There is a disturbing undercurrent to the current Occupy Wall Street movement. It isn’t merely its passionate denunciations of capitalism and excuses for corporatism. It isn’t merely its perverse love for a president who has received more Wall Street money than any candidate in American history, and its hatred for Wall Street itself.
Even as President Obama comes out in support of Occupy Wall Street, more and more Occupy rallies are laced with anti-Semitic signs, placards, and slogans. In New York, ralliers hold signs reading, “Google: (1) Wall Street Jews; (2) Jewish Billionaires; (3) Jews & Fed Rsrv Bank,” “Gaza Supports The Occupation of Wall Street,” and shouting ugly canards like “Jews control Wall Street.” The American Nazi Party is supporting OWS, with leader Rocky Suhayda stating, “Who holds the wealth and power in this country -- the Judeo-Capitalists. Who is therefore the #1 enemy who makes all this filth happen -- the Judeo-Capitalists.”
Not everyone occupying Wall Street is an anti-Semite. But there is far too high a comfort level among those in the movement for anti-Semitism. If the Tea Party had been even one tenth as laced with racism as the OWS movement is with anti-Semitism, it would have been put out of business by the mainstream press long ago.
The OWS’ complacency with regard to anti-Semitism in its midst finds a mirror in the White House. President Obama supports OWS wholeheartedly – and why shouldn’t he? After attempting time and again to force Israel to the negotiating table with terrorists, after using Rahm Emanuel to threaten Israel into concessions by warning that the US would allow Iran to go nuclear, after backing anti-Semitic revolutionaries from Egypt to Libya, after making friends with notorious Jew-haters like Rashid Khalidi and Jeremiah Wright – why shouldn't Obama extend that open hand to the folks at Occupy Wall Street?
The question is not why the left supports the anti-Semitism at Occupy Wall Street. The question is why the left seems to support anti-Semitism across the globe.
Europe is a leftist continent – of that there can be little doubt. Yet anti-Semitism runs rampant through it. Socialist Spain leads the way in anti-Semitic polling, but countries like France and Austria aren’t far behind. Britain’s anti-Israel policy is cover for anti-Semitism; Germany’s post-World War II history of stamping out anti-Semitism is beginning to fade into the past. Crimes against Jews are up across Europe.
In the United States, the left is just as anti-Semitic, if less violent. Their anti-Zionist rhetoric is certainly a cover for anti-Semitism, since Zionism stands merely for the principle that Jews deserve a state. The left has no problem with anyone else having a state – Palestinian, Kurd, Tibetan. When it comes to the Jews, however, they find it respectable to reject out of hand their right to a self-governing homeland. Opposing specific policies of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic. Opposing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is.
The focus on Zionism at the OWS rallies is odd, to say the least. Why should a foreign state located some 5700 miles from New York have any part in the discussion about America’s economy? The answer is simple at root: the hard left still buys into the discredited notions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in which Jews supposedly plotted the takeover of the world economy. Zionism, in this twisted vision, is the wellspring of that control – Jerusalem is supposedly the capital of the Jew/banker conspiracy. That sick notion pervades the rhetoric of the OWS rallies. Says one OWS rallier in Los Angeles, “I think the Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve … need to be run out of this country.” Says another in Chicago, “Israel is beginning to be seen as the criminal pariah state that it is.”
This nasty thought pattern unites both the nationalist and the internationalist hard left. The nationalist hard left – i.e. neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups, as well as many nationalist groups in Europe – see Israel as a façade for a globalist Jewish regime seeking to bring “blood-sucking” capitalism to prominence. The internationalist hard left – i.e. OWS and its ilk – see Israel as the last vestige of discredited nationalism, and Wall Street as its colonialist branch in the United States.
If OWS wants to be taken seriously as a movement, its members need to root out the anti-Semitism from their midst. Then again, that rooting out process may not be possible because of how close the cancer of anti-Semitism is to the heart of the movement. If that is the case, every responsible politician has the responsibility to disassociate from OWS. Somehow, in the case of the Obama administration, that seems unlikely, no matter how outrageous the Jew-hatred gets at OWS.
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