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Is Occupy Wall Street Anti-Semitic?

David Brooks cites objectionable article in related magazine

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Zuccotti Park this morning.(Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

I know it’s getting overkill-y, and I’ll try to make this the last Occupy Wall Street post for at least 24 hours. But David Brooks, in his Times column this morning, introduces this little nugget into his broader critique of the protest:

This uprising was sparked by the magazine Adbusters, previously best known for the 2004 essay, “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?”—an investigative report that identified some of the most influential Jews in America and their nefarious grip on policy.

This is true! Moreover: that article is exactly what you think it is, and is really objectionable and offensive! Any of you who subscribe to Adbusters should cancel in protest! But for Brooks to use his extremely large—and, particularly as far as the Jewish community goes, influential—mouthpiece to tar Occupy Wall Street as essentially anti-Semitic is highly irresponsible, especially when there is, in fact, a legitimate concern that when a bunch of lefties convene, pretty soon the talk turns to Israel and the Lobby and so on.

So some facts, from someone who, apparently unlike Brooks, has actually been to the protests several times (in Brooks’ defense and, depending on your point of view, mine, I live fairly nearby):

• Adbusters has zero visible presence at the rally. If had not read in a few places that it had come up with the initial idea for it, I would have had zero knowledge of its association. The rally is quite clearly composed mostly of Americans raising American issues; Adbusters is just the Canadian in the room who is tangentially involved (much like, ironically, Brookfield Asset Management, the Canadian real estate mega-giant that owns Zuccotti Park).

• I am very sad to see the LaRouchies’ presence at Occupy Wall Street’s D.C. iteration. But I am happy to report I have not seen them in Lower Manhattan. The dominant radical groups are the Bob Avakian Communists and the International Socialist Review; much more happily and more plentifully, there are Teamsters and unionized nurses and teachers.

• I have witnessed zero anti-Semitic signs or chants, and literally maybe two or three having to do with Israel/Palestine, themselves bearing rather bland slogans about liberation and occupation. The most offensive sign I saw was one held yesterday that declared that the people’s revolutions had worked in Egypt, Tunisia, and Venezuela. If Occupy Wall Street falls into a pit of useless Third World radicalism, its heroes will be Che and Chávez, not Arafat and Ahmadinejad. Not that the former scenario would be a good thing (or even a good thing for the Jews), but it is not what many Tablet Magazine readers no doubt fear.

• A clergy-led rally I witnessed featured a rabbi. And, of course, and with the protesters’ consent, a mass Kol Nidrei service affiliated with Occupy Wall Street was held last Friday.

• In fact, most of Brooks’ essay argues not that the protesters are dangerous radicals but rather meek and ineffectual ones: “milquetoast,” as his headline has it. I think if he were actually to come up and see the bustling library and the earnest arguments and, yes, the drum circles and the chanting, a different adjective would come to his mind: the protest is fundamentally haimish.

The Milquetoast Radicals [NYT]

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Teshub says:

I agree with a lot of your points. Basically there are some out there who want to protect the Wall Street mobsters because most of them happen to be of Jewish heritage.
It just screams of over-entitlement and fascism. Nobody on earth, not even G-d’s “chosen” are above anyone else. There might be some racists and anti-Semites taking advantage of the situation, but that is no excuse to write off everyone fighting for financial justice.

“Antisemitic” is just Republican code for liberal and the audience is not Jews, it’s “Christian Zionists.” I will continue repeating this until you get it.

Blake Petersen says:

The first bullet point says that AdBusters has zero visible presence at the rally but they are the owners of the domain “OccupyWallStreet.org”… So, we’re assuming the official OWS website is considered to be a non-visible part of the protest? Right.

Mike A says:

Whether or not Adbusters is Anti-Semitic, they’ve already been exposed for paying individuals to attend the rallies and are the same group that purchased the occupywallstreet.org domanin name this past June. So you can’t say Adbusters hasn’t been planning this for a while. Notwithstanding the 700+ arrests, property damage caused, fresh arrest records for the young “unemployed” trust fund babies with dual liberal arts degrees, and the 2 Million incurred so far to deal with the riots from coffers of already meager municipalities. That is besides the fact that Adbusters was in charge of the protests at the HOMES of AIG executives! If they were Anti-Semetic, that would just be icing on the cake!

#OccupyWallStreet Protests: Are Social Media Revolutions Powerful or Pathetic?
http://blog.hudsonhorizons.com/Article/OccupyWallStreet-Social-Media-Revolutions-Powerful-or-Pathetic.htm

David Brooks is one of the least reliable sources of information going.

