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Spinning the Jewishness of Bernie Madoff
June 29, 2009
In the weeks before Bernie Madoff’s sentencing to what amounts to a life sentence, the professional “spin doctors” at various Jewish advocacy organizations were doubtless working overtime. They know that his sentencing will be the top story in many media outlets around the world. Their goal is to distance Madoff and his crimes as far as possible from the public perception of Jewishness, and to distance Jews, in general, as far as possible from the current global economic collapse.
David Harris, the Executive Director of
the American Jewish Committee, exhibited this type of concern last December 21
in a letter to the New York Times in which he chastised the
Jewish-owned newspaper for publishing an article that made the following
passing reference to Madoff’s Jewishness:
He was thought of as a great philanthropist, a pillar of the community, the chairman of Nasdaq — all of that stuff,” said one hedge fund executive who knew him.
There was a joke around that Bernie was actually the Jewish T-bill,” the executive went on, referring to the ultrasecure investment of treasury bills. “He was that safe.”
Mr. Madoff had traveled far from his roots in eastern
He had come to move easily in the clubby Jewish world that
Indeed, in the world of Jewish New York, where Mr. Madoff, 70, was raised and found success, he is largely still considered as a macher: a big-hearted big shot for whom philanthropy and family always intertwined with — and were equally as important as — finance.
Harris’ letter to the Times took them to task for “a striking emphasis on [Madoff’s] being Jewish. It was not just once, or twice, but at least three times before the article continued inside. Why?” Harris and other Jewish public relations gurus would like to deny the relevance of Madoff’s Jewishness. Some of their tactics have been
1. to suggest that Madoff’s victims were primarily Jews, hence transforming a story about a Jewish perpetrator into a story about Jewish victims;
2. to argue that Jews are not any more likely to do the sorts of things Madoff did than anyone else;
3. to equate any suggestion that there is an inherent Jewish tendency toward financial misconduct with “anti-Semitism.”
However, anyone even remotely familiar
with the recent history of Wall Street criminality would readily acknowledge the
futility of tactics 1 and 2 above.
The names of
Jack Grubman and
should be sufficient to establish a history of corrupt behavior, while the more
recent antics of
and Robert Rubin
should be sufficient to establish a central Jewish presence in the current
global economic collapse. The little-known career of Ameriquest sub-prime
finagler extraordinaire and
If the facts will become known, it will
be only tactic #3 above that will confront informed Gentiles — the charge of
It is high time that
Andrew Anderson is a retired businessman.