Avid Editor's Insights

A Visit from Mr. Michael Vachon, Director of Communications for Soros Fund Management

Posted by Glezele Vayne on July 31, 2009



Well.  In response to a post I put up the other day, entitled The Aktions of George Soros; Holocaust Survivor, we had an auspicious visitor. I had no idea a coupla small blogs would attract the attention of such a visible man, or his SFM director of communications, Mr. Michael Vachon.

I made it clear in the original comments that the continuation of the discussion must be in the form of a post, both being simply too long for a comments section. Mr. Soros’ father Trivalder Schwartz, can be found at the following site: Preview of Masquerade by Tivadar (Schwartz) Soros.

From Mr. Michael Vachon’s office:

The claim that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator is false and deeply offensive. As a 13-year-old child Soros was hidden with an official of the Ministry of Agriculture. Soros’s father helped hide the official’s Jewish wife and the official agreed to let young Soros pose as his Christian godson in return. This is how Soros was able to survive the Nazi occupation. On one occasion the official went to inventory the estate of a Jewish family that had fled Hungary under duress. He brought the child in his charge along rather than leaving him alone in Budapest. To construe this as Soros “collaborating with Nazis” is false, malicious and deeply misleading. Anybody interested in more detail can look at page 37 of the biography of Soros by Michael Kaufman “The Messianic Billionaire”. Anyone interested more broadly in what Soros supports can look at http://www.soros.org

With the help of his barber, Tivadar found a place for George with a man named Baumbach, an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture. Baumbach, who was of German origin, had a Jewish wife and was paying to have her hidden in the countryside. Tivadar paid him to take George into his home, ostensibly as his godson. Tivadar turned over the apartment facing Parliament to his Gentile secretary and moved into the secret room.

Within days of arriving at Baumbach’s, George went for a walk into the Buda hills, where lost in a daydream he moved beyond the city limits. When he turned back, he was stopped by Hungarian gendarmes. “I remember it quite clearly,” he recalled. “I had just arrived at Baumbach’s…I had walked too far. I was frightened but nothing happened. It was the first test of my using a false name and I passed it.”

While he was living with Baumbach as Sandor Kiss, an event occurred that more than half a century later would become the basis of charges that George Soros, the international financier and billionaire, had somehow collaborated with Nazi occupiers of his homeland and had exploited his fellow Jews. The issue was raised in a bizarre television profile and interview of Soros aired on the CBS television program 60 Minutes in December of 1998. In the segment, Steve Kroft, the interviewed, noted with prosecutorial gusto that George’s father had “bribed a government official to swear that you were his godson,” and added that this survival strategy “carried a heavy price tag.” For, he continued, “as hundreds of thousands of Jews were being shipped off to the Nazi death camps, a thirteen-year-old George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his rounds, confiscating property from the Jews.” Visibly dumbfounded by the line of questioning, Soros could only manage to say that he had no role in the seizure of property and was merely a spectator. To underscore Kroft’s point, film footage showed masses of Hungarian Jews being led away at gunpoint.

This is what actually happened. Shortly after George went to live with Baumbach, the man was assigned to take inventory on the vast estate of Mor Kornfeld, an extremely wealthy aristocrat of Jewish origin. The Kornfeld family had the wealth, wisdom and connections to be able to leave some of its belongings behind in exchange for permission to make their way to Lisbon. Baumbach was ordered to go to the Kornfeld estate and inventory the artworks, furnishings, and other property. Rather than leave his “godson” behind in Budapest for three days, he took the boy with him. As Baumbach itemized the material, George walked around the grounds and spent time with Kornfeld’s staff. It was his first visit to such a mansion, and the first time he rode a horse. He collaborated with no one and he paid attention to what he understood to be his primary responsibility: making sure that no one doubted that he was Sandor Kiss. Among his practical concerns was to make sure that no one saw him pee. (Michael T. Kaufman, Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire (Alfred A. Knopf: New York 2002) 36-38.)

Thank you for visiting our humble little blog Mr.Vachon.

I had no idea we mattered so much that you must bother to correct our perceptions. I’m surprised. Have you also been correcting the folks at Arutz Sheva for their misunderstandings? I will read several books on Mr. Soros, and comment when finished. I’d like to get several points of view first. I apologize for a sharply worded post prior to doing so. It is Mr. Soros current activities that bother me more than anything.