Got to love this! Doesn’t anyone remember what Ronald Reagan had to say about the Occupy Wall Street protests? http://www.washingtonpastime.com/drupal/occupywallstreet

hahahaha

Mark, you’re missing Brooks’ point. His reference to the Adbusters article isn’t an attempt to tar OWS as anti-Semitic, but rather to highlight their scapegoating style of thought, which pits a large majority of the population against a tiny, evil coterie of conspirators who are the source of all the country’s problems. Brooks argues–and I agree–that such thinking is oversimplified and misguidedly quick fix-oriented: just defeat the evil conspiracy, AdBusters and OWS both claim, and everything will be fine.

The causes of the current economic crisis are deep and systemic, and will take a lot of time and good judgment to work out of the nation’s system. Blaming it all on “Wall Street” may be less offensive than blaming it all on “the Jews”, but it’s ultimately no more productive.

I think the concern with these protests and the type of people that are embracing them is less that they will begin to target Israel and the “Israel Lobby” and more that this sort of infantile populism often develops (or begins with?) anti-semitic tendencies. Consider Teshub above (most of the Wall Street mobsters are Jewish? Really?!). If these protesters were advocating some sort of concrete political reform, they would not concern me (n.b. this is not a concern in a serious sense, because these are not serious people). What is worrying is that their only agenda (I’m sorry, Marc, but your strange sentimentality toward these people–where does that come from?–is really blinding you here) is a hatred (yes, hatred) of people who are (or who are perceived to be) successful. I hope I don’t have to spell out the historical parallels. Clearly, like all forms of popular stupidity, this is bad for the Jews and (here is that constant correlative) bad for everyone else.

All you have to do is look at Teshub’s comments to see what’s bubbling beneath the surface of these ‘protesters’. (All the Wall Street bankers are Jooz right old boy?)

Anti-Semitism today is a product of the far-left. It’s only a matter of time before we see it start bubbling up here. All ready in New York you see the WTC/9-11 truthers coming out to play. Soon enough I’m sure we’ll start hearing rants about the ‘neo-con Likudniks’.

If this is the face the DNC wants on the face of the party coming into 2012, I say more power to them. Nothing attracts suburban voters more than insane conspiracy theories and 20 somethings defecating on a police car.

if one noticed that an overwhelming number of professional basketball players were of African American decent would that make one a racist ?
THE TRUTH IS AN OVERWHELMING PERCENTAGE OF CORRUPT BANKERS- STOCK BROKERS AND ISRAELIS_(AIPAC TREASONOUS)_-APOLOGISTS ARE JEWS. quit stifling the TRUTH. its making you look stupid- or worse like a LIAR.

This is the most patently absurd piece I’ve ever read at Tablet. This is really reaching.

No, it’s not antisemitic.

However, time will tell if it’s a good idea. If it leads to a Republican victory next year then if would have been a terrible idea.

My real concern is that some will turn violent and turn off those who sympathize with them.

BennyGross says:

“I have witnessed zero anti-Semitic signs or chants, and literally maybe two or three having to do with Israel/Palestine, themselves bearing rather bland slogans about liberation and occupation.”

I thought the demonstrators are for “occupation.”

Many of them are the least occupied people in the world, just idlers looking for some excitement.

My first impression upon arriving at Liberty Plaza today (October 10, 2011, 1:00pm) was that The Occupation had grown. The park had been efficiently reorganized to accommodate the growth. Today, the Occupation Status Board was focused more on the mundane logistics of growth management, like quite hours and safeguarding the flower beds, than on overarching themes. The logistics of building a community, where there wasn’t one before, in the absence of traditional infrastructure, is challenging. Yet, through a deliberative democratic process, The Occupation is succeeding in doing just that! Continue reading → http://outlierideas.com/2011/10/11/occupy-wall-street-day-24-growing/

Teshub says:

Antisemitism is hatred for all Jews. Hating a mob of Jewish financial gangsters does not mean people hate 99% of the rest who happen to share the same identity. If Italians were as sensitive about the government taking down the Mafia we would still have them running rampant in our streets. The truth is that the overwhelming number of top finance leaders are Jewish; be it in the stock market, banking, regulatory commissions, investing houses, or Treasury. This is only a ‘short’ list of those who are Chairmen, Presidents, CEOs, CFO, etc. of these organizations.

