What should be a shameful scandal involving Israel’s poor treatment of Holocaust survivors and heirs of victims was at least reported on the front page of the New York Times, although the article concludes by saying, “This is only a committee report, a revelation of the scope of the problem. This is not the Knesset passing a law forcing the banks and the custodian to return the money. For that, there has to be political will.”

According to the article, after Jews have demanded that European banks, especially in Switzerland and Austria, pay out assets held on behalf of Jews who were victims of the Holocaust, Jewish banks and even the Government of Israel, have failed to make equivalent payments for the moneys they hold. The article says there are about 9,000 names on the list of people owed, and 6,000 of them are listed as victims of the Holocaust. By one accounting, the Israeli Government owes $133 million, and the banks owe $73 million.

I am concerned that all the Jewish furor about the Holocaust is a marketing ploy. It’s partly about the money. People like former Secretary of State Larry Eagleburger and lawyers representing the victims have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for their role in pressuring banks and governments in Europe to pay up, while the average Holocaust survivor or heir has gotten only a few thousand dollars. But more than the money, it has been a campaign to make people feel sorry for Jews, to give them and the State of Israel a break by not criticizing them too strongly for things like killing Palestinian children, or making millions on Wall Street through shady deals involving Enron, WorldCom, etc. I think that once again those poor Jews who actually were sent to Auschwitz and other death camps are the victims of the “marketing” of the Holocaust. They won’t get much, but powerful Israeli politicians and rich Wall Street and Hollywood Jews, most of whom escaped the Holocaust, will get plenty of benefit.

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