How so you my ask? Well, as you may recall, Soros is a financier worth about $20 billion. He’s also the favorite whipping boy of frothing at the mouth pundits, the kind who still insist that President Barak Obama, who wasn’t even born in the US, is a crypto-Muslim bent on the destruction of the State of Israel. To them, Soros is a Jewish Nazi collaborator (who collaborated with the Nazis when he was, uh, 12…) who supports groups like JStreet who everyone knows is an anti-Israel organization, and through his Open Society Foundations, supports organizations that are (gasp!) critical of Israel!! It’s got to be a bit confusing though because Soros has also been instrumental in many ways, in the downfall of Communism and the Soviet Union – helping countries unshackle themselves from Soviet influence and institutions. I say confusing because many of those opposed to Soros were once also Cold-Warriors who loved US President Ronald Reagan and hated the commie bastards.

Soros just keeps adding to the confusion because now, guess what he did? He just bought $24.3 million worth of SodaStream shares. As you may also recall, Scarlett Johansson was hired as a spokesperson for the company. Her role was criticized because SodaStream runs a factory in the West Bank. That said factory provides employment to both Jews and Palestinians at fair wages was deemed irrelevant to the critics who claimed that the entire operation was an illegal Zionist, colonialist enterprise taking place on stolen land. Protesters convened in front of stores that sold SodaStream and called for a boycott in support of the BDS movement. Israel supporters for their part, purchased even more SodaStream units.

And now what? George Soros has actually helped SodaStream by buying a significant chunk of the company’s stock, perhaps signalling an end to a steady slide that saw the corporation lose 18% of its share price this year after lackluster holiday sales. And that’s not all… at the same time, Soros informed the SEC that his Soros Fund Management LLC also increased its holdings in Israeli drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals to 5.8%. Teva, you may also recall, is a favorite of pro-Israel, anti-boycott activists because as the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world, it provides life saving and affordable drugs to people everywhere. Boycotting the Israeli drug maker means that, well… people will die. And yet, George Soros, the anti-Israel devil incarnate as far as some people are concerned, owns a massive chunk of this very important Israeli company.

Pretty whacky, right? What are the BDS people going to do? What are the rabid Israel supporters going to do? Are we going to have to reassess George Soros? Probably…

About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

45 Comments

    • He now owns .3% of SodaStream and %5.4 of Teva. Definitely a smart business move but what about BDS? Isn’t Soros supposed to hate Israel? Doesn’t this totally violate BDS? It’d be like investing in Caterpillar!

      • 5% of Teva? That’s pretty significant. The Sodastream amount is negligible.

        I haven’t seen any information that Soros supports a boycott of Israel. Support for J Street, in theory, is not support of a boycott.

        Second, Soros is smarter than us. It’s possible that he is seeking to put himself in a position to influence these companies and their decisions by becoming a key stakeholder.

        Third, it’s good business to buy low. I believe Teva is under pressure because one of their branded medications recently lost a case to generic competitors, and Sodastream’s stock has also been underperforming.

      • This whole piece is one big strawman argument. So what if he’s investing in Israeli companies – maybe (gasp) he thinks he can make money that way? That must mean he loves Israel. Next time I buy shares in Exxon please tell me that I love the Arabs and the chokehold they have on oil. Business decisions and personal sentiments not necessarily the same. To think that he (along with J Street) is pro-Israel just because he invested in some Israeli companies is an unwarranted conflation.

    • SodaStream traditionally trades at 20 times yearly earnings but now it’s 17 so it’s undeniably undervalued. Motely Fool just published 3 reasons to buy Teva – The biosimilars to Copaxone that Mylan and Novartis are trying to bring to market have yet to receive FDA approval so… ya know. But clearly, this isn’t the same as Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin’s $12 million family foundation owning stock in Intel, General Electric and uh… Caterpillar… see http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.co.il/2014/04/multi-millionaire-bdser-medea-benjamin.html

  • Soros is just buying low and selling high. That’s how he made his fortune, and why he continues to be financially successful.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about the money, honey.

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