[Marxism] The Madoff Victims: Schadenfreude, Not Anti-Semitism

Philip Dunn hyl0morphster at googlemail.com
Fri Dec 26 19:17:36 MST 2008

The posting by Daniel McGowan / December 22nd, 2008 seems to have
vanished. Thank Goodness for the Google Cache!

As the news of Bernard Madoff’s colossal fraud focused on America’s most
“important” Jewish tycoons and moguls, it was only a matter of hours
before the story was spun around their victimhood with the usual cudgels
of “anti-Semitism” and the Holocaust. In Israel, columnist Bradley
Burston spun the story best by declaring, “The anti-Semite’s new Santa
is Bernard Madoff. … The Aryan Nation at its most delusional couldn’t
have come up with anything to rival this.” 
As the list of Madoff’s “victims” grows, their common characteristic is
not philanthropy, but rather political Zionism. Virtually all have
worked to build a Jewish state with little regard, and often downright
hatred, for the non-Jewish population living there. 
The money from this type of mogul or “ganzer macher” has been used to 
dehumanize and depopulate non-Jews in Palestine for over 120 years. But
in spite of creating a strong Israeli economy based on guns, diamonds,
and security services and in spite of walling Arabs in Bantustans in the
West Bank and in the KZ lager known as Gaza, they have failed. Non-Jews
outnumber Jews within the borders controlled by Israel, which makes a
mockery out of calling it a Jewish state. 
Schadenfreude is defined to be largely unanticipated delight in the
suffering of another which is recognized as well deserved. Political
Zionism deserves scorn and derision; it is racist and antithetical to
what Americans profess to hold self-evident: that all men and women are
created equal and that we should share equal rights of citizenship. When
rich Zionists lose a piece of their portfolios, especially to the guile
of one of their own, it is a delight. 
The press was first to report Madoff’s pilfering of the Robert Lappin “
Charitable” Foundation, an organization whose “mission is helping to
keep our children Jewish, thus reversing the trend of assimilation and
intermarriage.” If the reader has trouble seeing the blatant racism
here, substitute “White” for “Jewish” and imagine it was the stated goal
of the David Duke Charitable Foundation. 
While Mr. Burston found Madoff’s bilking of “fellow Jews, even Holocaust
survivors” particularly outrageous, there are those who find divine
justice in seeing one fraud defraud another. Elie Wiesel and his
Foundation for Humanity would certainly qualify. Here is a man who has
made millions peddling his narrative on the deaths of Jews in World War
II; his novel, Night, is mandatory reading for most high school
students; questioning it in any way invites charges of “anti-Semitism”
and “Holocaust Denial.” He has been feted by Presidents and holds dozens
of honorary degrees. If there were a CEO of the Holocaust Industry (a
term coined by Norman Finkelstein), surely it would be The Great
Wiesel’s Foundation claims to combat indifference, intolerance and
injustice through programs to promote acceptance, understanding, and
equality. Yet he remains persistently indifferent to over 60 years of
suffering of the Palestinian people and treats them with silence or as
the “untermenschen” his people once were under the Nazis. Wiesel boasts
of having worked for the terrorists of the Jewish Irgun, not as a
fighter but as a journalist, and he steadfastly refuses to apologize for
the massacre by his employer at Deir Yassin. As a devout Zionist there
is no way he can endorse one state in Israel/Palestine with equal rights
of citizenship for all. 
Other victims of Madoff’s deception, like the Shapiro Family Foundation
and the Chais Family Foundation, are undoubtedly genuinely philanthropic
and well-meaning. But insofar as their gifts support Jews-only
education, medicine, and social programs in Israel, they deserve the
derision that would be accorded to Aryan philanthropists or others who
support a racist state, one whose very laws favor one chosen group over
all the rest. 
Madoff’s clients were not just generous Jews; they were Jews who
directly or indirectly support the racism inherent in political Zionism.
They support the assimilation of Ethiopian Jews (a noble enterprise),
but reject the assimilation of Israeli Arabs and the Palestinians caged
in West Bank and Gaza. They support “birthright” trips for young
American Jews in hopes they will settle in Israel, but not the
“Birthright Unplugged” educational trips of Hannah Mermelstein or the
work of Jeff Halper’s Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. 
Madoff’s wealthy victims build ever more Holocaust memorials with the
message “Never Forget” but ignore the current siege and starvation of
Gaza to which they contribute financially and by their silence. Like The
Great Weasel, they simply dismiss the analogy as “unworthy.” Where is
the Spielberg movie of the Gaza ghetto that isolates three times as many
people as the Warsaw Ghetto and in worse conditions? Where is the
support for _Righteous Jews_ (http://www.righteousjews.org/) like former
Princeton University law professor Richard Falk, who calls what Israel
is doing to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza “a crime against
humanity?” Falk has condemned the collective punishment of the
Palestinians in Gaza as “a flagrant and massive violation of
international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth
Geneva Convention.” 
Cast in terms of their impact on the struggle for Palestinian human
rights, it is difficult not to plead guilty to schadenfreude caused by
the greed of Bernard Madoff. In fact, my only regret is that Edgar
Bronfman and Alan Dershowitz were not among his preferred clients. 
Daniel McGowan is Professor Emeritus at Hobart and William Smith
He can be reached at: _mcgowan at hws.edu_ (mailto:mcgowan at hws.edu) . _Read
other articles by Daniel.
(http://www.dissidentvoice.org/author/DanielMcGowan/) . 

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