American people strongly supported Israel and AIPAC was too powerful to take on. So they developed a plan to undermine AIPAC and discredit Israel.

The first salvo of which was the indictment of Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC in 2005 for espionage related charges. The case was dropped four years later but the damage had been done to them and to AIPAC. To show how politically motivated the charges were, James Kirchick wrote in WSJ,

If the offense were really criminal, half the Beltway press corps could be indicted. Mr. Franklin’s mishandling of classified documents deserved sanction, but 12 years in jail is far worse than the misdemeanor and fine meted out to former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger for stuffing secret documents in his clothing.

Then, in 2007, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by Mearsheimer and Walt, was published. Its central thesis was that, but for domestic politics, the US would have abandoned Israel long ago. They viewed the Israel lobby, AIPAC, as far too influential for America’s good. Israel was a liability rather than an asset. They totally ignored the vast power of the Saudi Lobby.

An alternative to AIPAC was needed to counter or undermine its influence, so in April 2008, J Street was formed. George Soros backed them as he did Obama.

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Super PAC Has Big Names Behind It

Film director JJ Abrams, the SEIU and AFL-CIO unions, and billionaire George Soros are all prominent donors to a super PAC run by David Brock, founder of the controversial Media Matters for America.

The super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, just unveiled a new website this past Friday called VeepMistakes.com featuring more than 1,300 pages of purported opposition research and video clips on potential GOP vice presidential candidates.

KleinOnline recently reviewed American Bridge’s donor list. On it was JJ Abrams who gave $37,500 to Brock’s super PAC last June. Abrams is best known for creating the television series “Alias” and “Lost” and directing such movies as “Mission: Impossible III,” “Star Trek,” and “Super 8.” Abram is also a top Obama campaign donor.

Other American Bridge donors for the fiscal year of 2011 include the National Education Association, SEIU and AFL-CIO. Each gave $100,000. Soros donated $1 million to the super PAC.

Missouri Democrat Defends
Bizarre 9/11 Comments

During an interview on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” on New York’s WABC Radio, M.D. Alam, a Democrat activist running for Missouri secretary of state, defended his claim that 9/11 is a Jewish holiday and that few, if any, Jews were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (In fact, between 200 to 400 Jews, including five Israelis, died in the attacks.)

In the interview, Alam also defended “Loose Change,” a series of online videos arguing the 9/11 attacks were planned and conducted by elements within the U.S. government.

Alam is national chairman of the Democratic Party Asian American Caucus and is founder of Missouri’s Democratic Party Asian American Caucus. He was a manager in Missouri for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Alam has been the focus of news media attention after the Washington Free Beacon reported that he posted in an Internet forum titled, “Was 9/11 a conspiracy?” in 2009. In the forum, Alam asked, “Why 9/11 was a official holidy [sic] for all jewish [sic] people worked in the the [sic] WTC?” Alam went on to tout the “Loose Change” film, asking readers, “Who can tell me how many of the Jewish people died on the 9/11 tragedy?”

Earlier this week, Alam apologized for his remarks in a subsequent interview with the VIN News Jewish blog.

On this reporter’s radio program, though, Alam repeatedly defended his line of questioning about Jews and 9/11. “Do you understand that asking questions is nothing wrong?” Alam stated. “I can ask you something. It doesn’t mean that I am accusing you. Our job is to ask questions to both sides…”

Congressman In Trouble
For Madrassa Remarks

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) has a history of associating with a radical Muslim group that was an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme to raise money for Hamas. Carson is currently coming under fire for suggesting the U.S. needs to be “looking at” the madrassa model of education where the Koran serves as foundation.

The group in question, the Islamic Society of North America, was listed by the Muslim Brotherhood as a “like minded” organization that shares the goal of an Islamic nation.

Carson gave a speech in May to the convention of the Islamic Circle of North America. Clips from that speech have been playing on Fox News this week. During the address, Carson stressed the importance of the Koranic model of education found inside madrassas.

He stated: “America will never win the war against terrorism without help from the Muslim community. America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas, in our schools, where innovation is encouraged, where the foundation is the Koran.”

Continued Carson: “And that model that we are pushing in some of our schools meets the multiple needs of students. …I have found that we need an educational model that is current, that meets the needs of our students. America must understand that she needs Muslims.”

Editor’s note: For the first time, Aaron Klein is available for a limited U.S. speaking tour in August, September and October. Topics include the 2012 Presidential election and Israel. Shuls/organizations interested in having Klein speak should immediately contact Joshua at 215-380-3469 or Joshua@kleinonline.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/aaron-klein/quick-takes-news-you-may-have-missed-141/2012/07/18/

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