'Anyone who dares to criticise the billionaire speculator George Soros can expect to be denounced as an anti-Semite. So last week, when Roger Scruton spoke unkindly about Soros in an interview with the New Statesman, it was inevitable that sections of the media would brand him a xenophobic villain. Scruton referred to a ‘Soros Empire’ in Hungary and this was immediately seized upon as evidence of his anti-Semitism. George Eaton, who carried out the interview, tweeted that, ‘There is no context in which it is OK to refer to a “Soros empire” (an anti-Semitic trope)’.
There was a time when criticism of Soros was not automatically condemned as a form of secular heresy. Some in the media were more than willing to draw attention to Soros’s parasitic behaviour as a ruthless speculator who seemed indifferent to the destructive impact of his actions on other people’s lives. Even the New Statesman was prepared to question Soros’s imperial ambitions and to question this oligarch’s motives. Indeed, Scruton’s reference to a ‘Soros Empire’ in Hungary comes across as positively restrained in comparison with the wording in a 2003 New Statesman profile of Soros.
That profile drew attention to the who’s who of the American military-industrial complex who made up the boards of the numerous NGOs funded by Soros. It pointed out that Soros’s International Crisis Group included such ‘non-governmental’ personalities as former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and General Wesley Clark, a former NATO supreme allied commander for Europe. The NS profile said it ‘cannot be seriously’ doubted that Soros’s ‘companies and NGOs are closely wrapped up in US expansionism’. ‘For years’, it continued, ‘Soros and his NGOs have gone about their work extending the boundaries of the “free world”’.
Then there was Soros’s fondness for supporting regime change. ‘Armed with a few billion dollars, a handful of NGOs and a nod and a wink from the US State Department, it is perfectly possible to topple foreign governments that are bad for business, seize a country’s assets, and even to get thanked for your benevolence afterwards’, said the 2003 NS profile of Soros.
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