Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Is Oakland Palestine?

The left sees Occupy Wall Street and the Palestinian cause as common

Print Email
This is what Oakland, California, looked like Tuesday night.(Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images)

On the right, the Jewish-inflected discourse concerning Occupy Wall Street is mainly the ludicrous charge—pointedly denied by the Anti-Defamation League—that the movement is anti-Semitic or, at the least, criminally negligent in not denouncing the two or three anti-Semitic posters that may appear on any given day. On the left, there are two different ways in which Israel factors in. The simpler way is the argument that the cause of Palestine should be one of Occupy Wall Street’s causes. So, on Mondoweiss—as always, this blog’s handy stand-in for the Jewish anti-Zionist left entire (I’m joking, you guys!)—one author reports on various signs and statements that have included pro-Palestinian sentiments within the larger OWS rubric. The prominent use of the word “occupy” provides a ready-made connection, and indeed pro-Palestinian activists are not shy in declaring, “Occupy Wall Street, Not Palestine!” But the Palestinian cause does not enjoy any special glamour or prestige—it’s just one cause among the dozens and dozens that protesters may bear on any given day, right along with truly insidious pro-Chávez planks, say, or semi-crackpot ones advocating a return to the gold standard; certainly, under this reading, it has attained nowhere near the importance the “99 percent” message has.

But there is another way to connect the OWS and Palestinian causes, and here the latter becomes a much bigger deal. You can declare them, essentially, the same. Again, a relevant text is a Mondoweiss post. For Mondoweiss’ Adam Horowitz, the horror show Tuesday night at Occupy Wall Street’s Oakland branch—in which police set upon protesters with tear gas and ostensibly nonlethal projectiles, and several were reported wounded, including an Iraq War vet who as of last night was in critical condition—basically was the Palestinian struggle; to quote his post’s headline, it was “Palestine in Oakland.” He cites Max Blumenthal’s reporting that the weapons used in Oakland are not only the same as some of those used against West Bank protesters, but are indeed manufactured by the same company. Blumenthal concludes, “the issue is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid now that the protesters are confronted with the very same weapons Israel uses to crush unarmed Palestinian resistance.” Horowitz also quotes a poem that appeared on the Occupy Writers Website, in which the left-wing Jewish poet Amirah Mizrahi writes, “i was palestine in Oakland.”

Contra Blumenthal and Mizrahi, I find the issue pretty easily avoided. If Oakland was Palestine, well, that’s only because the police were only maiming protesters; if they had been killing them, then Oakland would have been Syria; as it is, Palestine is far from the only place Oakland could be. I don’t doubt Blumenthal’s reporting, and it is a chilling coincidence, but a coincidence isn’t an indictment. Unless you are a pacifist, you can believe rubber bullets can be used unjustly and that rubber bullets can also be used justly; and if there are two instances in which they are used unjustly, that does not automatically make the two instances equivalent, much less essentially a common struggle.

However, as a spectator and as someone sympathetic to the broad contours of OWS’ economic argument, I find it compelling and depressing that, in the minds of some, the injustice in the Bay Area is the injustice in the West Bank village; I think of our common humanity; and I also think of what Mondoweiss’ proprietor, Philip Weiss, told Tablet Magazine columnist Michelle Goldberg: “I am ethnocentric.”

Palestine in Oakland [Mondoweiss]
Related: Mondo Weiss [Tablet Magazine]

Print Email

Except, ya know, Oakland’s poor and ethnic minorities have been occupied for quite some time by oppressive government policies. Methinks this wider, historical context matters, mr Tracy. You do know that the Black Panther Party was founded there, yes?

Dani ben Leb says:

see Joseph Dana’s tweets -http://twitter.com/#!/ibnezra/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitpic.com%2F762008 – regarding his connection of rubber bullets in Pal and Oak. Purely guess work here. Billed as informed comment. Dana often does this at 972.
The far left will swing at any branch will grab any twig to somehow make a meaningful connection between me taking a dump in the late morning and the occupation. I am sure there is a technical term for this sort of obsessive construct. Depression is a similar condition, in which the patient associates mundane daily detail with his/her woes.
It points to an enlarged ego which assumes all encompassing responsibility ( helper-syndrome ), a common condition in todays international far left. Over stimulation through reading too much on the internet. The themes are often inter-changeable. Dana sees the riots in Greece with a sympathetic eye, as that Government is tear gassing it’s people too-he was in Athens awaiting his departure as part activist/journalist to Aza. Blumenthal too, assumes the role of activist posing as a journalist. We are sucked into the far left’s echo chamber where mental masturbation is perfected, this is off course enhanced through social-media (‘We are one, now.’). It is the new porn. Endlessly bouncing to and through, high five-ing each other on mondoweiss and other websites dedicated to eradicating the ‘zionist entity’. Rumors and half truths are sown most often from the US’s Hebrew far left.
As to the Oakland PD, I recommend that they get their crowd control weapons from China or Iran, cheaper too. No more connections.

