The national Jewish group Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has come out strongly against Jewish leaders critical of Glenn Beck’s recent George Soros expose, which detailed his actions during the Holocaust, calling such criticism of Beck “painful, troubling and disquieting.”

“ZOA has expressed its concern over the strong criticism that a number of American Jewish leaders and other prominent Jews in recent days have directed at Fox broadcaster, Glenn Beck, for his criticism of Israel/U.S.-basher, financier George Soros, regarding his behavior in Nazi-occupied Budapest in 1944,” the group says in a statement released Tuesday.

In a three-part series on Beck’s Fox program last week, Beck portrayed Soros as the “puppet master” behind, among other things, world financial collapses. While describing Soros, Beck told how, during the Holocaust, the 14-year-old Hungarian Jew “used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off.” The “anti-Semite” was Soros’s fake grandfather, who was paid off by his real father in an effort to conceal the young Soros’s Jewish identity. He has not shown remorse or regret for those actions.

“A number of American Jewish leaders condemned Mr. Beck for these remarks,” ZOA’s statement says, “yet a 1998 interview with Soros conducted by Steve Kroft on ‘60 Minutes’ shows that Beck did not misstate the facts.”

The group goes on to detail a litany of “anti-Israel, anti-American” remarks made by Soros over the years.*

Among those who have spoken out against Beck are Elan Steinberg, the vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants; Simon Greer, the director of Jewish Funds for Justice; Jewish writer Michelle Goldberg; and Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.

“I have seen no proof,” Steinberg has said regarding Beck’s Soros claims, while Greer said Beck “deliberately and grotesquely” mischaracterized Soros’s actions and accused him of “Holocaust revisionism.” Goldberg wrote that Beck’s series went “beyond demonizing” Soros and described the programs as a “symphony of anti-Semitic dog whistles.” And Foxman issued a statement calling Beck’s claims “unacceptable,” “offensive,” and “horrific.”

Statements like those prompted ZOA to respond.

“It is painful, troubling and disquieting to see Jewish leaders defending any actions by George Soros, someone who has shown himself to be an active antagonist of Israel and the U.S., whom he blames for the world’s troubles,” ZOA National President Morton A. Klein says in the statement.

“In light of Soros’ hatred of Israel and the United States; his continuous efforts to harm them; the absence of any subsequent remorse and feeling as an adult over the events he witnesses in Nazi-occupied Hungary as a 14-year old; as well as the fact that Glenn Beck’s comments were essentially accurate, George Soros merits no defense or sympathy from Jewish leaders,” he adds.

“We are truly puzzled that some Jewish leaders have chosen to defend this and other Israel-bashers from their critics.”

*This sentence changed from “anti-Semitic” to “anti-Israel, anti-American” in order to quote the statement.

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