Life & Culture

Jewish Ideals Stand Strong Amidst Occupy Wall Street Anti-Semitism

Comments (7)
  1. imax says:

    Very true. Thanks for the article!


    This was just sent to me and I remembered this article.
    What do you guys think?
    Is this just a ridiculous conspiracy theory?

  3. Without a doubt. Accusing the feds or the bankers or the right wingers or anyone else of encouraging antisemitism among the Occupy protesters in order to sabotage the movement is absurd and is not even worth a moment’s contemplation. It is a rumor the merits of which rival other notorious “conspiracy theories” such as the one claiming that the Bush administration helped orchestrate the 9/11 attacks.

    I find it very hard to believe that the CIA and the US government have nothing better to do with their time than to recruit (as the video aptly puts it) “homeless junkies” to stand around all day spouting anti-Jewish rants in an elaborately orchestrated mud-slinging campaign. The credibility of this YouTube video is laughable to say the least, but I wouldn’t expect anything else from a YouTube channel with “AntiZionist” in the username.

    Alan Naroditsky

  4. You are welcome! Thank you for reading 🙂

    Alan Naroditsky

  5. I think Alan is right. However, conspiracy stuff like that does give me the chills, and I kinda like it.

    Also, although it may not deserve our contemplation, it is comforting to know that antisemitism may be perceived as so out-of-fashion that people would suspect the government of using it to delegitimize a protest.

    But is antisemitism really such a joke? I think that this article argues otherwise.

  6. landofrye says:

    I have several problems with this article (and with Ha’am’s coverage of OWS in general). First, the author quotes an article from the magazine of the far-right John Birch movement to point out how OWS is rife with “classically anti-capitalist and communist” “anti-semitism.” Disregarding the fact that the majority of OWS protestors (I should know since I have been one of them) are upset with the abuses of capitalism rather than capitalism itself, the inference that anti-semitism is a Left-wing phenomenon flies squarely in the face of the fact that prominent leftists from Karl Marx to Emma Goldman have been either Jewish or of Jewish extraction and that one of the key issues for many 19th-century Leftists had been fighting the “Jewish problem” (for instance, one of the most scathing critiques of anti-semitism was given by Vladimir Lenin: see The author “backs” his assertions with the case of the institutionalized discrimination of Jews in the 16th-century aristocratic republic of Venice, hardly the model for “socialist” ideology (and the myths about “Jewish money” and power were largely encouraged by the ruling plutocrats for the purpose of deflecting persistent social tensions). The same could be said for the anti-semitism of “William Shakespeare” or “Charles Dickens”… Even more surprisingly, the author than uses a statement of support for OWS by the facist (and extremely “fringe”) American Nazi Party as evidence that the “left-wing” antisemitism “dominates” the movement? (which is why OWS also supports white supremacy?) The video that the author uses for his “case study” only shows one protestor (out of the hundreds camped out on Wall Street), and the remarks of “jew boy” are but a part of his heated response to what appears to be one particularly confrontational kippah-wearing bystander (i.e. the bystander’s persistent questioning of whether the protestor “has a job” would be-given the accusations by OWS’s opponents- an obvious provocation to a protestor and I’ve heard the most tolerant Ashkenazic Jewish family member mock the obvious Indian accents of telemarketers when frustrated with service)… To only make his case appear more egregious, the author speaks of this “Occupy anti-Semitism” (as hitherto proved by ONE shaky example) as “planting a seed”for the future…. I could go on for pages with the instances like these and could also point out the more recent article that dealy with the “Occupation of the Israeli embassy by Occupy Boston” (an “occupation” committed by but a small number of people who happened to be part of a group that answers to no leaders - Though, as a Jewish student at UCLA, I usually appreciate Ha’am’s two-fold commitment to journalistic integrity and Jewish value, I feel that (as a supporter and participant in the Occupy@UCLA movement) its reporting on the Occupy movement is too skewed in one direction. As the author of this article himself points out (towards the end), there are many- if not disproportionately many- Jewish Occupiers and a Jewish religious presence in the protests (e.g the sukkah at Occupy LA- see has, been likewise, unexpectedly visible. If Ha’am wishes to live up to its vision to be the voice of the Jewish student body in campus, it should be inclusive of a wider array of viewpoints for an issue as prominent (and as Jewish) as Occupy.

  7. See the centerfold of Ha’Am’s Fall 2011 printed issue. Many of your points are reiterated in the article under “Triviality.” If you do not currently have access to a copy, please email [email protected] and we can arrange for you to get one. Or two. Thanks for reading.