George Birnbaum

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George Birnbaum is an American political consultant. Having previously worked in the US, he is now focused on the Israeli political arena. Notably, Birnbaum cooperated with Norman Finkelstein, another American campaign strategist, who contributed to Benjamin Netanyahu’s first victory in a Knesset election.
George Birnbaum was born to a Jewish family. In the US, he worked for a number of Republican politicians such as Robert D. McEwen, Alfonse D’Amato and Charlie Crist.

Relocation to Israel

In 1998, Birnbaum migrated to Israel and started to work for Israeli politicians. He sided with Benjamin Netanyahu and became his chief of staff.1 He held this position for a year and a half. In 2008, he worked for Nir Barkat who became Jerusalem’s mayor and later became Israel’s minister of economy. Birnbaum also assisted other prominent Israeli politicians such as Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu party. In 2021, Birnbaum contributed to Naftali Bennet’s victory, resulting in his short premiership.2

Birnbaum with former Israeli PM Naftali Bennet

Inter-Zionist Feud

Birnbaum has also worked for a number of prominent European politicians such as former Prime Minister of Czech Republic, Petr Nečas.3 Most importantly, Birnbaum – along with fellow American campaigner Finkelstein – helped right-wing Viktor Orban maintain his presidency in Hungary.
Birnbaum and Finkelstein’s main contribution to Orban’s victory targeted George Soros – a liberal Zionist – as the face behind “corrupt globalist elite wanting to destroy the Hungarian nation”. Soros was designated by the American Likud-linked campaigners as an ideal target to direct Hungarian sentiment behind Orban in the wake of increasing illegal immigration into the country. The connection between the campaigners and Orban can be explained through the Hungarian president’s relationship with Israeli right-wing parties especially Netanyahu’s Likud. It is hence logical that Netanyahu may have introduced Birnbaum and Finkelstein to Orban as political consultants.4

Birnbaum with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

It is worth noting that Netanyahu and Soros – both Zionists – have long competed over the Zionist discourse in the US, Europe and even in Israeli domestic affairs. Soros’ worldview prioritizes neoliberal internationalism and Zionist socialism over nationalism, at times menacing Netanyahu’s more nationalist politics abroad and even at home in Israel. Consequently, Birnbaum and Finkelstein’s campaign jabs against Soros in Hungary benefitted both Orban and Netanyahu, despite raising eyebrows within the international Jewish Zionist community.




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