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Occupy Wall Street Isn’t Anti-Semitic

Jewish liberals sign new ‘Statement Against Smears’

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An Occupy Wall Street protester today.(Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

The following story of Occupy Wall Street being anti-Semitic is true—and by true, I mean false. It’s all lies. But they’re entertaining lies, and in the end, isn’t that the real truth? The answer is no.

To put it a different way: anyone can find isolated anti-Semites at these occupations. And, as Michelle Goldberg and I have both written, Occupy Wall Street’s constitutional inability to condemn anti-Semitism is a limitation, though it is no more able to condemn practically anything else.

But, look, it’s really not. If you don’t believe me, consult this handy list of statements from both the usual liberal suspects as well as the Anti-Defamation League and even the Emergency Committee for Israel’s Noah Pollak, all denying that the movement is fundamentally anti-Semitic. And consult, too, this Statement Against Smears signed by J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami, Eliot Spitzer, American Federation of Teachers head Randi Weingarten, and others. “It’s an old, discredited tactic: find a couple of unrepresentative people in a large movement and then conflate the oddity with the cause. One black swan means that all swans are black,” they declare. “It is disingenuous to raise the canard about Jews and Wall Street in order to denounce it.” At this late date, for a Weekly Standard blogger to write, under a video of a couple of Jew-hating assholes who appeared at an occupation, “This is a protest aimed at bankers with a certain element who perversely want to blame the Jews for all of this country’s problems,” is incredibly irresponsible and dishonest. Just, stop.

Jewish Leaders Denounce Right-Wing Smears of Occupy Wall Street [Occupy Judaism]
Putting the ‘OWS Is Anti-Semitic’ Meme to Rest [Occupy Judaism]
Related: One Percent [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: Is Occupy Wall Street Anti-Semitic?
Who By Fire, Who By Drum Circle?

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I have to assume this post is mostly a rhetorical device. How could a media professional possibly imagine, in 2011, that the Weekly Standard and its ilk would adhere to notions of honesty or responsibility?

Marc R says:

Fair enough. Isolated statements can be found from any movement or group.

But let’s at least hope for consistency. Those that would forgive OWS should also forgive groups that they are less aligned with for similar “isolated statements.”

Won’t happen, but let’s hope.

Lou Adams says:

We already know how the left in the Jewish community feel, of course there is never 100% in any group. Yet I would like to hear more from the OWS folks and their supporters standing up to those anti Jewish members of OWS, no matter how small. Standing up and saying there is not room there for the prejudice and hate like members of the Jewish left have said. They have said it haven’t they.

The Weekly Standard has no standards other than that of tabloid smears and cheap brittle lies. These are the only standards their editors really prize.

Arik Elman says:

“Jewish leaders” have no time for the suffering of the Israeli South, but they will defend OWS right to harbor antisemites in its bosom. Get your priorities straight.

What would the Weekly Standard have to say about an American veteran of the Iraq War being shot in the face with a tear gas canister in Oakland is what I’d really like to know.

Daniel says:

I agree with Marc R. Isolated statement or signs don’t make the Occupy movement anti-semitic. Much in the same way that isolated statement don’t make the tea party racist or “like Hamas” (as earlier Tablet articles have likened them).

Lansing Reed says:

Marc, this is disingenuous nonsense. The same people who bashed the Tea Party for racism and its other supposed sins (remind me again, how many riots or rapes occurred at their rallies?), who were/are perfectly ok to describe Tea Party members (fundamentally all of whom work and pay taxes and obey the law) using the crudest of sexual terms, are all having vapors because leftist anti-Semitism has been exposed. The Soviet Union has collapsed. Is it still necessary for the liberal Jews to carry communist water?

fred lapides says:

I never for a moment thought OWS is or would be anti-semitic. My concern is that it is going nowhere. Those who are the power brokers in DC have largely ignored the sit-ins, hoping it seems, that they will tire and go away.

OWS might have a greater punch if those occupying in cities all over the nation agreed instead to converge in Washington, DC, and camp there till changes are made.
If hundreds of thousands camped out instead of merely having a march on Washington, attention would have to be paid.

Another plan: refuse to pay taxes till those who do not pay their fair share and the corporations begin to do what is right and fair and just.

