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George Eli Birnbaum (born 1970) is an American political consultant. He was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He has worked on United States Congressional and Senatorial races. In 1998 he moved to Israel to serve as a consultant to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, became his chief of staff, and afterwards formed a partnership with political consultant Arthur Finkelstein.

George E. Birnbaum
Vlada + George (49).jpg
political marketing consultant for the far-right
Born01/01/1970
Los Angeles, CA
OccupationPolitical Consultant

Early lifeEdit

George Birnbaum was born in Los Angeles to Jewish immigrant parents. His father was an Auschwitz survivor and three of his grandparents were also Holocaust survivors. When Birnbaum was four his family moved to Atlanta, where he attended elementary and high school. He attended the Florida Institute of Technology where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Space Sciences.

Birnbaum took his first paid position in a political campaign in 1992, signing onto Ohio Republican Congressman Bob McEwen’s reelection campaign. In the years following, he worked on campaigns in North Carolina, Florida and Virginia.

During the 1996 cycle, Birnbaum served as the deputy political director and director of survey research under National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Alfonse D'Amato. Birnbaum managed Charlie Crist’s 1998 unsuccessful campaign against incumbent Senator Bob Graham in Florida.

Hungarian campaign against financier George SorosEdit

In January 2019, several Swiss newspapers published an article called "Der böse Jude" ("The Evil Jew") by Magazin reporter Hannes Grassegger, about the origins of the world-wide campaign against Hungarian-born financier George Soros.[1] A week later it was published in English as "The Unbelievable Story Of The Plot Against George Soros".[2] In it, Grassegger draws on an interview with Birnbaum in which he describes how Soros was turned into a pariah in Hungary and a number of other countries due to efforts conceived by Arthur Finkelstein and himself.[3] The article quotes Birnbaum saying "Soros was the perfect enemy... It was so obvious."[4] Ahead of the 2014 Hungarian election, several right-leaning Hungarian newspapers published articles alleging a Soros-led international conspiracy against Hungary.[5] Shortly afterward, the Hungarian authorities took legal action against the environmental NGO Ökotárs, claiming it was Soros-controlled.[6] Although nothing tangible against the organisation was found, this helped to cement the impression in Hungary that Soros was controlling NGOs and meddling in domestic Hungarian affairs.[7]

From 2015 the campaign against Soros intensified, culminating in a billboard campaign by the Hungarian government against Soros and the Open Society Foundations funded by him. In 2018, both the foundation and the Soros-funded Central European University decided that they would leave Hungary and move their offices to Berlin and Vienna respectively.[8] [9]

CareerEdit

After the 1998 cycle, Birnbaum consulted for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign. Birnbaum served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff,[10][11] a position he held for a year and a half.

In 2003, Birnbaum went into partnership with American conservative political consultant Arthur Finkelstein.[12] In 2008, he worked for the campaign of Nir Barkat for mayor of Jerusalem.[13]

In 2010, Birnbaum helped with the campaign of Prime Minister Petr Nečas in the Czech Republic.[citation needed] He was project manager responsible for 2010 Viktor Orbán campaign.[14]

In 2015, US presidential candidate Ben Carson asked Birnbaum to serve as his chief policy advisor for Israel and the Middle East during the 2016 primaries.[15] [16]

In July 2017, Birnbaum became a partner at Avenue Strategies, a government affairs and political consulting firm based in Washington, D.C..[17]

Birnbaum has been active in Israel, continuing to help Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu political party in national elections in Israel. Birnbaum played a key role in making sure the party survived the most recent national elections held in 2019.[18]

Birnbaum became a Managing Director for Mercury Public Affairs.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Grassegger, Hannes (2019-01-14). "Der böse Jude". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). ISSN 1422-9994. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  2. ^ "The Unbelievable Story Of The Plot Against George Soros". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  3. ^ Grassegger, Hannes (January 12, 2019). "Der böse Jude". Magazin (in German).
  4. ^ "« George Soros était l'ennemi parfait ». La machine de propagande d'Orbán mise à nue". Le Courrier d'Europe centrale (in French). 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  5. ^ "Timeline of governmental attacks against Hungarian NGO sphere" (PDF). Transparency International. 22 February 2017.
  6. ^ Odehnal, Bernhard (January 30, 2015). "Partner der Schweiz in Schwierigkeiten". Tages-Anzeiger (in German).
  7. ^ "Die Finkelstein Formel". Das Magazin (in German). 2019-01-12. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  8. ^ Dunai, Marton (May 15, 2018). "Soros foundation to shut its office in 'repressive' Hungary". Reuters.
  9. ^ "University Backed by George Soros Prepares to Leave Budapest Under Duress". The New York Times. October 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "U.S. pushing Netanyahu to accept demands for peace talks". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Ward, Olivia (March 10, 2010). "Washington 'committed' to ensuring Israel secure". The Toronto Star.
  12. ^ "Pushing right-wing American politics – in Israel". Salon. Archived from the original on 2009-01-15.
  13. ^ "Mofaz learns campaign lessons from US experts". The Jerusalem Post.[dead link]
  14. ^ "Netanyahu and Orban: An Illiberal Bromance Spanning From D.C. to Jerusalem". Haaretz. 2018-07-18. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  15. ^ Kampeas, Ron (January 27, 2016). "Ahead of Iowa caucus: A Jewish guide to the candidates"". The Times of Israel.
  16. ^ https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/12/10/ben-carson-aide/77115162/
  17. ^ "Avenue adds former Netanyahu adviser". Politico. June 30, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  18. ^ https://www.jpost.com/Israel-Elections/Liberman-Polls-are-very-wrong-582749
  19. ^ http://www.mercuryllc.com/experts/george-birnbaum/