No. Oui? Oy!

Dominique Strauss-Kahn


Dominique Strauss-Kahn

What a difference a day can make. On Friday the 13th, synagogues were preparing to read the Torah portion, Behar, on the Jubilee year and economic relations; John Lipsky, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) first deputy managing director, was planning to leave the bank in August; and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the IMF was in Manhattan and planning for meetings this week in Brussels on Monday to determine how to handle debt problems in Greece and Portugal.

Less than a day later, Lipsky was elevated to acting managing director, and Strauss-Kahn was arrested for an alleged sexual assault in his hotel suite at the Sofitel. Strauss-Kahn was taken off a Paris bound flight at JFK airport on Saturday afternoon by the New York City Police Department and taken to its Special Victims Unit in East Harlem. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was to meet with Strauss-Kahn on Sunday to discuss a number of key issues including the European debt crisis. Instead of the Merkel meeting, Strauss-Kahn was put through a line-up. He is expected to meet a judge and be arraigned at 1 AM on Monday in lower Manhattan (Update: It will take place later, on Monday morning). His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, 62, famed for representing celebrities in New York City criminal cases, stated that his client is innocent (of the accusation that he attempted to sexually assault a hotel housekeeper on Saturday afternoon.) Brafman is known to be good at keeping his high profile clients “alive and functioning” when their world is collapsing around them.

As reporters and photographers from local and national news organizations, French news groups, and even Al Jazeera waited for over 24 hours in the rain for a “perp walk,” a chance to photograph the banking director as he moves from the SVU to a criminal court*, Strauss-Kahn’s arrest generated a shake-up in French political circles. Strauss-Kahn, 62, referred to as “DSK” in France, is the leading unofficial Socialist Party candidate for France’s presidency, currently held by Nicolas Sarkozy. The arrest also brought increased attention to the IMF, which some believe has outlasted its relevance, now that it finds itself having to help “developed countries,” such as Greece and Portugal, instead of “developing” countries.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn is the son of Gilbert Strauss-Kahn and Jacqueline Fellus. Active in the French Ashkenazi and North African Jewish communities, and a strong supporter of Israel, he is married to Anne-Élise Schwartz Sinclair, a well-known French journalist.

Several Parisian newspapers published special editions on Sunday with news of DSK’s arrest. Before any news organization reported the arrest, it was tweeted by a student at Sciences Po, who said he heard about it from a friend who worked at the Sofitel, where the alleged assault allegedly took place. Politicians loyal to current President Sarkozy were quick to state that this arrest would ruin DSK’s political future. The International Herald Tribune opined that the arrest could increase the political clout of the far right National Front, led by Ms. Marine Le Pen. But in a country that puts up with Sarkozy, and lauds Polansky, this might not hurt a run for the presidency as much as his opponents predict.

* Note: I was hoping to include a pic from the “perp” walk, but I am not waiting up til 1 AM… (It happened at 10:45 PM, just in time for the 11PM evening news) The best part of waiting outside the police station with reporters and photographers and half a dozen news vans was watching the photographers fight over position, listening in as one on-air personality melted-down and shouted at her producer that the other producer was embarrassingly awful and being a bystander as a Fox News crew argued with a print photographer over how close they could stand to a car. All in all… a fun afternoon


10 Comments

  1. AlexK

    5/17/2011 at 11:09 am

    Let me shed a crocodile tear for this Socialist POS. Another shame on our Jewish house along with the likes of Soros, who’ll hopefully get popped next.

  2. Larry

    5/17/2011 at 3:10 pm

    I don’t think you should wish that Mr. George Soros, and other people with whom you disagree politically, get arrested and jailed

  3. AlexK

    5/17/2011 at 3:15 pm

    I disagree with him on a lot more than politics. Would you not wish someone who’s trying to cause you harm, arrest or jail at the least? I wish a whole lot more than that.

  4. Larry

    5/17/2011 at 3:15 pm

    Just for reference to readers who don’t know idioms, by using the term “crocodile tear,” you are referring to the myth that crocodiles cry a disingenuous tear while killing and eating human prey

  5. Larry

    5/17/2011 at 3:18 pm

    No. I would only wish a person be arrested and tried in a reasonable court if they broke a law, and not because they have different political ideas or support freedom in former totalitarian political states.

  6. josh

    5/17/2011 at 3:56 pm

    So what happens now to the new world order? Is he being framed (against the NWO), or was it just SNAFU? Did the Council of Foreign Relations meet yet? I did not see any outlook invitation in my email.

  7. Abu Zibby

    5/17/2011 at 4:16 pm

    Larry,
    the idiom is known in many languages and thus also in Hebrew, as דמעות תנין

    There are rumours (Globes) that Stanley Fischer was asked if he’d replace Strauss-Kahn, a was Kemal Dervis. For a couple of reasons I hope that Stanley Fischer will decline the offer.

  8. Larry

    5/17/2011 at 4:22 pm

    How interesting. But I doubt, no matter how qualified, that the IMF and the European Finance Ministers would nominate and elect someone from the Bank of Israel. I think just the opposite. That with probs in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, the IMF will remain in European hands. But vee shall see

  9. Abu Zibby

    5/18/2011 at 6:45 am

    Larry,
    true – I expect the Europeans to work hard in order to hold on to the chair of the IMF.
    Also, the powerful EU countries like France and Germany sharply oppose the IMF/EU restructuring debt plans for Greece. Actually, with DSK in jail the Big Greek Bailout might fail completely to the relief of the few EU countries that are doing well. These sentiments might indicate that the next IMF chair will be from Germany or France and will possibly be a moderate Euro-Sceptic.
    Yet, according to protocol, there must be a couple of candidates from developing countries.

  10. Rita

    5/19/2011 at 7:03 pm

    Whatever happened to the principle of “innocent until PROVEN guilty”?

    A few months ago, DSK said that he would have 3 problems during the forthcoming election campaign: Being in Money, Women and being Jewish.

    Regarding women it was well known that his Achilles heel resided firmly in his crotch, so it was easy to spring a “honey trap” on him.

    Why would a “maid” go into a room to “clean” it while he was still in there? And the alleged victim was, according to her brother, a “good Muslim”…

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