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The Wiesel industry


Today’s Washington Post reports that a Jewish theater company in Washington allowed Elie Wiesel to put the kibosh on a play that treated his role in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Norman Finkelstein responds:

What the Washington Post left out:

Wiesel was reportedly miffed because the play portrayed him reading Shakespeare’s complete works in Yiddish, whereas in fact he read them in the original Chinese.  He did offer to rescind his objections in exchange for one-third of box office receipts.  Negotiations are continuing.

I am not sure if people will get my Wiesel remark.  It refers to his claim that he read Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason in Yiddish, although as I pointed out in The Holocaust Industry, The Critique of Pure Reason was never translated into Yiddish.  You are too young to remember, but a huge controversy erupted with Wiesel then claiming that he had a copy of the Critique in Yiddish on his bookshelf.  It was all quite comical, I must say.

The WP discreetly says he "personally lost several millions."  In fact it was reported that he lost upward of $40 million, of which $15 million was invested in his foundation tax shelter.  My guess is that he actually lost $45 million.  Under the law you can invest 30 percent of your savings in a tax-exempt foundation.  You do the math.

Norman Finkelstein
About Norman G. Finkelstein

Norman G. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He taught political theory and the Israel-Palestine conflict for many years and currently writes and lectures. Finkelstein's books have been translated into 50 foreign editions. His latest is "Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom" (University of California Press, January 2018).

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