Shandapalooza

Joseph Aaron

And the shandahs just keep on coming.

It is now getting beyond belief. A couple of weeks ago, we learned in very quick succession that one of the most prestigious rabbis in London had to resign because he was playing slap and tickle with a married woman; that the three largest banks in Israel all are having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines because they very knowingly helped their depositors avoid paying American taxes by lying about the dough they had in the banks; that the Jewish secretary of the treasury is manipulating the trade talks with China to benefit a company owned by his wife; that Israel’s justice minister was promoting her candidacy in Israel’s upcoming elections by making a commercial in which she proudly boasts of her perfume named ‘Fascism’; that despite the fact that the CIA and the FBI and career national security officials at the White House all said Prince Jared Kushner should not have a top security clearance, that he got one because the spoiled brat complained to his Jewish wife who promptly ran to daddy and then lied to the world about having run to daddy; and that a twenty something pisher named Pipko is trying to trick young Jews into becoming Republicans by claiming Democrats “don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people.”

I am going to move on with my theme of today’s never ending parade of Jewish shanda, but I just gotta divert for a moment to deal with this Pipko maidele. Look, be a Republican if you want. I will pray for you, but you are free to do so. If you think it’s the Jewish thing to back a party that wants to strip Americans of protection for preexisting conditions all because the Donald moved the embassy to Jerusalem, killed the Iran deal and said the Golan belongs to Israel, knock yourself out. Enjoy, wear a MAGA yarmulke, urge your friends, your rabbi, your Hadassah group to become Republicans. But please stop it with the Democrats not caring about Jews or Israel which is total BS, to quote our president who doesn’t say just BS but publicly uses the whole bull word.

It’s gotten to the insane point that Mike Pence went to the AIPAC conference and actually found a receptive audience for him to say that Democrats had been “co-opted” by anti-Semites. AIPAC, that honorable group which laughingly claims it represents all Jews, actually gave him a standing ovation for saying that. Just for good measure, Pence also noted that eight Democratic candidates for the presidency were boycotting the conference – the only problem being that AIPAC had not invited the candidates to speak.

I can see this whole Democrats hate Jews thing is taking hold, yet another manifestation of lies that become truth in the age of Trump. Well, may I just point out for the record that according to a Gallup poll, support for Israel among liberal Democrats has remained consistent (and the majority position) for at least the past decade. For all the talk of their hostility toward Israel, 58 percent of liberal Democrats and 66 percent of moderate/conservative Democrats view Israel favorably, and only 9 percent of Democrats view Israel very unfavorably.

Indeed, the largest recorded drop this year is the percentage of Republicans – not Democrats – who sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians. Republican sympathies for Israel fell 11 percentage points this year, to 76 percent.

Yes, I know 76 percent is more than 58 or 66 percent, but I also know that 58 or 66 percent is a clear majority of Democrats viewing Israel favorably, or in other words not being co-opted by anti-Semites.

Note the drop in Republican supports for Israel is the result of right wing millennials and younger voters, in the words of Christians United for Israel director David Brog, feeling “less connected to Israel, more quickly embracing a narrative in which they see Israel as an obstacle to peace.” Younger evangelicals aren’t identifying as conservatives or with Israel at the same rates as their older peers, Dan Hummel, author of the forthcoming book “Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations,” said. “Basically, evangelicals under 35 don’t care about this issue nearly as much as older groups do,” Hummel said. “Most evangelicals rarely think about Israel at all.”

Anyway, back to my point about Judaism having become shanda city. So we had all that shanda stuff that I listed at the beginning of this column happen, then right on top of it all, we had Michael Steinhardt, the billionaire who founded Birthright Israel and is one of the biggest Jewish machers of our time donating more than $100 million, being outed as a nauseating, disgusting creep of a pig toward women.

To quote one of them Sheila Katz, “It wasn’t funny the first time Steinhardt asked me to have sex with him. It wasn’t funny the second time, either. It wasn’t funny the third time, or the fourth time. It wasn’t funny when he attempted to auction me off to two men in his office for $1 million. It wasn’t funny when, before I left, he told me it was an “abomination” that I was unmarried and childless, and that he would not fund my work because of that fact.” Indeed, so much the macher is Steinhardt that, says Katz, he declared himself “the King of Israel when he sexually propositioned me.”  

