Glenn Beck focused on billionaire financier-philanthropist George Soros during his Fox News Channel programs this week, calling him a "puppet master" who is "notorious for collapsing economies and regimes all around the world" — and drawing criticism from a major Jewish group.
Beck also said that, during the Holocaust in Nazi-controlled Eastern Europe, a 14-year-old Soros "used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off."
"I am certainly not saying that George Soros enjoyed that, even had a choice. I mean, he's 14 years old. He was surviving. So I'm not making a judgment. That's between him and God."
The Anti-Defamation League criticized Beck's depiction of Soros as a "Jewish boy helping sending the Jews to the death camps." ADL National Director Abraham Foxman called Beck's statements "horrific" as well as "offensive and over-the-top."
Joel Cheatwood, a senior vice president at Fox News, defended Beck, saying that the "information regarding Mr. Soros's experiences growing up were taken directly from his writings and from interviews given by him to the media, and no negative opinion was offered as to his actions as a child."
On The Daily Beast, Michelle Goldberg — the author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism — characterized Beck's comments as anti-Semitic, writing: "To inoculate himself against charges of anti-Semitism, Beck hurled them at Soros, pointing out that he's an atheist and a critic of Israel. ... when Soros was 14 in Nazi-occupied Hungary, his father bribed an agriculture official to pretend that the boy was his Christian godson. Soros once had to accompany his protector to inventory a confiscated Jewish estate. Asked by 60 Minutes if he felt guilty about it, he said no, because he wasn't at fault. The slander that he was a Nazi collaborator has proliferated on the right ever since."