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October 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protests: Anti-Jewish/Anti-Israel -- or Not?


Crowds participate in the Occupy Wall Street campaign

The ADL reports the tenor of the Occupy Wall Street protests is unclear -- noting some commentators describe attending numerous benign gatherings, free of anti-Semitism, while others cite the rabid anti-Jewish ravings seen on the internet.

Whether anti-Jewish rhetoric is on the fringe or more commonplace, it's clear publicity about the presence of bigots raises concern -- including with certain extreme left, anti-Israel elements among OWS advocates.

An interview with anti-Israel radical Arun Gupta on the RT network (Russian Television) illustrates the effort to dispel any stigma of anti-Semitism. Gupta, who contributed, for instance, to a volume of anti-Israel essays about the 2010 effort to land a flotilla in Gaza (Midnight on the Mavi Marmara) along with Noam Chomsky, Rashid Khalidi and Norman Finkelstein, among others, understands crude attacks on Jews are repugnant to most Americans, including, needless to say, Jewish Americans,some of whom might be active with OWS.

Gupta ducked discussion of one troublesome matter -- reports the far-left, anti-Israel Adbusters magazine was an originator of the anti-Wall Street effort. Adbuster editor Kalle Lasen publishes a lot of crude material, some of it anti-Jewish and a lot of it anti-Israel, including an article comparing Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto and various others.

Posted by AL at October 16, 2011 08:52 PM


Although Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is a legitimate response to real economic injustice, its nebulous organization and goals provide an opportunity for confirmed anti-semites to ride OWS's coattails. Jewish organizations need to support some affirmative Jewish presence in OWS and combat the bad guys. We can't just sniff for bad odors and complain.

Posted by: Shlomo at October 17, 2011 09:32 AM

It is not surprising that some of the protesters at Wall street are anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli since most of them are liberal leaning people who had been indoctrinated by the Marxist style antisemitism prevalent in former USSR and rather rampant in the West. There is an illusion, which is prevalent even in US that Jews run the Wall street and banks and thus anti-Semitism is justified.

Even people who are rather open-minded are blinded by anti-Semitism, which they don't even recognize as such. When an intelligent Jewish man, such as Noam Chomsky espouses such nonsense, it is not surprising that those who blame US and the West for all the economic failures in the world also take his lead in anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli messages.

As Martin Luther Kind rightly pointed out, anti-Zionism is the same as Antisemitism and thus those who think that bashing Israel is not showing their delusional Jew-hatred, which is so prevalent in the Arab and larger Muslim world, should rethink their consciousness.

Posted by: Gaia at October 17, 2011 11:42 AM

In the 60s the anti Semitics took over the student peace Movement. Today the Islamic Brotherhood is well established here with lot of funds. There are an old connections between Anti Semitics and Banks. Due to the lack of focus of the demonstrators it would not be to difficult to take them over making them Anti Semitic. We will have to watch it closely in the next few weeks and months before we will know.

In the meantime maybe you can help with this problem:

Posted by: Robin Rosenblatt at October 17, 2011 12:37 PM

I am a Jew and I support this movement. I think the problem is that some people equate disagreeing with Israeli policies (the occupation...) with antisemitism. Why is it so easy to separate church and state in america, but difficult for many american jews to do so with Israel.

All that being said, I've been down to OWS and there are a few true anti-semites, but the vast majority of people down there are sincerely good people.

Posted by: hank at October 18, 2011 02:14 AM

I don't know of anyone who equates disagreeing with Israeli policies with anti-Semitism. We know the difference. It is one thing to disagree with a policy, it is another to disagree with all policies. It is one thing to disagree with a policy, it is another to single out one country while ignoring similar or graver policies in other countries. It is one thing to disagree with a policy, it is another to call for the destruction of a country, or to support things that would lead to the destruction of a country (such as calling for it be be overrun with largely hostile agents, i.e. the "right of return"). It is one thing to disagree with a policy, it is another to spread anti-semitic lies like the Jews control the banks, the US, the media, the world, which is the kind of rhetoric we tend to hear from leftist provocateurs. We must not allow anti-Semites to hijack what is a promising movement for equity and fairness for all.

Posted by: Aaron at October 18, 2011 11:33 PM

Every major Jewish group supports OWS and they know that the antisemites at the rallies are plants for You Tube videos.

Unlike neo cons, Jews are not stupid.

Posted by: NeoCONS Suck at October 23, 2011 03:54 AM

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