update deskAntisemitism

Alex Soros deflects antisemitism related to Open Society Foundations

The new board chair released a statement countering accusations and criticism the organization set up by his father has taken for decades.

Alex Soros
Alex Soros in 2012. Credit: Nathalie Schuller via Wikimedia Commons.

A prominent young philanthropic funder of progressive pro-Hamas activism insists that the entity he heads does not support hate.

Alex Soros, the 38-year-old chair of the board of directors for the Open Society Foundations, published a statement on Wednesday arguing that the organization he has led since June of 2023, opposes antisemitism. Soros said he was responding to “sustained distorted and dishonest right-wing attacks.”

Soros said that his father, George Soros, had “consistently strived to support those pushed to the margins of society—including LGBTQIA individuals, refugees, drug users and sex workers—and to combat ethnic, religious, and racial hatred in all its forms. Battling antisemitism has been a core part of that work.”

In October 2023, a review of Open Society’s donation records showed that it had sent more than $15 million to activist groups supporting Hamas in protests that have rippled through major cities worldwide since Oct. 7.

Alex Soros highlighted several actions taken to counter hate, including in 2016, “a $10 million Open Society investment to create Communities Against Hate, an effort to monitor and encourage reporting of the depth and scope of hate incidents unfolding across the country and connect the victims of hate crimes with legal and social services.”

He also sought to explain the views of his allies, writing that his group “supported a diverse group of partners with different political leanings—and different views on Israel and Palestine and what the peaceful resolution of the historic conflict might look like.”

He claimed that “Their common bond: their belief that antisemitism—and also the disingenuous weaponization of the term to silence debate—presents a grave threat to democracy.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also came in for criticism. The younger Soros said that under Netanyahu’s leadership, the Jewish state “had taken an increasingly aggressive and hostile posture toward the land’s Indigenous Arab population.” The elder Soros, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, has compared Israel to Nazi Germany.

In June of 2023, both father and son donated the maximum amount ($6,600 each) to left-wing, progressive Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) who has previously said, “I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state.”

Alex Soros sought to clarify Open Society’s position on Hamas, saying the organization does “not support Hamas or any other group dedicated to violence and terror, as we have stated publicly. We are in full compliance with U.S. anti-terrorism laws, and none of our partners have ever been designated under U.S. law as supporting terrorism.”

He concluded by announcing a $1 million gift to combat antisemitism but also to “prevent the weaponization of antisemitism charges from undermining efforts to address the root causes of the conflict.”

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said in December that George Soros’s donations to organizations that seek the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state “is shameful.”

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