And yet, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, our morals and sense of Yiddishkeit couldn’t get any lower than the king of Israel being a pervert, along comes yet another story, this one perhaps the most shameful of all since it involves Jews knowingly doing stuff that led to the deaths of thousands of people.

Seems that the fabulously wealthy and very Jewish Sackler family directed their pharmaceutical firm Purdue Pharma to mislead doctors and patients about the dangers of the opioid painkiller OxyContin which is produced by the company. The Massachusetts attorney general recently filed internal company communications that provide evidence that the Sacklers made company decisions to aggressively market OxyContin even though it is highly addictive. 

Richard Sackler, a former chairman and president of Purdue Pharma and son of the company founder, Raymond, in a 2001 email advised blaming the people who had become addicted to the drug, according to the filing.

“We have to hammer on abusers in every way possible,” Sackler wrote when he was president of the company. “They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has sued eight members of the Sackler family and others alleging that they had misled doctors and patients about OxyContin’s risks. The Sacklers are among the richest families in the United States, with much of their wealth derived from sales of OxyContin.

The filing also alleges that Richard Sackler urged sales representatives to advise doctors to prescribe the highest dosage of OxyContin because it was the most profitable. More than 200,000 people have died in the United States from overdoses involving prescription opioids.

The company has downplayed the Sacklers’ involvement in the operations of the company. But emails as late as 2012 complain about Richard Sackler’s micromanagement of the company’s sales and marketing activities.

I thought that at this point I had become unstunnable, but I am stunned. These are Jews we are talking about, Jews. How can Jews do this? How can Jews turn their backs like this on Jewish values and principles and traditions and meaning? I can kind of understand how a learned rabbi in London can engage in an extramarital affair. We’re all only human. I find it harder to understand how the founder of Birthright Israel can disgustingly harass women. Okay I guess even Michael Steinhardt is human, but I do have a lot of trouble with a Jewish man acting like that. But what I simply cannot understand, cannot fathom, cannot believe is that an entire family of Jews can mislead patients about the dangers of a drug, can urge doctors to prescribe the highest dosage of that drug because it was the most addictive and so would mean more profits, how they can knowingly lie and manipulate and cheat in a way that very literally destroyed lives, took lives. I don’t understand. That is not human, and it sure as hell ain’t Jewish.

And I don’t understand Jewish organizations. How to this minute not one, not one Jewish organization that receives funding from Michael Steinhardt has rejected his donations, returned his donations, disassociated itself from him, taken his name off things, issued one peep of criticism or concern or disgust. Indeed, some fellow machers have justified what he did.

Same with Sackler. Not one Jewish organization he has funded, not one, has said a peep, refused his blood money. Meanwhile, non-Jewish organizations are acting morally correctly. The National Portrait Gallery in London announced it will not accept a donation of $1.3 million from the Sackler family. The Guggenheim Museum in New York announced that it would not accept new gifts from the Sackler family. The Tate museum in London also decided to stop taking gifts from the Jewish family that has been their benefactors for decades.

But Jewish organizations seem to be cool with taking money from Jewish murderers. And oh just a side note is that also involved in the lawsuits involving the Sacklers is Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries which is also slated to go to trial in the same case. Jewish family, Israeli company.

This stuff is happening every single week, literally almost every single day. Have Jewish morals and values and ethics and principles so eroded to the point that we are numb to it all, are not outraged by it at all. Are we so enthralled that the embassy is now in Jerusalem that we overlook it all, overlook the fact that the Israeli attorney general has recommended indicting the prime minister of Israel on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Part of me wants to believe the Jewish people will rise up against all this shanda and demand better. But as long as we do nothing about it, won’t even criticize Steinhardt, won’t even stop taking his donations, as long as we won’t even criticize the Sacklers, stop taking their money, it’s only going to get a whole lot worse.

G-d help us. For we certainly don’t seem to be doing anything to help ourselves.

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