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Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Get Out of Jail Card

I was in Waitrose café, reading the Times newspaper, drinking my ‘free’ latte, and eating my 35p banana – just gone up from 25p! Hmmf and double hmmf—40% inflation or what? But that’s bye-the-bye. What caught my eye was an article by Danny Finkelstein. He was warning against the dangers of criticising George Soros, because George Soros is a Jew, and by criticising him we are consciously or unconsciously contributing to a groundswell of anti-semitism.

I read on, my 35p banana hovering uncertainly between table and chin. Was the guy serious? It seemed that he was. In four carefully written columns was a blatent ‘Get out of Jail’ card. I’ve read elsewhere that one shouldn’t criticise Israeli actions on the West Bank for that too stokes the flames of anti Semitism. And, to show that stupidity is impartial there are those who argue that one shouldn’t express undue anger at the latest Islamist horror – or even have an opinion on the hijab for fear of inflaming anti-muslim feeling.

Unless he’s been bought and paid for, I truly think Danny Finkelstein is missing the point. You judge men by their actions, not their religion or race. If you followed the logic of the article, you’d be wary of criticising Bolshevism for precisely the same reason. Though constituting only 5% of the population, Jews dominated the higher echelons of the early Soviet governments. In Lenin’s words: ‘An intelligent Russian is almost always a Jew or someone with Jewish blood in his veins.’ Are we not to criticise Bolshevism because so many of them happened to be Jews; are we not to criticise Goldman Sachs? 

George Soros is an amoral speculator, a naturalised American who meddles in British, European and East Asian politics.  He made millions destabilising sterling in the 1993 ERM crisis, is now funding anti Brexit organisations in Britain. (Russian interference bad. Soros gets a free pass). He meddles in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe, using his wealth to undermine the wealth and stability of countries of which he is not a citizen. In Hungary, the counter-attack against Soros is tinged with anti-semitism, and that is deplorable. At the same time, because Hungary retains a tradition of anti-semitism doesn’t of itself legitimise Soros’s interference there.

This conflation of those critical of George Soros with anti Semitism is essentially false, unless you accuse Benjamin Netanyahu of anti-semitism too. There is no love lost between these two unlovely men, and Netanyahu is fiercely critical of Soros, Jewish or not.

 The bottom line is that Soros specialises in destabilisation in the interests of ideology and profit and bugger the consequences. The fact that he is Jewish is as relevant as my banana.

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