A question posed to you, or to Mr. Soros: Isn’t it also deeply offensive for Mr. Soros to send non-Jewish spies, who deliberately misrepresent themselves as religious Jews, interested in possibly moving into the neighborhood? Nicholas Pelham called a member of a Torah “seed group” claiming that he was interested in possibly moving into their community. The fact that he was deliberately posing as a religious Jew is confirmed by the fact that the gentleman who picked him up from the bus station to take him to his neighborhood to meet the fellas witnessed him wearing a black kippah from the time he met him at the bus station. furthermore when questioned as to whether he was “religious” which means a religious Jew in this context, he answered in the affirmative. The deepen the deception, when Pelham was asked to complete the minyan (a quorum of ten Jewish men) Pelham complied. An honest non-Jew would tell the group of men that he is not Jewish and can’t complete the quorum. There is no stigma attached, and a non-Jew is almost always welcome to join in the prayers. But a non-Jew that is posing as a Jew continues the pretense. A minyan is serious business in the Torah world. There are prayers that must be skipped in the absence of a ten man quorum, and to say them without the requisite quorum is a serious error, which Mr. Pelham is responsible for, but these men no doubt feel responsible for it, because they weren’t cagey enough to ask more questions. Why should Jews have to suffer invasions by pretenders, even into their prayers?? And in Israel??

I am sure had Mr. Pelham simply been honest about his intentions, these men would have been forthright in their answers. The fact that they chose to close up once they were made aware of the game is because of  Mr. Pelham’s deceptive tactics. Since Mr. Soros is the XXX of the ICC, then he must bear the responsibility for this breach of trust.

Next time, it would be advisable to  send someone who knows better than too hold the siddur upside-down. That’s a real giveaway…. A Leftie Hebrew speaker, are they so hard to find??? I hope that it would be hard to find a Jew who is fluent in Hebrew that would sink so low. But one never knows these days.

Mr. Vochan: There is a principle in Judaism referred to as midda kneged midda (measure for measure) HKB”H sends each of us custom designed tests in order to allow for a custom designed tshuvah. (repentance) HKB”H (the Creator of the Universe) sends us all such tests. They are designed to force us to grow spiritually and/or to punish. But the punishment is a form of mercy as well, in order to persuade to offender to repent and thus protect his soul. The more resistant to repentance, the more extreme will be the persuasive efforts.

Whatever sins we have committed in the past, he sends us tests to fix the damage we have done to our souls via those sins. Not all sins are deliberate sins. The unintentional sins are probably much easier, overall, to fix than those done deliberately, when a person knows that what he or she is doing is definitely wrong. We are all held responsible to the level of revelation we have achieved.

This is called a tikkun. I’m sure Mr. Soros may not have fully understood the full implications of the actions of those around him during the Nazi occupation, either those of  his “godfather”, or of other atrocities he surely must have witnessed. Almost anyone capable of compassion recognizes this. Mr. Soros was, after all, only thirteen.  He is not the only Jewish youth who survived in a similar manner, and certainly, one hasn’t sold ones’ soul in disguising himself as a Christian during that time. Certainly not a child who’s father has made that decision for him. Having said that, going before a Beis Din to recant is always the recommended path to full restoration. I certainly don’t begrudge Soros the fact that his father and he outwitted Nazi monster. Most people wouldn’t. The fact that Hitler was robbed of another Jewish child is a good thing. Youth, children and religous Jews were targeted disproportionately.

Lets move to now, the present. I find it beyond coincidence that Mr. Soros is now a famously rich man, in a position now to protect Jews from being unjustly removed from property that is rightly theirs, as opposed to his relatively helpless position during WWII. He may not have been fully cognizant of what was swirling around him when he was a youth. But he is now. As he looks back, he surely is fully aware now. That knowledge has got to cause some amount of soul pain, even if he might deny it.

Mr. Soros has involved himself in the alleged “peace process” which is nothing more than forcing Jews to move from their legally acquired homes. Don’t believe me? Stop reading the Leftie propaganda and look into the actual history, the actual archives. You might be surprised. Again, in the lifetime of Mr. Soros, he can see the rise of a fascist power who wants the Jews out. These Jews live on land bequeathed to them from their Maker…land that was expropriated from them dishonestly by a series of aggressive conquerors. The Jewish people, George Soros’ people, my people, have never relinquished this land to another. These claims are well documented, continuous, at least thrice daily, and…well, famous.

