The Jerusalem Post

Likud official provided intel to Hungary on Soros


The Likud’s director of Internatio­nal Relations provided Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party with informatio­n about American-Hungarian Jewish billionair­e George Soros, that was used towards an ongoing pre-election campaign accused of being antisemiti­c.

“I sent Orban informatio­n about what Soros does in Israel about six months ago,” Likud Internatio­nal Relations Director Eli Hazan told The Jerusalem Post Monday. “We see Soros as a dangerous man who does unfair and indecent things.”

Hazan claimed that Soros supported V15, an organizati­on that sought to topple Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the 2015 election, but that it was kept secret because “Zionist Union voters wouldn’t like that someone who’s anti-Zionist supports them.”

The Likud official also said Soros “supports organizati­ons that undermine Zionism in Israel and help terrorists and infiltrato­rs,” a term used by the Right to describe migrants.

Several weeks after Hazan said he had sent the details, the Hungarian government launched a campaign against Soros, which made waves around the world and faced accusation­s of antisemiti­sm.

The campaign against Soros’ stance on immigratio­n showed him laughing, alongside the words “Let’s not leave Soros the last laugh,” and reportedly spurred incidents of antisemiti­c graffiti on the posters throughout the country.

The posters made internatio­nal headlines just before Netanyahu’s visit to the country in July, and though he defended the Hungarian government’s condemnati­on of Soros, media reports indicated that they were taken down just ahead of his visit.

Soros’ Open Society Foundation­s sought to weaken ties between Israel and the EU and sow doubt regarding Israel’s status as a democracy, according to e-mails leaked online via the site DCLeaks in 2016, reportedly with the backing of Russian intelligen­ce agencies.

OSF donates to several Israeli NGOs, including Breaking the Silence, which collects

testimony from IDF veterans claiming war crimes, and Adalah, an Israeli-Arab legal-aid organizati­on, both of which have spoken out against Israel in internatio­nal forums.

The foundation has donated over $10 million since 2001 to groups working with Israeli Arabs to counter what one document called Israel’s “restrictiv­e measures” against minorities. Another grantee is the New Israel Fund, a clearingho­use for Israeli civil rights groups, which received $837,500 from 2002 to 2015.

Hazan said that it’s “disturbing” that criticism of Soros can be antisemiti­c, but it does not mitigate the fact that “he does bad things.”

The Likud official faced complaints from the Hungarian Jewish community claiming that attacking Soros fuels antisemiti­sm, after he wrote an op-ed for Israel Hayom that was translated in the Hungarian press, and gave a media interview supporting the Hungarian prime minister.

“Jews in Budapest asked me not to talk about Soros, but I think it’s in the Jewish interest to support Orban,” Hazan said. “There are antisemite­s in Orban’s party, and that’s problemati­c, but I can talk to him. We have a lot in common, like the fight against infiltrato­rs. [Orban] apologized for Hungarian Holocaust denial, while [ultra-nationalis­t party] Jobbik is antisemiti­c, period.

“I’m very concerned about Jobbik, the antisemiti­c party, making a deal with the Hungarian left,” he added.

Soros made news in Israel in recent months when the prime minister’s son, Yair Netanyahu, posted an image on Facebook using antisemiti­c imagery. It depicted Soros controllin­g the world, via other conspiracy theory figures like lizard people – known as Reptilians – and the Illuminati or Freemasons. Those figures, according to the graphic, control former prime minister Ehud Barak, who controls failed Labor candidate Eldad Yaniv and former Prime Minister’s Residence superinten­dent Meni Naftali, leaders of the weekly anti-Netanyahu protests in Petah Tikva.

Likud MK Miki Zohar proposed a “Soros bill” to stop donors who are “antisemiti­c, inciting or hostile to[wards] Israel” from contributi­ng to Israeli NGOs. The Strategic Affairs Ministry would determine who falls into that category.

 ?? (Bernadett Szabo/Reuters) ?? AN ACTIVIST of the Egyutt opposition party removes a government billboard displaying George Soros in Budapest in October.
(Bernadett Szabo/Reuters) AN ACTIVIST of the Egyutt opposition party removes a government billboard displaying George Soros in Budapest in October.

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