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Misplaced Outrage: When Bernie Madoff with Their Money

Publié le 21 décembre, 2008 | Pas de commentaires
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This week I had intended to write about the latest outrages perpetrated by Israel in Gaza.

But I find I can only echo Israel’s critics throughout the world, who multiply in number each passing day, who are demanding a change in the way Israel has failed to be held accountable by the international community for decades, abusing the Palestinians, on whose land they continue to build illegal settlements, in more and more cruel and oppressive ways. Also, the way the U.S. enthusiastically bends over in support of their brutal policies, even against Palestinian Fulbright scholars who dare to be from Gaza, lest there arise a ray of hope for a non-violent solution which would involve Israel having to concede the injustice of its perverse and lawless acts, and establish a way to govern that is in keeping with a 21st century understanding of human rights.

What I find truly new and astounding this week, is the animated fury gotten up by one and all about revelations concerning the crooked Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff. There is hatred of him, more than the Wall Street bankers and mortgage swindlers, because he has stolen from ‘his own’. Reviling him has become tantamount to reviling Israel, criticism of him being confounded with ‘anti-semitism’. One Jewish woman from California even went so far as to call Madoff’s $50 billion theft, “Kristallnacht Two”, which frankly made me want to vomit. (http://www.counterpunch.org/)

And I refuse to feel obligated to cite by name those Jewish individuals and organizations in Israel and the international community which have opposed the violence and depraved sanctions against Palestinians – they are legion, not voices in the wilderness; and yet, they are not supported by the very minions of megawealth that have now fallen “victim” to the lastest of global financial disasters, so who will listen to them anyway? Easier to cry “anti-semitism” and be done with them.

On the one hand, Madoff’s scam must be regarded as a singularly catastrophic blow of epic proportion to the Jewish community of which Madoff was a part; on the other hand, to point out that Madoff is responsible for the misery of so many now left destitute is [absurdly] decried as anti-semitism. This is the same bait-and-switch that has kept Israel from facing the harsh criticism it deserves, that the idea that criticism of Israel is equal to hatred of Jews and Jewishness; the idea that criticism of Madoff’s disregard for the Jews he defrauded is to be denounced as the wickedest schadenfreude, and equated with anti-semitism.

« He’s an evil person. It’s morally disgraceful, » said Rep. Peter King (R-LI), who yesterday called for a congressional probe of the scam. (http://www.nypost.com/seven/12162008/news/regionalnews/crash__bernie_after_evil_con_144468.htm) A ‘congressional probe of the scam’ for private investors! A congressional probe! Where is the congressional probe into the defense of policies that have allowed Israel to threaten to “go it alone” against Iran?! (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5284173.ece, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1154525933028), as though their attack – which can only further destabilize the world and promote further deadly conflict – is a priority on the world agenda?! Where is the moral outrage when the matter is Israel, and not a certain Jewish financier who has robbed the rich of their millions and billions?

To speak in terms of ‘moral disgrace’, let alone Kristallnacht, is the crowning disgrace of this debacle.

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