There was a de-facto peace that was settling into the region until 1993. Ask most Jews who were adults, living in Israel during the time period roughly covering the governments of Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Prime Minister Yitchak Shamir. You may not be able to find Arabs who appreciated this time frame, because Arafat & company has managed to force moderate Arabs who lived during this time to a) flee, b) shut up c) be murdered as collaborators.

But then the Western Powers decided to resurrect an old defeated foe of the Jewish people, Yasir Arafat, in order to beging an “Animal Farm-ish”  peace process. This so-called “peace process” has led to the deaths of thousands of Arabs and Jews since it’s inception. It leads to the peace of the grave. Arafat called it the “peace of the brave”. Watch Mohammad Dahlan sometime, as he admits that Arafat spoke of peace by day, and behaved in other ways by night. It is a matter of pride for Dahlan. Death to innocents has been the pattern of this “peace process” something the pro-Israeli public ruefully refers to as the “piece process”. Death is the pattern and it will continue to be the pattern of this nasty, lying “piece process”. It is the same “solution” as Hitler’s solution.

It has really boosted the arms industries of the Western Powers however. I’ll give it that much.

And yet, somehow peaceful settlers, kids building cardboard houses in the Samarian and Judean hills, are a “threat” to regional peace?? Oh, and that 2% Jewish population…they just have to go. Right? Crazy. Should Israel do the same, and ask the 20% of Arabs living with full civil rights in Israel to relocate to Judea, Samaria or Gaza??

Just as a little aside — did you know these Arab extremists often force Arab parents to give up their children under threat, to use as suicide bombers? Or they bribe them. Or, they simply steal them… or rape young women, who then have two choices: an “honor” murder, at the hands of their fathers or brothers, or death by suicide bombing, in which they can then “recover” their family honor.

Come on.

Mr. Soros is currently on the wrong side of history. As a youth, he didn’t choose to live among enemies and watch his people’s property being confiscated, their lives ruined. As a man, he has a choice. It is a new day. It is time for Mr. Soros to realize that he would not be wealthy had HKB”H not willed it so. All resources belong to HKB”H, and are ultimately returned back to Him. And we make an accounting of our uses of those resources, and of our lives. HKB”H lends to us. Even brilliant, competent, determined men can only achieve their goals because HKB”H gives them their brilliance, their competence, their determined natures. And these are all loaned to us, not for our personal indulgence, but to do something He wants done, something good, that honors him, something that makes the world a better place. But being merciful to the cruel, will in turn cause a man to be cruel to the merciful. We are not created for that. We are not enriched for that. We are not supposed to do that.

Mr. Soros now has the opportunity to use his wealth to prevent Jews from being thrown off their land, not land that they are living on as guests of a host country.  Jewish history of ownership of the Land of Israel is better documented than just about any other people in the history of the world. To be a Jew, a religous Jew, is simply impossible without pursuing a life in Eretz Israel. We are not only a religion. We are a nation, and our nation can only thrive in the Land of Israel.

Historically, Jewish attempts to return to their land in spite of many being involuntarily “transferred” by the Romans (now recognized as a war crime) has been nothing short of heroic and determined, in spite of concerted efforts by the various powers to stop them. As cruel as the Roman occupation, expulsions, murders and enslavements of my people were, I am reminded once again in reviewing Benjamin Netanyahu’s book “A Place Among the Nations”…the Romans are not the people who ultimately uprooted the Jewish peasant from his land.

In the following excerpts, all emphases are the authors, unless otherwise stated. Any comments by me within the quoted text are stated by me.

(636 CE) “Unlike the previous conquerors, the Arabs poured in a steady stream of colonists, often composed of military battalions and their families, with the intention of permanently Arabizing the land. In order to execute this policy of armed settlement, the Arabs relied on the regular expropriation of land, houses and Jewish labor. In combination with the turmoil introduced into the land by the Arab conquest, these policies finally succeeded in doing what the might of Rome (and subsequent conquerors — Ellie Katz) had not achieved: the uprooting of the Jewish farmer from his soil. Thus it was not the Jews who usurped the land from the Arabs, but the Arab who usurped the land from the Jews.”

“Why is this important? After all, more than twelve hundred years have passed since this change occurred. Nations come and go, and history moves on. Even if it was the Arabs who finished off the Jewish presence in Palestine, what of it? They conquered the land, and it has become theirs.