1. New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) CEO
Duncan Niederauer – Jewish

2. NYSE COO
Lawrence Leibowitz – Jewish

3. NYSE Chairman
Jan-Michiel Hessels – Jewish

4. National Futures Association President/CEO
Daniel Roth – Jewish

5. National Futures Association Chairman
W. Robert Felker – Jewish

6. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman
Gary Gensler – Jewish

7. CFTC General Counsel
Dan Berkovitz – Jewish

8. CFTC Director of Enforcement
David Meister – Jewish

9. Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC) Chairman
Mary Schapiro – Jewish

10. SEC General Counsel
Mark Cahn – Jewish

11. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Chairman/CEO
Richard Ketchum – Jewish

12. FINRA Executive VP of Regulatory Policy
Thomas Selman – Jewish

13. FINRA Executive VP of Member Regulation
Grace Vogel – Jewish

14. NASDAQ QMX CEO
Robert Greifeld – Jewish

15. NASDAQ QMX Executive VP/CFO
Adena Friedman – Jewish

16. NASDAQ QMX Chairman
H. Furlong Baldwin – Jewish

17. Morgan Stanley President/CEO
James Gorman – Jewish

18. Morgan Stanley Executive VP/CFO
Ruth Porat – Jewish

19. Barclays CEO
Robert Diamong – Jewish

20. Wells Fargo Chairman/President/CEO
John Stumpf – Jewish

21. Wells Fargo Senior Executive VP/CFO
Howard Atkins – Jewish

22. Citigroup CFO
John Gerspach – Jewish

23. Goldman Sachs Chairman/CEO
Lloyd Blankfein – Jewish

24. Goldman Sachs President/COO
Gary Cohn – Jewish

Teshub says:

25. Goldman Sachs Executive VP/CFO
David Viniar – Jewish

26. Deutsche Bank Chairman of Management Board
Josef Ackermann – Jewish

27. JP Morgan Chase Chairman/CEO
James Dimons – Jewish

28. JP Morgan Chase CFO
Douglas Braunstein – Jewish

29. JP Morgan Chase Vice Chairman
Steven Black – Jewish

30. UBS Group CEO
Oswald Grübel – Jewish

31. UBS Group COO
Urlich Körner – Jewish

32. Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke – Jewish

33. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman
Donald Kohn – Jewish

34. Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Frederic Mishkin – Jewish

35. Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Randall Kroszner – Jewish

36. Tresury Deputy Secretary
Neal Wolin – Jewish

37. Treasury Chief of Staff to Secretary
Mark Patterson – Jewish

38. Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary
Matthew Kabaker – Jewish

39. Treasury Counselor to Secretary
Lewis Sachs – Jewish

40. Treasury Counselor to Secretary
Gene Sperling – Jewish

41. Treasury Counselor to Secretary
Lewis Alexander – Jewish

42. Treasury Counselor to Secretary
Richard Siewert – Jewish

43. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions
Michael Barr – Jewish

44. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets
Mary Miller – Jewish

45. Treasury Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability
Timothy Massad – Jewish

If we have all these brilliant Jewish people in the top positions, why are things such a mess? Instead they are deliberately using their connections and intelligence to line pockets at the expense of the majority of society.

QED, Marc.

By the way, Tishab, that’s a remarkable list of yours. Who knew the Chairman of Deutsche Bank was Jewish!!?

What are you going to do about this?

Sorry, meant Teshub; please take no offense.

I repeat the word, and the word is absurd.

Bill Pearlman says:

Teshub, kind of miss the good old days don’t you. Germany 1933-45.

Teshub says:

Exaggerated comparison, Pearlman. We are living in somewhat more enlightened times now. A lot of blood was shed by both Jew and gentile alike to make antisemitism only a fringe thing. The majority of the public knows better.
Right now the similarity is closer to late 1980′s Latin America, where the top drug bosses were virtually all Colombians. Did it mean all Colombians were bad? No. Should it be a factor when discerning how their networks operate? Yes.
Now we have a similar thing occurring in Wall Street, with the perps being mostly from a certain heritage. Bernie Madoff’s criminal schemes also affected a lot of Jews. So the fight against Wall Street is also getting support from many other Jewish people as well.

louie.louie73@yahoo.com says:

http://libcom.org/library/anti-semitism-adbusters-2004

And so seven years later David Brooks and Rush Limbaugh dredge this up to smear the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is a fact that around fifty percent or more of the neo con leaders are Jewish and that the movement had decidedly Jewish origins. It might or might not be worthy or comment but it is hardly not going to be noticed. No doubt like activists in past movements many are Jewish and would not like being exploited by Brooks and Limbaugh.

