Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fringes and Mussels Alive Alive-O

One would expect "Occupy Whatever," a "movement" fixated on the crimes of greedy bankers, to manifest at least a soupcon of Jew-hatred, and indeed it has. Scott Whitlock of Newsbusters details some of it—along with the disinclination of Lefty Jews to acknowledge it—here. There's also stuff about it here, here, and here. And yet Jonathan Kay, whose perceptions have been somewhat clouded by years spent investigating conspiracists both left and right, complains that "lazy conservatives"—yes, that's what he calls them—are ginning up a non-existent spectre. He writes:
Lazy conservatives who instinctively are repelled by the Occupy Wall Street movement, but can't be bothered to intellectually engage with the issue, are circulating their own YouTube hits - alleging not just stupidity and bad hygiene, but also anti-Semitism. A popular one (200,000 hits so far) called "Anti-Semitic Protester at Occupy Wall Street - LA" features a woman who declares: "The Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve - they need to be run out of this country." 
Armed with video snippets such as these, an American conservative group is running a slick ad suggesting that the Occupy movement is basically just one big Democratic-supported anti-Semitic jamboree. Links to their ad, and the accompanying anti-Semitism claim, are all over my Twitter feed. Opponents of Occupy don't even have to watch the video: They can confirm all their pre-existing biases about the movement in 140 characters or less. 
The reality about Occupy? That's more boring. This week, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen - one of those Zionist Jews who supposedly are in danger of getting lynched by Occupy protesters - made his way to Lower Manhattan to observe the pogroms. He sums up his experience thusly: "Projecting an unvarnished Semitism, I circled the place, encountering nothing and no one to suggest bigotry - not a sign, not a book and not even the guy who some weeks ago held up a placard with the instruction to Google the phrase 'Zionists control Wall St.' Google 'nut case' instead."

Cohen isn't arguing that the anti-Semitic nuts who occasionally pop up at Occupy movements aren't despicable. And neither am I. But all recent mass movements, from trade unions and anti-globalization protests to Tea Party rallies and Canada's Reform Party, have attracted bigots. Intelligent people don't judge a movement on the basis of the fringe haters they inevitably attract. 
They don't? I guess I'm not too "intelligent" then, because when, for instance, revelers were celebrating in Tahrir Square, all I could see was the "fringe" who were screaming "Jew! Jew" as they gang-raped CBS's Lara Logan. Similarly, when I attended the Ayatollah's Al Quds Day rally at Queen's Park this year, I couldn't help but focus on the "fringe"—and there were only a few individuals, mind you—who were holding aloft Hezbollah flags.

How dumb was that?

So, sorry, Jon, if dumb old me, dumbed down as I am by the bedumbing Internet, espies something ugly and disturbing in the "fringe" of Jew-hate that has affixed itself like an invasive species--like a zebra mussel, say--to the "Occupy" hull: I happen to believe we ignore such critters at our peril.

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