“In many ways the argument between Jews and Arabs over their respective historic rights to a national home resembles an argument over the rights of an individual owner to his house. If the original owner is tossed out of his home but never relinquishes his right to return and reoccupy the premises, he may press his claim. But suppose a new occupant has fixed up the place and made a home of it while the original claimant is still around but prevented from pressing his claim? In such a case, even if the new occupant has resided there for a considerable period of time and improved the premises, his claim to the place is considered inferior to that of the original owner. Yet if in the meantime no has has set up house and the place has become a shambles, there can be no rival claim and the original owner is clearly entitled to have his property returned to him.

“The two crucial questions to ask about the conflicting Jewish and Arab historical claims to the land are therefore these: First, did the Jews sustain their claim to the land over the centuries? Second, did the Arabs create a unique national claim to the land after the Jews departed?

“Clearly, conquest alone does not endow a conqueror with the national rights to a particular land. It is the emergence of a separate, distinct people with continuous ties to a defined territory that is at the heart of all national territorial claims. This is the basis of the Jewish claim. And this is why the Arabs, in their efforts to overturn it, are now careful to assert that centuries ago,  a separate and distinct Arab nation was created in Palestine — the “Palestinians.” (for detailed information on this, please read “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters. Even simpler, just find some quotes by Yasir Arafat, or the late King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan. — Ellie Katz)

“Unlike civil disputes over property rights between individuals, the passage of time alone does not necessarily resolve claims to the ownership of a national home, as we are seeing in the current resurfacing in Eastern Europe of national conflicts going back hundreds of years.

Netanyahu then goes on to discuss the conquering on Spain by the Arabs, their later majority, the Spanish being being forced to live in a “tiny patch of the mountains in the north”,  as a minority, the subsequent reconquering of Spain by the Spanish some 500 years later, and  Granada after 800 years.

“What the Spaniards achieved after eight centuries, the Jews acheived after twelve — but the principle is identical. More important are the differences in the manner of circumstances in which the two national restorations were accomplished. The Spaniards reconquered their land with fire and blood; the Jews embarked on a peaceful resettlement, resorting to arms only in self-defense. The Spaniards battled against a Moorish nation that had built one of the great intellectual and cultural centers of mankind there, and they regained a land that had largely been cultivated. What the Jews found when they returned to Palestine was ruined land, largely unpopulated.

“What is common in the cases of Spain and Israel is the continued existence of the people whose country had been conquered, and the persistent aspirations of that people to be reestablished in its national home. The Spaniards, to be sure, retained a corner of their country from which they could begin their restoration, but his merely facilitated the task; it did not create their basic right of recovery.

“Against the accepted reasons for Jewsish restoration such as these, some sympathizers of the Arabs tried to invent arguments to weaken the Jewish case. This British historian Arnold Toynbee, for example, who resented the Jewish people for not behaving according to his iron laws of history (“fossils”, he believed, do not come back to life), argues that a statute of limitations should be imposed on national claims, just as in civil disputes. If the Arabs were to recover Palestine from the Jews within, say, fifty years of Israel’s establishment, that would be a legitimate reconquest. But if the Jews had taken the land from the Arabs after a longer period, that could not be considered legitimate. Whille applicable in certain civil cases, statutes of limitations are woefully unsuited for these kinds of national claims. Toynbee’s toying with numbers asid, the mere passage of time cannot render a national claim obsolete. If the claim is historically valid, it disappears only with the diasappperance of the claimant.” — excerpts from: A Place Among the Nations by Benjamin Netanyahu page 25-27.

I suggest everyone who wants to truly understand the history of the region read Netanyahu’s book as well as “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters.

Bac to Mr. George Soros: Perhaps the tikkun that HKB”H has put before Mr. Soros is not so much a tikkun for voluntary sin on his part, as it is a tikkun for his injured soul. It could be that HKB”H has allowed Mr. Soros to rise to the position of wealth and power he has, and put him in the position he is in, out of consideration for his child soul…wounded deeply by the cruel animals who wanted to destroy him and his family for no other reason than being Jewish. I would not doubt that our beneficent Abba in Heaven would send this test to heal him of a great weight he must be carrying, inflicted upon him by evil beasts. What Mr. Soros witnessed in seeing his fellow Jews losing their property, and certainly at some point, having seen untold horrors, is really not any different than any other horrible site children witness at the hands of heartless men. While those children may not be party to the horror, they witnessed something children were not designed to witness…none of us are, but especially not children. Mr. Soros is no doubt a gifted and intelligent man, or he would not be where he is today. Often, such people are the most deeply wounded by trauma, and the most reluctant to face their soul wounds. His current circumstances seem to me to be custom made for him.