Matt Dredge and Rush Limbaugh, I don’t think there are two more demagogic twin fanatic fascists anywhere in the free world. But if one can find two one can always put them to the fanatic fascists taste test. Those two toads are a cancer to actual rational thought everywhere.

sharon says:

Did anyone notice that most of the fascist “tea baggers” and their puppet masters are Christians. How about Rick Perry and his 250 “legal killings”. Why do we need to discuss what religion evil cloaks itself in. Every group has their bad guys. Jews tend to feel responsible for the misdeeds of other Jews-let it go. Christians, Muslims, Hindu’s etc. don’t take it personally. Give it up. Bernie Madoff is not me.

Samuel Cooper says:

Why are we always falling for the controversies created by the media and even the groups protesting on both sides of most issues. The media is now all corporately own and controlled and guess who owns the corporations. The same 2% of the wealthiest people around the world who keep yelling that this is class warfare even though they were the ones who started the war some 30 years ago when they put Reagan in the White House. It has been downhill for the middle class since 1980 and uphill for the National Debt and lower taxes for the rich. They like to claim that they earned their money by hard work, but what about the influence all their money bought them. They have managed to change laws and deregulated whole industries to allow for their greed to flourish. It has flourished at the expense of the entire world. Besides, what job is worth $1 billion a year, or even $1 million. And teachers of our children can hardly make ends meet and we have a shortage of nurses, both of whom work very hard, but are undervalued by those in power because they don’t really need their services. Our infrastructure is in decay and mostly in area where there are no rich folks. They don’t drive over bridges in danger, they fly in private jets and helicopters. Big surprise there is no money for infrastructure.

One must wonder if the rich of America and the rest of the world have some secret plan for world dominance and strict control. They most likely meet in Switzerland several times a year to plan the takeover of all governments. Years ago a CEO told me on his return from Geneva that he had seen the building for the International Brotherhood of Unions, or some name close to that, but what really concerned him was that there was not a building for the International Union of the Wealthy who surely must be organized to combat the unions. Well folks, the power of the unions is almost gone and one must ask who defeated them and what happens next? Yes, Occupy Wall St. by all means.

david Carroll says:

Who owns the occupy wall street website? Adbusters. They are the ones behind these protests, they are the ones who came up with the 99 percent slogan (jews make up approximately 1 percent of the population).

Sorry, not everyone who sided with the nazis agreed with baking the jews in ovens, but they still gave power to the movement that did it. This is why what you FEEL is right doesn’t matter, what you make happen does matter.

There are always the odd cranks…but let’s do ban this spontaneous outpouring of popular anger at big business and robber barons, it would be the only sensible thing…round up all of those protestors immediately! In the words of Charles Dickens: “Are there prisons are there no workhouses?”

Dave Koffer says:

OF course this so-called “movement” is clearly anti-semitic!!! We have ample evidence of this!!

And you amply haven’t provided any.

This is a no win situation.
Reading all of the above comments one can only come away as follows: Meesh says THE TRUTH, and Teshub
presents THE EVIDENCE !

Numbers don’t Lie. The percent of Jews on Wall St.is a glaring fact. Has Wall St. triggered this rage all over the world. You BETCHE.
Sy Fort Lee

Downtown Ronny says:

This is dreg! Jews are very much for Occupy Wall Street and the only reason this Jew did niot attend an event yesterday (Saturday) is why-I had a cold that Ashem gave me! Sukkot is the Jewish version of Occupy!

student says:

This is a worthless article, who cares about adbusters and what they published years ago (nobody). PErhaps it is you, Marc Tracy, who sympathizes with these big wall street honchos who sucks money from the masses and redistributes it amongst the 1% behind closed doors. WELL THEN YES I AM AGAINST THOSE JEWS AS WELL AS THOSE CHRISTIANS, YES THEY DESSERVE TO DIE, AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL

student says:

Occupy wall street really has nothing to do with religion, Marc Tracy just sucks enormous dick.