Rachel Golem says:

In a few months, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Libya will be immersed in civil wars and famines that may never end.

The opinions of a few hundred nuts at Berkeley will be meaningless.

Bill Pearlman says:

Phil ( hitler should have finished the job ) Weeiss. And his reident Julius Streicher, Adam Horowitz. Are representative of neo-nazis and jihad cheerleaders. That’s all. He actually endorsed Pat Buchanans book that said Churchill was the bad guy and Hitler was misunderstood. And his wife. The Suha Arafat of the blogosphere.

Dani ben Leb says:

Rachel,
yes, that is another way of putting it.

the moveon.org video ad is out. moveon.org made haste and used violent video footage to further polarize. It is simply corny and dreadful to view.
Concentrating the discussion on the police is also passe. When we get bogged down in police tactics we will never talk about real issues. It is a side show, especially in a federal system. Every state has it’s own police culture. And the OPD is not known for it’s finesse. Just like Oakland isn’t Bath.

So basically we have more information here that the OWS movement is anti-Semitic, and what does Tracy do? He ignores it.

Injustice is injustice and it was simply brought to light that the same tools, tactics, and implements made by the same manufacturer were used in Oakand as are used and employed in the Israeli occupied territories and some snivelling coward of a writer/commentator is all pet peeved upset that this glaring truth was brought to light?

Pleeeaase.

Get a life.

These jewish anti-zyonists are called Judenrat.

Beatrix says:

OWS has no center, no purpose, no meaning, no goals.

It’s a stretch to consider Palestine on the left. They want a nation but their leaders have to negotiate a peace treaty in order to get one, and they’re afraid of being assassinated if they do. Abbas wants to retire intact, and so he uses delaying tactics that will enable him to retire as a stateless hero.

The rest of the Arab Spring will wind up right wing or right leaning. It’s a fallow time to be a lefty. Even Israel is deserting them and taking a right turn, and so the left has to go out and invent causes.

The left became bankrupt the day they deserted Israel, a democratic nation, and started supporting her enemies just because they lost their wars.

Hershl says:

Marc

Why don’t you find a real job?

This journalism stuff obviously is not your forte.

Hershl, I second that statement.

Beatrix says:

Marc,

You are an intelligent young man who tries to understand all viewpoints. (I can’t stomach Mondoweiss myself).

You don’t have a lot of experience because you are young, but you’re curious about other people’s experience. And lets face it, no matter what our age, we’re all here because we still have something to learn.

You’re very accomplished. You’ve been on Jeopardy, you’ve met Angelia Jolie’s father, you have your own columns in a national magazine. And you’re already controversial. Can’t do better than that.

Marc, this is an example of hard journalism of which something called research is involved. Appearing as a contestant on Jeopardy and knowing Angelina’s dad is never going to make you a real journalist.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/gadfly/arms-firm-behind-suppression-occupyoakland-and-palestines-popular-struggle

Robert Firth says:

The connection you are all overlooking is that the police who brutalized the protestors were *trained in Israel*. That is how they brought Palestine to Oakland.

Dani ben Leb says:

I was there, the police were actually all Israeli war criminals AND Mossad agents, it was incredible. If only I could tell someone.
I recognized a few from Bi’lin and Budrus. scary stuff. I wish Lisa Goldman had been there, to write it all up on 972.

Dani, don’t exaggerate, it only makes you look like a naked braying ass.

Funny how the author says that the accusations of Anti-Semitism are ludicrous, even though there is ample evidence of Jew-Haters in the group. Meanwhile, without any proof, Tea Partiers are labeled as “racist,” without any immediate response about those accusations being ludicrous.” Another example of biased media, helping the Children’s Party (Democrats) fight the Parent Party (Republicans)

Excellent reporting by Mr. Tracy as per usual. It’s always enjoyable when talented journalists write about unbelievably incompetent ones, so hopefully Mr. Blumenthal will keep trying to more than he is, and we’ll get to read about it ;-).

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Be a Mensch. Support Tablet.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Is Oakland Palestine?

The left sees Occupy Wall Street and the Palestinian cause as common

More on Tablet:

Manhattan’s Biggest Menorah Mystery, Solved

By Stephanie Butnick — The story behind the massive Hanukkiah atop a Fifth Avenue building