The J Street leftist Jews and their house organs the NYT and Tablet clearly are midway through a variation of Kubler-Ross stages of grief and denial on OWS, even while they hold the Tea Party, like Israel, and its Christian supporters to a different standard while joining in making up false claims to delegitmize them. Now that they have certified OWS as kosher, J Street can move on to their next “Obama uber alles!” effort and support Hillary’s attempt to undermine US law, enacted in her husband’s administration, to sever funding for UNESCO’s anti-Israel hatefest.

Each areas OWS is different.

The OWS in my town include the “extreme” left and the “moderate” left, many of whom have a long history of public anti-Israeli comments and positions, and even a history of veering into anti-Semitism and being called on it in the local media, though this has never stopped them.

The rostrum of the Statement Against Smears is a rostrum of the liberal and left wing politically active. Therefore their statement does not hold much water.

As usual, the political right reveals its intellectual vacuity by resorting to name calling and unsupported allegations.

neal sturman says:

the unsuppoerted allegations are signs we see in the newspapers and soundbites we hear on the radio. I’m not saying the whole movement is anti-semitic just like the tea party is not racist.

pkb, the right’s intellectual vacuity is as vacant as it is impotent. They offer to a young generation who came of age through the rack and ruin of the Bush dynasty nothing but hopelessness, waste, and war which is all they have known most of their young adult lives and they will not take nor tolerate it anymore.

I just went through the hundreds of posts on OWS on Facebook and Jews and Israel have many things to be concerned about. Historians will look back Jewish political silence in this critical critical upcoming election we will be seen as the tragedy of our time. In the sixties and seventies there was a sense of Jews belonging in this country and in the world. Since the slaughter of Israeli athletes at the Olympics, the rise of PLO propaganda against Israel and the viral antisemitism of the the Soviet Union ( they had the Protocols of Zion in the Moscow Airport in four or five languages free to take in 1973) Egypt, Iran etc Israel and antisemitism have to be legitimate political discussion in our country today. Read OWS on Facebook and say there is no problem here

The truth is we now live in a country where some people want something for nothing and want us to pay for them. My parents came to America form the concentration camps with no money and no education and could not speak ENGLISH. I never realized I was poor but I got my clothes from the Goodwill and went to a nursury school run by the church while my parents worked day and night.We lived in the worst neighborhood and I had to learn how fight just to exist. I have no sympathy for those who refuse to get re-trained or who will not take any job instead of government handouts. This will be the first generation where our children will have less economically than their parents. Some people have become lazy and refuse to take any job , they would prefer to live off of others. IF YOU NEED HELP BECAUSE YOU ARE TRULY POOR OR DISABLED,THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES SHOULD HELP. IF YOU ARE LYING OR FAKING WHY SHOULD THE TAXPAYER PAY. Where is the pride.? LET THE BUSINESS PEOPLE around wall street make a living. Go protest in front of the White House or Congress.



Of course the jews don’t want the left to look anti-semitic. Just like they don’t want the jews financing it to have jewish sounding names, such as George Soros — the modern day Jacob Schiff.

Truth is, it’s ok to protest rich jews, jewish politicians, and jewish bankers — as long as your a communist and don’t know what the hell you’re really talking about.



John Allen says:

I do have a question: Is being anti-Israel and anti-semitic the same thing? I see being anti-semitic as being the same as any other racism, but being anti-Israel as being anti-East German or anti-Chinese, more of a reflection of govenrnmental policies than than a dislike of a particular race. I know it’s convenient to blur the difference, as Nixon always insisted disrepecting him was unpatriotic, but it simply wasn’t true.
I’m an American and I don’t care anymore about Israel than I do about Canada, Mexico, France or Hong Kong. Being so closely tied to Israel hurts our standing with the rest of the world. Our support enables Israel to avoid the hard choices that might make lasting peace possible, so I don’t think it is even in Israel’s long term best interest.
I will not support any American politian who places Israel’s, or Egypt’s, or any other countrie’s interests over our own. It that makes me anti-semitic, so be it. If you choose to twist the meaning of words to nonsense they lose the power to censure.


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Occupy Wall Street Isn’t Anti-Semitic

Jewish liberals sign new ‘Statement Against Smears’

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