Is Madoff a Symbol of Jewish Exceptionalism?

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Alana Newhouse asks the right questions:

The question is of Jewish exceptionalism, and it is, to understate it, a thorny one. Hitler designed an entire political philosophy--and attendant death machine--based on the belief that the answer to this question was a resounding "yes." But awkward as this may be, this is, from a different perspective, a view shared by many Jews themselves, like the man who sends me the same e-mail once a month about the number of Jews who have won Nobel Prizes. ("Remarkably, Jews constitute almost one-fifth of all Nobel laureates. This, in a world in which Jews number just a fraction of 1 percent of the population.") And it's not just kooks and your grandmother: Even liberal, assimilated Jews can't help but believe that there is something special--better, smarter--about their people. Except when their people show up in handcuffs on the news...
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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