Dutch public broadcaster calls Soros a Jew who has ‘tentacles’ in US politics
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Dutch public broadcaster calls Soros a Jew who has ‘tentacles’ in US politics

After criticism, NOS removes comment, saying it ‘contained unfortunate formulations’

George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations as he arrives for a meeting in Brussels, April 27, 2017.
(AFP/OLIVIER HOSLET)
George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations as he arrives for a meeting in Brussels, April 27, 2017. (AFP/OLIVIER HOSLET)

AMSTERDAM  — Holland’s main public broadcaster referred to George Soros as “The Jew Soros [who] supports organizations openly critical of governments and has tentacles” in American politics.

The assertion was removed from an online article following an outcry on social media.

The text, which critics said is reminiscent of 1930s propaganda, was deleted from an online article published Tuesday by the NOS broadcaster about an explosive device that was found near the suburban New York home of Soros, a Hungary-born liberal billionaire who is the target of many anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on the far right and far left. It was found in the home’s mailbox; Soros was not home at the time.

Yoeri Albrecht, the director of the De Balie events venue, which hosts prestigious political debates and events, wrote on Twitter: “Has NOS hired someone from Der Sturmer?” – a reference to the pro-Nazi German weekly whose trademark was vicious and dehumanizing anti-Semitic propaganda.

“How dare a Jew criticize government like that,” Albrecht added sarcastically.

Ronny Naftaniel, the executive vice chair of CEJI, a Brussels-based Jewish organization promoting tolerance through education, wrote: “The words ‘the Jew Soros’ combined with ‘tentacles’ are wholly anti-Semitic. This defies belief.”

NOS reacted to the criticism on Twitter, saying that “An earlier version of this article about George Soros contained unfortunate formulations.”

In a statement, NOS called the language it used to describe Soros “careless and incorrect.” Editor-in-chief Marcel Gelauff told the NRC daily that it was “absurd” and “wrong,” and that it was meant to show how Soros’ critics “frame” him.

Last year, NOS apologized for its coverage of soccer fans from one Dutch soccer team who chanted about slaughtering Jews. The report should have mentioned that fans of other teams also use anti-Semitic chants, NOS said. According to many Jewish critics of NOS, it has an anti-Israel bias — a claim the broadcaster categorically denies.

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