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April 20, 2012 0

Incidents of Anti-Semitism Continue to Mark Occupy Movement

With the arrival of warmer weather, Occupy Wall Street protests around the coun­try have begun to pick up in recent weeks. While reports of ram­pant anti-Semitism at last summer’s protests were overblown, two iso­lated inci­dents this week indi­cate that anti-Semites con­tinue to take advan­tage of the Occupy move­ment and use it as a con­ve­nient plat­form to air their views.

On Mon­day, an African-American indi­vid­ual attend­ing an Occupy protest in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. made sev­eral anti-Semitic com­ments, includ­ing loudly remark­ing that Jew­ish peo­ple “try to get ahead of Black peo­ple, like they’re bet­ter than us.”

The indi­vid­ual claimed to be part of a group called the United Occupy Move­ment. A descrip­tion of the group on its Web site reads, “We are the young, old, male & female, no-D and Ph.D., Chris­t­ian, Mus­lim, Aethi­est [sic] and eth­ni­cally diverse who should have a greater voice accord­ing to our Constitution.”

And just yes­ter­day, a harshly anti-Semitic car­toon was posted to a Face­book page that claims to be the “Com­mu­nity Page” for Occupy Tampa. The car­toon fea­tured a pic­ture of a stereotypical-looking obser­vant Jew dri­ving a car while hold­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s head in one hand and a steer­ing wheel in the other fash­ioned out of the United Nations’ logo. The image evokes clas­sic anti-Semitic myths of Jew­ish con­trol, in this case of the U.S. gov­ern­ment and the UN. Admin­is­tra­tors of the page have since apol­o­gized for the post­ing, say­ing they’ve had “some intru­sion issues” but that the admin­is­tra­tor who posted the image has now been banned from the page.

The very same car­toon appeared in Al Watan, a Qatar-based news­pa­per, on Sep­tem­ber 30, 2011 at the height of Pales­tin­ian efforts to uni­lat­er­ally declare state­hood at the UN. The car­toon is the work of an artist named Eliot whose anti-Semitic and anti-Israel car­toons are reg­u­larly pub­lished in Al Watan.

ADL reported on a vari­ety of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel inci­dents that took place at Occupy protests last sum­mer and fall. These inci­dents con­sis­tently appear to be the acts of indi­vid­u­als seek­ing to exploit the pop­u­lar social protest move­ment and inject it with their own hate­ful views.

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March 2, 2012 0

“Occupy AIPAC” Conference Seeks to Lambast Pro-Israel Lobby and Cast Antiwar Agenda as the “99%”

An anti-Israel con­fer­ence to counter this weekend’s annual AIPAC Pol­icy Con­fer­ence will begin today and includes a vari­ety of events, ral­lies and pub­lic demon­stra­tions through March 6.
This year’s protest event, titled “Occupy AIPAC,” seeks to cap­i­tal­ize on the suc­cess of the Occupy Move­ment and fos­ter com­mon cause between the pop­u­lar social protests and anti-Israel efforts. The event’s Twit­ter feed tries to paint Israel and its sup­port­ers in the U.S. as part of the prover­bial “1%” and  the left-wing anti­war move­ment as the 99%, a repur­pos­ing of the Occupy Movement’s rhetoric. In addi­tion, one of the con­fer­ence ses­sions links the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street Move­ment with anti-Israel efforts.
The con­fer­ence ses­sion that is likely to fea­ture the most egre­gious rhetoric is titled “AIPAC: What it is, who its allies are, why it’s dan­ger­ous and how to stop it.” It will fea­ture, among oth­ers, Hatem Baz­ian, the leader of the extreme anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tion Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine; Jef­frey Blank­fort, an anti-Israel jour­nal­ist who claims that the “Israel lobby” con­trols U.S. for­eign pol­icy in the Mid­dle East; and Ali­son Weir, the direc­tor of the Coun­cil for the National Inter­est. Weir’s writ­ings and com­ments have at times crossed the line into anti-Semitism, includ­ing accus­ing Israelis of har­vest­ing Pales­tini­ans’ organs. Accord­ing to descrip­tions pro­vided on the con­fer­ence Web site, the ses­sion will include a seg­ment on how AIPAC “pro­motes Mus­lim otherness.”
Con­fer­ence atten­dees will have the oppor­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in sev­eral ral­lies and demon­stra­tions against AIPAC events, includ­ing protests out­side the White House dur­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s and Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu’s speeches.
Occupy AIPAC’s Twit­ter feed accuses AIPAC of exces­sive con­trol over U.S. pol­icy, includ­ing posts read­ing “We want our coun­try back” and “End big money lob­by­ist con­trol of MidEast Policy.”
The con­fer­ence has already attracted at least one anti-Semitic attendee, Charles Carl­son. Carl­son is the co-founder and direc­tor of “We Hold These Truths,” an Arizona-based Chris­t­ian anti-Semitic group that reg­u­larly protests out­side Chris­t­ian Zion­ist churches. In a mes­sage to his mem­bers invit­ing peo­ple to join him at “Occupy AIPAC,” Carl­son wrote:
“Every polit­i­cal can­di­date for pres­i­dent is bow­ing and scrap­ing to the state of Israel…they are not appeal­ing for Israeli votes,  but for the tens of mil­lions of Amer­i­can Chris­t­ian Zion­ist votes…Thousands of mis­taken and oppor­tunis­tic Pas­tors also fear the truth because they have mis­lead their con­gre­ga­tions.  Knowl­edge of Chris­t­ian Zion­ism can drive a stake through it, to be some­day buried in the grave­yard of apos­tate, reli­gious acts of war.”

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