When the movie “Fiddler on the Roof” came out back in 1971, it was such a big hit with me that I took 4 different dates to see it. It was a very moving story of a poor Jewish man named “Tevye” who endured a very tough and difficult time in Tsarist Russia and its frequent pogroms. With all of the difficulties he clanged to tradition, kept the faith in God and always wished he was a rich man.
Tevye perhaps speaks for all of us made poor by George Bush and the financial pogroms that put millions of Americans through, and I am sure Tevye speaks for the all of the rich Jews made poor by Bernard Madoff. I am sure all of us remember the wonderful and moving lyrics from Fiddler on the Roof
"Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, that it's no shame to be poor.
But it's no great honor either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?"
I'd build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen,
Right in the middle of the town.
A fine tin roof with real wooden floors below.
There would be one long staircase just going up,
And one even longer coming down,
And one more leading nowhere, just for show.”
Good thing Tevye did not live to see the day when a fellow Jew, Bernard Madoff stiffed so many rich and elite Jews out of tens of billions of dollars. Had he lived that long and immigrated to America, and became rich perhaps Tevye would have been one of them. The names Bernard Madoff stiffed looks like whose who in American Jewish community and include “ Senator Frank Lautenberg, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, real estate and media mogul Mortimer Zuckerman, GMAC Financial Services chairman J. Ezra Merkin (who ran a hedge fund, Ascot Partners, which reinvested many charities’ funds with Madoff), the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation, Jeff Katzenberg, the Boston-based Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation (which has closed its doors), Eliot Spitzer’s family, the Chais Family Foundation, the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Foundation, Hadassah (the Women’s Zionist Organization of America), the United Jewish Endowment Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington , the Los Angeles’ Jewish Community Foundation’s $238 million Common Investment Pool, the American Jewish Congress, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology” this is a quote from an article that appeared in “Counterpunch” of course not to mention Yeshiva University where Bernard Madoff served on the Board of Trustees.
Since many of these charities and major Jewish personalities are heavy investors in Israel and Israeli causes, I wonder how many of these charities that lost money with Bernard Madoff support and finance Jewish settler terrorism and Jewish terrorism. One thing is for sure we know that most if not all of the money that comes to these criminal Jewish settler terrorists comes from the US. Many if not most of the money that comes to support these Jewish terrorists and criminals comes from US tax exempt charities. Charities that fund them as they go about forging documents and committing fraud to enable them to steal and rob Palestinians of their homes and properties in West Bank cities of Jerusalem and Hebron and take over lands for their settlements, no to mention terrorizing Palestinian farmers and villagers on a daily basis. These charities make it possible for these criminal terrorist settlers not to have a job but make terrorizing Palestinians a full time job paid for by American Jewish charities.
It will not be a surprise if some members of the Congress who feel Jewish charities suffered major losses that prevent them from continuing the support they give to these criminal Jewish settlers will add the Bernard Madoff Investment to the list of financial institutions qualifying for the $700 Billion bail-out.
Only on few occasions did I wish to be a Jew, and who wouldn’t (there is no need to go through difficult circumcisions since by tradition we are circumcised at young age) especially those of us born in Palestine or have Palestinian parents and lost our properties to Jewish settlers and to the State of Israel. If we were Jews we would have the rights to our properties and land and no one, not from New Jersey, or New York or Orange Country can claim the land as deeded to him/her by God.
Of course as I look and see Jews from Moldavia, Russia, the Ukraine, Hungry, New Jersey, New York, North Miami and Orange Country have a right of return, not only return but can chose the piece of land he/she wants and claim it as his/her irrespective of who is the Palestinian owner and as I look at those of us born in Palestine not only are denied the right of return, but denied the right to visit and stay beyond the 3 months tourist visa. My late father, a US citizen who qualified for the “family reunification” program as applied to my late mother had to fly out of the West Bank town of El-Bireh to Cyprus every few months (for more than 10 years) until such time he bribed an Israeli working for the civil administration who gave his a residency card to live in his home town. Denial of residency applies to any Palestinians wishing to return and live in the areas under the civil administration of the Palestinian Authority.
I am sure I do share with Tevye his wish to be a rich man, but not so sure I wish to be that rich and Jewish to qualify to be one of the clients of Bernard Madoff. Boy the man has lots of Chutzpah. Not all Jews could qualify with him, but only certain Jews, the country club type the very supper rich, the philanthropist who gives lots of money to Jewish causes and to Israel. I am sure Tuvye is laughing in his grave and perhaps continue to wish he was a rich a man. As for Palestinians conversion to Judaism is always an option, why not? We could easily solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict peacefully and without much shedding of blood.