Strauss-Kahn, French Jewish Leader? IMF Head Does to African Maid What Global Finance Does to Africa

Two thoughts about Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund and currently Riker’s Island’s most distinguished resident…

Before his arrest, he was considered the clear front-runner in France’s upcoming presidential election, set for next April. Were he elected, he would have been the sixth Jewish leader of France. Despite its reputation for anti-Semitism, France has elected five Jewish prime ministers. The only other country with a comparable record is Israel (10 Jewish prime ministers, nine Jewish presidents).

Here they are in chronological order: Leon Blum (1936-37, March-April 1938, 1946-47; Rene Mayer, January-June 1953; Pierre Mendes-France, 1953-54; Michel Debre (Jewish father), 1959-62; Laurent Fabius (Jewish father), 1984-86.

They don’t settle for halfway measures when they pick a French Jewish leader. Compare that to American Jewish leaders, who don’t lead America and don’t lead Jews.

If Strauss-Kahn manages to overcome his legal troubles and come back to win the election, France will become the second country to have a Jewish alleged sexual predator in its presidential palace.

Jon Stewart pointed out last night that Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim is an African immigrant, which means that the head of the IMF was (allegedly) doing to an African woman what the global economic system is doing to Africa. “He’s posing for his own political cartoon,” Stewart said.

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Strauss-Kahn, French Jewish Leader? IMF Head Does to African Maid What Global Finance Does to Africa

Thank you!

This article has been sent!