ElBaradei: Soros’s Man in Cairo

In a February 3 Washington Post op-ed piece titled “Why Obama has to get Egypt right,” George Soros wrote that the U.S. president had “much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy.” Notwithstanding the reasonableness of his advice, past experience suggests that the Hungarian-born hedge fund manager has something to gain himself from regime change in Cairo.

In his public memo to the president he helped elect, Soros noted that it was a “hopeful sign” that the Muslim Brotherhood was cooperating with Mohamed ElBaradei, whom he disinterestedly described as “the Nobel laureate who is seeking to run for president.” He neglected to mention, however, that up to ElBaradei’s January 27 return to crisis-torn Egypt, the former IAEA chief had been a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, which Soros, the thirty-fifth richest person in the world, helped create and finance.

The International Crisis Group describes itself as “an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict,” but self-descriptions can often be misleading. “The ICG is a fascinating case study of the way human rights organizations, governments and international corporations work hand in glove these days,” George Szamuely wrote of the influential think tank’s role in the Balkans. “‘Independent’ figures like Soros identify a ‘crisis’ demanding urgent government attention. Governments act on them and then parcel out the lucrative contracts to Soros and his pals.”

One of Soros’s more notorious “pals” is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed former head of Yukos Oil, who by the age of 32 had amassed assets worth more than $30 billion in the rigged post-Soviet “privatisation” of state-owned property. When the Jewish oligarch was arrested for tax evasion, embezzlement and fraud in 2003, Soros denounced the charges as “political persecution,” called for the expulsion of Russia from the G-8, and urged the West to intervene. Khodorkovsky’s partner in crime, Leonid Nevzlin, fled to Israel before he was found guilty in absentia of ordering the murders of several politicians and businesspeople that got in the way of Yukos’s expansion plans. Like Soros and Khodorkovsky, Nevzlin has since attempted to rebrand himself as a “philanthropist.”

Tel Aviv’s concerns about the loss of a friendly dictator next door, however, should be assuaged somewhat by the fact that ElBaradei could collaborate with the considerable number of Israel partisans at ICG. Former U.S. Congressman Stephen Solarz, who helped start the group, was once dubbed “the Israel lobby’s chief legislative tactician on Capitol Hill,” and in 1998 led a group of neoconservatives who urged President Clinton to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Fellow neocon Kenneth Adelman assured Americans in a 2002 Washington Post op-ed that the Israeli-induced invasion of Iraq would be a “cakewalk.” Even more reassuring for nervous Israelis must be the presence of Nahum Barnea, the prominent Israeli columnist who sharply criticised fellow journalists Gideon Levy, Amira Hass and Akiva Eldar for their “mission” of support for the Palestinians.

And among ICG’s elite international list of senior advisers—defined as “former Board Members (to the extent consistent with any other office they may be holding at the time) who maintain an association with Crisis Group, and whose advice and support are called on from time to time”—we find Shlomo Ben-Ami, former foreign minister of Israel; Stanley Fischer, governor of the Bank of Israel; and Shimon Peres, current president of Israel.

On the face of it, it seems hard to reconcile the substantial pro-Israel presence at ICG with Soros’s claims to be a “non-Zionist.” But things are seldom what they seem with Soros. Two years after the founding of J Street, it emerged that he had given substantial donations to the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby. Not everyone is convinced by J Street’s claims to be a genuine alternative to AIPAC either. As one astute commentator put it, J Street is “little more than a spin-off of the existing Israel Lobby to make it more palatable to the liberal Democrats that make up the Obama Administration.”

Moreover, some of Israel’s most fervent advocates on Capitol Hill have received donations from Soros, who has become “one of the largest political-campaign contributors in American history.” In an interview with a conservative Jewish radio talk show, Senator Charles Schumer said he believed that HaShem (Orthodox Jewish term for “God”) gave him his name—which means “guardian”—so that he could fulfill his “very important” role in the U.S. Senate as a “guardian of Israel.”

Essentially filling the same role in the House of Representatives until 2008 was the late Congressman Tom Lantos, whom a former U.S. diplomat referred to as “the Hungarian-American guardian of Israel’s interests in Congress.” As co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Lantos knowingly deceived his co-chairman and the public about the identity of “Nayirah,” whose incubator atrocity story helped justify American intervention in the 1991 Gulf War. Lantos, who is said to have “shared a common drive for promoting democracy and human rights” with his close friend Soros, also championed the fugitive Nevzlin as an innocent victim of anti-Semitism.

