'Madoff scam spurs online anti-Semitism'

ADL reports a number of mainstream, extremist sites have seen a spike in comments aimed at Jews.

madoff after court 248.88 ap (photo credit: AP)
madoff after court 248.88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
In the wake of what police believe to be a $50 billion Ponzi scheme engineered by Wall Street insider Bernard Madoff, a flood of anti-Semitic comments have deluged the internet, being posted on various mainstream and extremist websites, the Anti-Defamation League reported. "Jews are always a convenient scapegoat in times of crisis, but the Madoff scandal and the fact that so many of the defrauded investors are Jewish has created a perfect storm for the anti-Semites," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a press release published by the organization on Friday. "Nowadays, the first place Jew-haters will go is to the Internet, where they can give voice to their hateful ideas without fear of repercussions." "Blogging and social media sites are changing the way people communicate their reactions to events in the news and interact with each other," Foxman continued. "More people are online than ever before, and many more Web sites offer users the ability to comment immediately and anonymously. Those who harbor anti-Semitic beliefs feel most comfortable expressing themselves in cyberspace, where they can provoke a reaction from others or find like-minded individuals to affirm their beliefs." Dozens of private investors, philanthropic foundations and banks fell victim to the scandal, which rocked the already shaky financial world. Madoff has since been ordered by a court to remain confined to his Manhattan apartment pending further legal proceedings. Popular news sites in New York and Florida - the two epicenters of the Madoff story - have seen their share of anti-Semitic posts since the scandal broke. At one point the comment section of The Palm Beach Post featured numerous anti-Jewish posts (subsequently removed by the site's administrators); other high-traffic sites with anti-Semitic posts have included the comment-enabled sections of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Forbes, New York Magazine, the New York Post. Examples of anti-Semitic postings include: - "The greed and corruption of the Jews has brought the financial system and the American economy low." - post by "jeanrenoir" on portfolio.com. - Ho hum, another Crooked Wall Street Jew. Find a Jew who isn't Crooked. Now that would be a story - anonymous post on dealbreaker.com. - One Jew thief robs another bunch of Jew thieves - I suppose that's what you'd call a victimless crime. I suppose if he'd not scre*ed his fellow Jews - and robbed us poor gentiles it would've been absolutely kosher, eh?" - post by "XDFXDFXDF" on nymag.com. - "Nice he could manage to send money to Israel (sic) and pass the losses on to US investors." - post by "cbmiked" on Forbes.com. - "Just another Jew money changer thief. It's been happening for 3,000 years. Trust a Jew and this is what will happen. History has proven it over and over. Jews have only one god - money." - post by "Adolf" on PalmBeachPost.com. - Madoff is "another Jew banker … The Sec is filled with Jewish gatekeepers who routinely turn a blind eye to Jewish financial bandits … It's no conspiracy that the Jews are the source of all the financial troubles in the world." - post by "Thieving Bastards" on sunsentinel.com.