The dark scourge of anti-Semitism has reared up at many “Occupy” protests across the country, and the subject could well become a campaign 2012 issue as Republicans have been quick to point out to voters that many Democrats, including the president, are aligning themselves with the protests.
The protesters generally are expressing a viewpoint that rich people need to pay much more in taxes and they, the protesters, need more from government; big banks need the heavy hand of Washington to help spread their wealth and make things “fair” and they have a “message” or want to “make a point” for the wealthy.
But there’s also a current of targeting Jews.
Protesters have proclaimed that “Zionist Jews” still “need to be run out of the country,” and they condemn “Nazi Bankers Wall Street.” And Barack Obama’s perspective?
“I think that it [the movement] expresses the frustrations that the American people feel,” he said.
And the ranking Democrat in the U.S. House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said “I support the message.”
Statements such as those opened the door for Republicans to launch their criticism of the Democrats’ endorsement of the encompassing message of the “Occupy” protests – going on across the country now – that includes anti-Semitism.
According to a statement from the Republican National Committee, to all “interested parties,” the Democrats have been “silent” in the face of “protesters’ extreme anti-Semitic, anti-Israel comments.”
“Where’s the outrage?” asked the statement from Sean Spicer. “While protesters are seen spewing hate against Jewish Americans, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz have declared their support for the demonstrations. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel even circulated a petition saying he’s ‘standing with’ Occupy Wall Street.”
Spicer continued, “Is Steve Israel standing with those calling for the killing of Jews. Does Debbie Wasserman Schultz agree with the various calls for Jews to be ‘run out of this country’ and to oppose and ‘destroy’ the state of Israel?”
One ad that targets Democratic Congressman Steve Israel is especially sharp:
It was released by the SteveIsraelStandsWithThem website and has angered Democrats.
Israel told supporters the attack was “outrageous” and intended to “distract” from “their reckless economic policies.”
The Republicans didn’t back down, wondering just exactly why Democrats would be upset over revelations of “their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement and the extreme anti-Semitic and incendiary rhetoric” involved, said a statement from the Republican congressional committee.
The Committee for Israel posted another video blasting Democrats for their support for the movement over its anti-Semitic component:
One teacher from Los Angeles appeared on reason.tv and said, “These Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government, they need to be run out of this country.”
There were reports she was dismissed from her position in the school district after taking such a public stand on anti-Semitism.
The controversy grabbed the attention of columnist Charlie Wolf in the United Kingdom.
“The movement is anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic. There has been no shortage of vile anti-Semitic slogans at the occupy Wall Street protest. These are more than just insinuations, but signs equating Jews with banks and the rich, protesting U.S. foreign relations with Israel (especially defense funding), mention of the Rothschild family and asking people to Google ‘Jewish Billionaires,’” he wrote.
“Many Jews should be shocked to join any movement that has received endorsement from both the Communist Party and the Nazis,” he said.
In addition to the support from Communists and Nazis, WND reported this week that one of the key organizers behind the Occupy protests in Orlando is a Muslim activist linked through the Council on American Islamic Relations to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Added Wolf, “The Jewish community around the world – and all successful assimilated ethnic minority communities in Britain – should watch this ‘Occupy’ movement carefully and prepare for the worst. With the financial crisis as deep and long lasting as it has been, an environment of fear is spreading and these anarchists are using that fear and steering it towards their own ends. The feeling is not too dissimilar to the thirties and the rise of fascism and anti-Semitism.”
The Anti-Defamation League listed a number of anti-Semitic statements that have appeared already, including:
- ” In America, a small ethnic group consists of almost all the bankers and hedge fund managers on Wall Street are Jewish. There is a conspiracy in this country in which Jews control the media, finances. If you Google ‘Wall Street Jews,’ Google ‘Jewish Billionaires,’ if you Google ‘Jews and the Federal Reserve bank.’ The Jews who represent two percent of the population… a small ethnic minority, they have pooled their money together, amassed their money to take control of America’s finances…. Jews dominate American politics.…Jewish billionaires in Russia are already attempting to take over Russia like they’ve taken over America. America is dominated by one group. Almost all the federal judges in America on the East Coast and the West Coast, almost all the federal judges are Jewish, almost all the city judges are Jewish, all the state judges are Jewish. There’s a Jewish group in this country and it’s a conspiracy that everyone’s afraid to talk about.”
- In one video, a demonstrator arguing with an older man wearing a yarmulke says, “You got the money, that’s why you’re fighting, Jewish man….You can’t even speak English? You Israeli? Go back to Israel.”
“While there is no evidence that these incidents are widespread, history reveals how economic downturns can embolden anti-Semites to spread malicious conspiracy theories about Jews and money,” the group said.
In an opinion piece on al Jazeera, M.J. Rosenberg of the Media Matters Action Network, defended the movement.
“Exploiting anti-Semitism to break the backs of popular movements that threaten the power of the wealthiest one per cent of our population,” Rosenberg wrote. “It is being used to undermine the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has conservatives in a state of near panic.”
The al Jazeera commentary also blasted the work of the Committee for Israel.
“The Emergency Committee for Isreal is not concerned about anti-Semitism or Israel. It is, rather, dedicated to defeating Democrats and promoting its billionaire donors’ economic interests. … It used Israel and Jews as devices to direct money and votes toward the Republicans.”
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