I am very glad you responded to my post in such detail. Most of us  owe each other the benefit of the doubt, and especially someone who faced these sorts of circumstances as a child. I am glad I read Mr. Soros’ story as he would have it told. I’m sure he suffers greatly. We all do. The entire Jewish world is damaged because of what has befallen us over the last 2000 years, finally culminating in the Holocaust. The only thing, in my opinion, that will heal these wounds, is for us to all come together as a people. Our Sages, of blessed memory, refer to this as “ahavas hinam”…baseless love (more accurately translated as “unconditional love”. More tikkun olam. Basesless hatred, or sinat hinam is what drove us to where we are today. The opposite is the remedy.

Mr. Soros can be a healer, or he can perpetuate the pain. I will daven today for him, hoping he makes the right choice in the matter of his people, suffering under threat of losing their homes in Eretz Israel. I apologize for initially believing only one side of the story regarding his history. To be fair, The American Thinker story emphasized the damage done to a child who was indeed forced into collaboration, and wondered aloud whether this damage follows him more than he realizes.

Mr. Soros does bear the full moral weight for his actions now, as a grown man. I hope he chooses tikkun. Tikkun for Mr. Soros will not involve sending spies among his fellow Jews to glean information from them unawares. Tikkun for Mr. Soros will not involve sharing any part in the effort to remove them from their homes in any part of Eretz Israel. Tikkun for Mr. Soros will not involve any assistance on his part in weaking Jewish sovereignty over any part of Eretz Israel, least of all Jerusalem. Tikkun for Mr. Soros will involve making live easier for his fellow Jews…using the financial and other resources accrued to him by his Creator, HKB”H, for the benefit of his fellow Jews, first and foremost, and not a benefit he sees, but they don’t recognize as such. If Mr. George Soros becomes a philanthropist for the rebuilding and resettling of Jews in any location of their choosing within the confines of Eretz Israel, then he will be achieving Tikkun.

Tikkun certainly doesn’t involve assisting the avowed enemies of the Jewish people, who make their intentions known at least daily, people who target children, women, unarmed non-combatants as a matter of course. Before the world’s moral compass apparently became demagnitized the PLO (PA), Hamas and Hezbollah were recognized for the murderers of innocents that they are. Tikkun will involve, for Mr. Soros, financially assisting the Jewish people in defending themselves against anyone who is their sworn enemies, especially in Eretz Israel.

Choose tikkun. We all must.

G<strong>Biography of Mr. Michael Vachon:</strong>

<a href=”http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/academics/directory/mcv28-fac.html&#8221; rel=”nofollow”><strong>http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/academics/directory/mcv28-fac.html</strong></a&gt;
Michael Vachon is director of communications at Soros Fund Management (SFM). Mr. Vachon serves as spokesperson for the Fund and for Mr. Soros personally. He advises Mr. Soros and other executive on media relations and external affairs and acts as Mr. Soros’s chief-of-staff for special projects, including overseeing Mr. Soros’s political contributions. Prior to joining SFM, Mr. Vachon was director of communications and a member of the executive committee of The Commonwealth Fund, one of the nation’s oldest private foundations. Before that he was director of communications at the Open Society Institute and the Soros foundation network. Before joining the foundation he worked for several years as a financial journalist. Mr. Vachon holds an MA in international relations from Columbia University.</em>

So, Mr. Vachon, I will tone down my rhetoric when I see Mr. Soros change his path. When he chooses to use his vast wealth and the power that typically comes with such wealth to do the right thing by the innocent victims of the West’s attempt at forcing “peace” in a way that requires them to give up everything, hwile receiving nothing in return, at best worthless promises that have been broken time and time again.  Some of those innocent victims are Arabs, yes, but not from the Jewish people. They are victims of their own cynical, selfish leaders, greedy and primitive leaders, who use the squalid conditions of some refugee camps as weapons against Israel. Especially the children.

The most innocent victims, however, are George Soros own brethren, the Jewish people. Especially the children.

Until then, my apology goes this far, and this far only: I failed to present both sides in my initial post. Now we have both sides. I have corrected my error by giving your comment the front page of my blog and my co-blogger’s site, Avid Editor’s Insights.

As far as which narrative represents the George Soros of today,those of his detractors or his defenders, that can only be determined by George Soros. Who will he will serve, HKB”H, or himself? I am hoping, as I’ve said, for the former.

We will live on and serve HKB”H regardless of who tries to stop us, and we will do it in our Land. All of it.

From Schmoozing with Elya & Ellie Katz

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