Billionaire George Soros, who says his highest calling in life is to turn George Bush out of office, told a New York audience of wealthy Jews that that the policies of Israel and the U.S. are partly to blame for the rise of anti-Semitism around the world.

“There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe,” Soros told the Jewish Funders Network, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that. It’s not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well. I’m critical of those policies. If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish,” he said. “I can’t see how one could confront it directly.”

George Soros

The billionaire financier said he, too, as a Jew, bears some responsibility for the new anti-Semitism, citing last month’s speech by Malaysia’s outgoing prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, who said, “Jews rule the world by proxy.”

“I’m also very concerned about my own role because the new anti-Semitism holds that the Jews rule the world,” said Soros. “As an unintended consequence of my actions, I also contribute to that image.”

Associates said Soros’ appearance Nov. 5 was the first they could ever recall in which the billionaire, a Hungarian-born U.S. Jew who escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to London as a child, had spoken in front of a Jewish group or attended a Jewish function.

The one-day meeting on funding in Israel, which took place at the Harvard Club in New York, was limited mostly to representatives of Jewish philanthropic foundations. Soros is ranked as the 28th richest person in the United States by Forbes magazine ? with a fortune valued at $7 billion.

Meanwhile, Soros told the Washington Post defeating Bush is “the central focus of my life” and “a matter of life and death.” Yesterday he committed $5 million to, a left-wing activist group begun to aid President Clinton during his impeachment battle. The new donation brought to $15.5 million the total he has contributed to oust Bush from power.

“If necessary, I would give more money,” the 74-year-old told the Post. “America, under Bush, is a danger to the world. And I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.”

He likened Bush to the Nazis and said he believes a “supremacist ideology” guides the White House.

“When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans.”

“Preachers of Hate”

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