“I hope President Obama will expeditiously support the people of Egypt,” Soros wrote in his Post op-ed. “My foundations are prepared to contribute what they can.” If the Egyptian people have as much sense as they have courage and determination, however, they will tell this self-described “committed advocate of democracy and open society” what to do with his “philanthropy”—and his Nobel laureate.

Maidhc Ó Cathail writes extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. Read other articles by Maidhc, or visit Maidhc's website.

8 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. hayate said on February 12th, 2011 at 8:34am #

    I was wondering when the ziofascist soros would slink out of the shadows….

  2. MichaelKenny said on February 12th, 2011 at 8:42am #

    That Soros is an evil figure hardly needs saying. He seems to be a leading Israel Lobby player, as set out above, but also to have played a leading role in Wall St’s various attacks on the EU, both in regard to the euro and to Latvia, and, as they say, Lord knows what else! He has already tried to meddle in the Irish election campaign. Soros’s great “virtue”, though, is that he is 80 years old. Like Mubarak, another “geezer” who didn’t know when to bow out gracefully. He can’t last forever! That Israel and its foreign supporters regard ElBaradei as the least of all currently available evils is unsurprising, but that doesn’t automatically condemn him. You have to walk with the devil until you get to the other side of the bridge, Stalin used to say. For the moment, the priority is to prevent the Israeli lunatics and their even more lunatic foreign supporters from setting off WWIII. If they find ElBaradei reassuring, so much the better. What he actually turns out to be is another day’s work.

  3. Maien said on February 12th, 2011 at 10:20am #

    So, MichaelKenny, you think that it would be just fine if ElBaradei becomes the new leader of Egypt. Especially since he is approved by the ’employers’ of George Soros.
    Wouldn’t it be smarter to avoid ANYONE who has the entity of Israel as a master? You believe that compromise is necessary. This, after the Egyptian people have clearly and loudly stated that they would not compromise.

    Who’s side are you on , exactly?

  4. MichaelKenny said on February 12th, 2011 at 10:56am #

    Oh! They’ve brought in a new hatchet man! The purpose, of course, is to put me on the defensive by asserting things I am supposed to think. What would be smart, of course, would be to leave the Egyptians alone to choose their own leaders. That’s why all the EU leaders, be it Cameron, Merkel, Sarkozy or anyone else, are all saying what they always say: “bla-bla-bla and we’re trying to keep out of this”. As for me, like all normal human beings, I am on the side of my own people, namely, the Irish, and Ireland’s interest, like that of all the other EU Member States, is that there should be no trouble on Europe’s doorstep. The troublemakers down there are the Israelis. Until such time as Israel’s American bully collapses, the common sense thing is to stall the Israelis (as has been done over Iran). As always, I defend my own people.

  5. Rehmat said on February 12th, 2011 at 1:04pm #

    Mubarak has lost his muscles for Israeli interests in the region. Egypt has been replaced by Islamic Iran and Turkey as the regional power which are not so cozy with the Zionazi regime. This was the reason that though Mubarak was sitting next to Ben-Obama during later’s famous speech in Cairo – the Israeli agent never mentioned Mubarak’s name for even once.

    US-Israel wanted to replace Mubarak with a new face, who is more tyrant and more pro-Israel and they got him in Gen. Omar Suleiman. Elbaradie is not among the so-called ‘Council of Wise Men’ who is negotiating with the military generals on behalf of the protesters.

    ElBaradei is a secularist but could not be Zionist Jew Soro’s man because otherwise he would not have given clean bill to Iran’s nuclear program.

  6. Loucleve said on February 12th, 2011 at 5:22pm #

    Boy, I just cant get no play here, can I? Dissident Voice allows no “dissent” from the anti- Israel party line, huh?

    Instead of just censoring, why dont you try to prove me wrong?

  7. Deadbeat said on February 13th, 2011 at 6:06am #

    Loucleve complains that he cannot find any love here for his love of Zionism. I guess he doesn’t understand the meaning of dissent.

  8. mary said on February 13th, 2011 at 7:04am #

    Saturday, February 12, 2011
    THIS HAS NOT CAUGHT ANYONE’S ATTENTION. US BRIBES ARE ON THEIR WAY TO EGYPT TO MANIPULATE THE FREE CHOICES OF THE EGYPTIAN PUBLIC. “and the White House and the State Department were already discussing setting aside new funds to bolster the rise of secular political parties.”
    Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil at 9:11 AM

    (Angry Arab)

    PS The square is refilling. The protesters are not taking any of the s**t.