The Soros Connection: Leading the Goldstone Lobby

A closely intertwined network of organizations and individuals has been leading the U.S. lobby for the UN’s Goldstone Report, the poorly written and egregiously one-sided document that overtly proclaims, Goldstone’s protestations notwithstanding, that any self-defence by the Israel Defence Forces is an exercise in “futility” (see par. 1914).

The lobbyists all seem to have one thing in common: they are all funded by, or connected to, financier George Soros. Speculation by some bloggers in November can now be confirmed in greater detail.

Consider:

  • When Richard Goldstone came to Washington, in his failed, desperate attempt to stop Congress from denouncing his report, the insiders who shepherded the former South African judge through the halls of power were reportedly Mike Amitay, an employee of Soros’ Open Society Policy Center, a 501(c)(4) lobby, and Daniel Levy, employed by the Soros-funded New America Foundation. Amitay has publicly distanced himself from the views of his father, who once headed AIPAC, and has targeted Dennis Ross for not being soft enough on Iran, as Noah Pollak reported here.
  • When Goldstone tried to fight the Congressional resolution, he sent a detailed memo to the Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Rep. Howard  Berman. A check of the electronic file’s “properties,” as Michael Goldfarb revealed, lists the author as none other than Morton H. Halperin, a senior adviser and key player at Soros’s Open Society Institute, who also serves on the J Street advisory council. (J Street is an initiative in which Soros reportedly played a major behind-the-scenes role, but then stepped into the shadows over concerns that his support for controversial far-left and anti-Israel causes would become a liability for the new group.
  • Human Rights Watch, which, as NGO Monitor reported, was funded by George Soros in 2007-8 to to the tune of $2,353,895 , has been the leading organization lobbying for adoption of the Goldstone Report, in op-eds, letter campaigns, and various other appeals.
  • Our friends at the Democracy Coalition Project, who have published some quotable reports on UN issues (though often tainted by excessive apologetics for the Human Rights Council), mobilized with peculiar zeal to defend the Goldstone Report, signing numerous appeals and filling my inbox with passionate emails on its behalf. The odd thing was that I never before saw the DCP lobby specifically for the Palestinian agenda. The group began as an initiative of Soros’ Open Society Institute, and Morton Halperin remains a key player on their board of directors.

Goldstone was, of course, a board member of the Soros-funded HRW. Soros-related foundations, inlcuding the Open Society Institute, have been major funders of causes connected to Goldstone’s International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), for the international criminal court system in general, and of various supporting projects and institutes — many of which, in one form or another,  are connected to Goldstone.

Soros was one of the two mega-funders that together gave some $1 million to pay for the precursor to the ICTY. Thanks to Neier, a Soros grant then funded the first year of ICTY operations (see here under the “Neier” entry, at p. xviii), with specific funding to the work of Goldstone’s Office of The Prosecutor.

Goldstone’s other prior connections to Soros, none of which is damning per se, include this 1996 letter by Aryeh Neier, president of Soros’ Open Society Institute and the Soros foundations network, where he acts effectively as Goldstone’s U.S. spokesman and advocate:

The Washington Post, “War Crimes in Bosnia,” April 15, 1996
SECTION: OP-ED; Pg. A20; LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Edward Cody argues [“Is It a War Crime, or Just War?” Outlook, April 7] that the indictment of Bosnian Serb General Djordje Djukic by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is political, not legal….

Mr. Cody also errs in his references to the tribunal’s prosecutor, Judge Richard Goldstone. Contrary to Mr. Cody, Judge Goldstone has not “since resigned to run a university in his native South Africa.” He is leaving in October to fulfill his pledge to President Nelson Mandela to resume his place on the South African Constitutional Court. He also has been elected chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand, but — as those familiar with the British tradition are aware — that is an honorific post….

ARYEH NEIER
President
Open Society Institute
New York, N.Y.

Aryeh Neier had more praise for Goldstone here:

 Social Research, December 22, 2002, “Bringing war criminals to justice: a brief history”
By Aryeh Neier
Pg. 1085(8) Vol. 69 No. 4 ISSN: 0037-783X

I WOULD like in this essay to sum up how we got to where we are now on the question of international justice…
When the Bosnia tribunal was created, it inspired a great deal of cynicism. First, the UN Security Council delayed in appointing a chief prosecutor. It was not until Justice Richard Goldstone was appointed, some 14 months after the tribunal was created, that a chief prosecutor was in place to carry out the decision of the UN Security Council…. I think those cynical reactions underestimated the momentum that was building. Here we have to give a great deal of credit to Justice Goldstone, because he became a public face for the tribunal, and he embodied a determination that gave people confidence that the tribunal would amount to something. As one of those who was a proponent of theview that it would amount to something, I have to say that I am astonished by how much it has accomplished.

On Soros’ South African funding and Goldstone:

Agence France Presse — English
November 15, 1998 10:46 GMT

Soros to rescue in South African election: report

DATELINE: JOHANNESBURG, Nov 15

Global financier George Soros and a number of US business interests have contributed 1.2 million dollars towards voter education ahead of South Africa’s second democratic elections next year, the Sunday Independent said.

The Open Society Foundation of South Africa, the local branch of the New York-based Soros Foundation Network, decided to donate the cash after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced it had a shortfall of 230 million rand (40 million dollars) to stage the 1999 poll.

The newspaper said that, meanwhile, a campaign committee headed by Constitutional Court Judge Richard Goldstone and including Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been formed to handle private sector funds donated for voter education.

Goldstone had been telephoned while he was in the United States in September by President Nelson Mandela to say that large American business interests were concerned about the election and wanted to contribute significant funds for voter education to be handled in an even-handed way.

Goldstone did not know how much money would be involved or which companies would contribute, the report added. […]

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