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May 17, 2011 6:46 pm

DSK Affair Has Global Repercussions

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Allowed one hour of recreation daily, the accused head of the IMF has exchanged a $3000 per night suite and a life of diplomatic and economic power for an 11 X 13 Rikers Island cell and virtual isolation.

CNN correspondent Dr. Judy Koriansky told the Algemeiner that the dramatic downfall of Dominique Strauss Kahn is “a terrible blow to the Jewish community.”  With anti-Semitism so rampant in France, she said, it “would have been so astounding for a Jew of his (prior) standing to have become president of such an important democracy, a mitzvah even for him to have run for the office.”  Now, what could have been a great healing has become the opposite, bringing shame to every cultural, political and social group to which he belongs… He will be seen as a symbol of the stereotype of the morally corrupt Jewish banker.”

Reached at the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein is more optimistic, saying that there is “nothing even hinting at” an anti-Semitic response. Rabbi Joseph Potaskin agreed, saying that “people don’t see him as a Jew.”  He noted that  Strauss-Kahn’s mother is not Jewish.”  (Other sources say the Strauss Kahn’s heritage is half Sephardic, half Askenazic.)

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While innocent until proven guilty, Strauss-Kahn’s faces a barrage of accusations and a plethora of evidence (said to include DNA findings) of an attack on an immigrant working-class woman.

In France, Le Monde calls the “DSK affair” an ‘earthquake’ for the IMF, the euro and France’s political left.”  His stark departure from IMF policy making may affect the lives of millions, especially in the struggling economies of EU members.

The French Socialist Party faces disarray and what President Nicolas Sarkozy has termed the loss of “the moral part of the battle for the presidency.”

Others, especially in France, are questioning whether the accusation could be a political conspiracy, contrived by DSK’s enemies?

When he is taken out of his cell for his daily hour of recreation or taken to the visiting area to receive visitors, he will be accompanied by a corrections officer and a captain, the spokesman said. Inmates travel outside their cells one at at time, meaning he will have no opportunity to encounter other inmates.

The Greek media which has characterized Strauss Kahn’s economic policy as “pejorative” has related the accusations against the IMF chief to its actions on the Greek economy.

While some have defended DSK, including Bernard-Henri Lévy and Robert Badinter, saying he has been deliberately “destroyed before any trial” French journalist Isabelle Germain, writing in the Guardian,  decried the almost humorous, almost forgiving response of (some) French media as complicit tolerance of sexual misconduct. “The media reaction to the attempted rape charge confirms that when a rape or sexual assault is reported, the alleged perpetrator quickly morphs into victim — and vice versa.”

Whatever its attitude, the spotlight seems to be focused on the potentially ruined politician.  He is not the alleged victim.  Who is seeking her story?

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