'Financial Times' names George Soros person of the year

Newspaper says Jewish billionaire is considering becoming more active in Israel.

December 19, 2018 12:19
1 minute read.
Business magnate George Soros arrives to speak at the Open Russia Club in London, Britain June 20, 2

Business magnate George Soros arrives to speak at the Open Russia Club in London, Britain June 20, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS/LUKE MACGREGOR)

The Financial Times announced on Wednesday that its 2018 person of the year was Jewish billionaire, investor and philanthropist George Soros.

The newspaper called the 88-year-old the “father of the hedge fund industry and one of the world’s most prominent philanthropists,” who has “tirelessly supported” a liberal democratic order around the globe. The article noted that the selection of Soros is both a reflection of his achievements and also “about the values he represents.”

While Soros, the founder of the Open Society Foundation, has been active for over 30 years, he has found himself the target of antisemitic conspiracy theories and baseless allegations about his activities.

“I’m blamed for everything, including being the anti-Christ,” Soros told the Times. “I wish I didn’t have so many enemies, but I take it as an indication that I must be doing something right.”

Among the particularly odious claims is the repeated attack from opponents that Soros collaborated with the Nazis as a teenager. Soros, who was 14 when the Nazis invaded Hungary, was sent to live with a non-Jewish official in the country to hide him from the Nazis. During that period, he accompanied the official on visits to take inventory of confiscated Jewish property, an activity he never actively took part in.

Earlier this year, Soros was one of a slew of people in the US, who received explosive devices in the mail.

But Soros’s decades of activity have often resulted in charges of meddling in foreign affairs around the globe.

An exclusive report by The Jerusalem Post in March revealed that an group funded by Soros worked to focus German influence in Hungary in order to lobby against Hungary’s NGO law, which limits funding for non-governmental organizations.

Soros has also focused some of his efforts in Israel, funding in the past organizations like Breaking the Silence, J Street, the New Israel Fund and Adalah, an Israeli-Arab legal aid organization.

Soros told the Times that he is considering becoming more active in Israel, and is particularly dismayed by the recent Nation-State Law.

In 2017, the Times named software engineer and activist Susan Fowler as its person of the year, in 2016 it selected US President Donald Trump and in 2015 it chose German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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