Legalize trees, and smoke on

Moshe above says : “Anti-Semitism today is a product of the far-left. ”
- It follows logically that “Pro-semitism”, or maybe its political equivalent, “pro-Isrtael attitudes” today seems to be a province not of the far -left, but the far -right. all the Far-right parties in Europe have switched to pro-Israel policies, have also been invited to israel by knesseth members. And so, the radical far -right belgian “vlaamse Block” today , for example, organizes anti-moslem patrols around Antwerp’s Jewish quarter and the diamond district. Austria Joerg Haider mentioned that one of his role models was Bibi, and the nascent Israeli Nazi moement is growing.
- And nobody cries “wolf”?? nobody says, at least in hebrew or within the communities, that there is something foul going on that is treacherous to our grandparent victims of the Nazis?
- Guys like Moshe and most of the commentators should put a good mirror in front of their faces, I will prefer the left a million times to the right. at list to the political right. Shame on you guys, really. you are all contributing to a very bleak spiritual future for the jews.
- the spectacle of no.

It seems to be the under-resourced resort to protesting the Wall Street bailout and continuing dubious privileging have continued from the Bush II Administration into the Obama Administration. Otherwise who would want to camp out uncomfortably in the mucky park,when the salon and big media coverage were available? Gaithner continues in a high administrative post, there has been no clawback, megabanks still carry fictitious levels of assets on their books. (The little banks have been held to higher standards; it is indecorous to hold the megas to account, “too big to fail” being a mantra.The megas can reward and punish regulators in a variety of subtle ways. The minis are not so leveraged.) The “occupation army” has its charms and also a certain unproductivity. The loosest thinking mingles with sound critiques. Exhibitionism coexists with entertainment frivolity and serious thought. With the coming of colder weather, the protest will fade save for the truly fanatic. One hopes that some responsible networking occurs to sustain the more insightful critiques and suggestions. It is like, in some respects, an American political convention with hoopla vying with serious business in a peculiar mix. Jews of many persuasions and interests play a role in the ongoing phenomena. Always keep Hillel’s paradigm in mind.

It seems to be the under-resourced resort to protesting the Wall Street bailout and the continuing dubious privileging that have continued from the Bush II Administration into the Obama Administration. Otherwise who would want to camp out uncomfortably in the mucky park,when the salon and big media coverage were available? Gaithner continues in a high administrative post, there has been no clawback, megabanks still carry fictitious levels of assets on their books. (The little banks have been held to higher standards; it is indecorous to hold the megas to account, “too big to fail” being a mantra.The megas can reward and punish regulators in a variety of subtle ways. The minis are not so leveraged.) The “occupation army” has its charms and also a certain unproductivity. The loosest thinking mingles with sound critiques. Exhibitionism coexists with entertainment frivolity and serious thought. With the coming of colder weather, the protest will fade save for the truly fanatic. One hopes that some responsible networking occurs to sustain the more insightful critiques and suggestions. It is like, in some respects, an American political convention with hoopla vying with serious business in a peculiar mix. Jews of many persuasions and interests play a role in the ongoing phenomena. Always keep Hillel’s paradigm in mind.

Peter W says:

The Tea party movement is just as racist and homophobic as the Occupy Wall Street movement is anti-Semitic.

stella schindler says:

you are so naive. those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it….

Occupy Wall Street is neither racist nor ant-Semitic and there is not one political observer, pundit, or politician who has brought forth credible evidence to make a credible case that it is. Those who are making such allegations are the rich, affluent and deeply selfish and self seeking overlords and robber barons and banksters of the one percent who do not give a damn about the lives, interests, and futures of the other ninety nine percent who are in a desperate state of struggle and impoverishment in America.

If there are anti-Semites involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is because anti-Semites exist in all parts of society and at all places in the political spectrum. One should fight antisemitism all across the political spectrum because it is evil, not as convenient means of furthering a partisan agenda.

While I was at Occupy Boston, as part of the group repairing the sukkah that had taken some damage from rain and wind, I was asked my opinion on an anti-Israel poster sign in front of someone’s tent (the owner was not home) and very quickly, an ad hoc meeting was convened, that unanimously agreed that the sign did not represent the aims of Occupy Boston nor the beliefs of the movement– and that there would be an effort to discuss the propriety of this sign in a highly visible part of the camp and to ask him to remove the sign.

Joshua says:

What a bizarre list upthread. Some of the people posted are OBVIOUSLY not Jewish (Jamie Dimon? Oswald Gruebel? H. Furlong Baldwin?) others are not major executives, and others still are with regulatory bodies whose job is actually to regulate and fine wall street.

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I don´t think the protest is anti-semitic I think it is anti greed and anti corruption.

Eindelijk iets gevonden dat mijn aandacht trekt. Bedankt en Gods zegen

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