Settling back into the Appalachian homing crib now, after a west coast week turnaround, I'm puzzling about the few days I spent observing the Occupyers at Seattle and Vancouver.
Yesterday I get an RSS email from Phyllis Chesler pronouncing the Occupy movement antisemitic.Whoa!
She presents some convincing evidence in her 5-page posting, with video quips of two Occupy LA protesters whose statements about bankers reveal some authentically deliberate Jew-bashing, and there's a lengthy, detailed sign about the old bogey Illuminati/Freemason conspiracy, whch was a dark strain of allegedly hidden connections that I had investigated briefly about 33 years ago.
So I get to hypertexting around on the net, and sure'nuff, there's more to this Occupy movement than meets the all-seeing eye. More evidence shows up on Jeff Dunetz' yidwithlid blog:
Yid with Lid wrote:
"The MSM (mainstream media) worked very hard to brand the Tea Party Movement as Racist, but it wasn't. They are working just as hard to ignore the blatant Antisemitism and libelous demonization of Israel coming out of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and they are. It is not just a few nuts within the Occupy Wall Street Movement who are bashing Israel and Jews, it is the leadership and founders."
A few more clicks mouses us around to a different point of view, the other side of the shekel, from Dave Weigel at Slate:
"There is a problem: The movement isn't anti-Semitic. It started in New York. Its ideological hero is Naomi Klein. This is a movement studded with liberal Jews! Here's one video that's gotten less play than the one of the irate anti-Semitic dipshit with the "Nazi bankers" sign: The Kol Nidre in New York, at the Occupy camp."
If Naomi Klein is such a formidable player in this Occupying wave, and she is Jewish, then how can the movement itself be antisemitic? Furthermore, If you view the 3-minute video (Kol Nidre, above) that Weigel posted, in which a large group of obviously Jewish dancers joyously stepped into Yom Kippur, it is obvious that the Hebraic delegation is unitimidated about putting their best feet forward in the Occupy WallStreet festivities.
So we see one group of Jews who are out to change the world with their involvement in, among many other leftist movements, Occupy WallStreet etc; its the J-Street apologist contingent, the old socialist/labor cadre, the Yid liberal strain whose purpose is to confront the slings and arrows of world injustice and equality, and by opposing end those evils.
And we see another group of Jewish people, including the grand old man of anti-defamation exposé Elie Wiesel, who have detected (accurately) within that same broad Occupy movement, an insidious strain of nascent nazis nestled nefariously in the shadows of the sign-wielding rabble. Yes, the Jew-haters are in there; they lurk among thousands of protesters.
So is the Occupy WallStreet movement antisemitic? Yes and no.That makes it like just about any other political movement in this melting-pot that we call America.
The Judah-apologist school of Judaism and the Israel-defensive school are strange bedfellows nestled within the same religious/ethnic heritage; one is reformative and communitarian, the other is orthodox and conservative. Oy vey. What else is new? It's been this way since Rehoboam and Jeroboam.
The tension that exists between these two camps of Judaism, as represented by the activist Golda Meir strain and the prosperous Alan Greenspan strain, is as old as the Judean hills, and they have lived with it long enough to convince the world that they are here to stay. Either way, they're not going away. Thank G_d.
The contemporary quarrel between liberal and conservative branches of political Judaism is reconcilable when surveyed through this proverbial wisdom from Yid with Lid:
"Jewish tradition respects economic success, so long as it is obtained honestly, and proper respect is shown for the social responsibility that comes with it. That social responsibility is a personal duty and a job for the community led by its religious leaders, but not for the government."
Last link. Over two millenia ago, the prophet Zechariah posted this on his website:
"...I took for myself two staffs, the one I called Favor and the other I called Union...I took my staff Favor and cut it in pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples...then I cut in pieces my second staff Union, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel."
And its been that way ever since. But hey! Mazel tov and L’chaim!.
But if you want to see what occupation really looks like in the here and now, look at this pic I snapped at Occupy Jerusalem six years ago: