Character assassination is nothing new to the far right in America. Their smear of choice is to project their xenophobia on to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Of the various lies, the one that has gone viral on the far right is the assertion that OWS is anti-Semitic.
As Josh Holland said on Countdown Tuesday night, this “the left is Anti-Semetic” meme is a long term “project” of the far right:
So it comes as no surprise that a Hedge fund bought and paid for various modes of propaganda, including an ad to demonize the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The Emergency Committee for Israel has joined in the smear campaign. It is worth noting that the ECI, from an ideological perspective, is a right wing group. In other words, their association with the Hedge fund has to do with ideological solidarity.
Newsflash for America’s far right. Jews are like any other demographic group; they have a diversity of opinions on all kinds of things, including politics. For example, the Anti-Defamation League’s assessment contradicts the assertion that the Occupy Wall Street movement is Anti-Semitic.
In a statement, Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said:
We are seeing some individuals holding anti-Semitic signs at the “Occupy Wall Street” rallies, and some videos posted on YouTube from the rallies have shown individuals expressing classic anti-Semitic beliefs such as “Jews control the banks” and “Jews control Wall Street.” While we believe that these expressions are not representative of the larger views of the OWS movement, it is still critical for organizers, participants and supporters of these rallies to condemn such bigoted statements clearly and forcefully.
There is no evidence that these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are representative of the larger movement or that they are gaining traction with other participants. However, history demonstrates time and again how economic downturns can embolden anti-Semites to spread malicious conspiracy theories and promote stereotypes about Jews and money. As a consequence, these statements must not be left unchallenged.
The League continues to monitor the tenor and messages at the demonstrations to ensure that they do not get hijacked by extremists or anti-Semitic elements.
The ADL is respected across the political spectrum, and around the world as an authority when it comes to condemning bigotry.
Even Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment rag says this of the ADL, “The Anti-Defamation League is one of the most powerful and authoritative voices against bigotry of all kinds–not just in the United States, but throughout the world.”
Yes, it is said within the context of a whine as to why, on one hand, the ADL doesn’t join in the right wing smear of Occupy Wall Street and on the other, identifies the Tea Party’s ties to Anti-Semitism.
The Anti-Defamation League recognizes the flaw in smearing an entire group of people based on the comments of some. Moreover, the ADL recognizes the difference between statements made by attendees at an event, and say, comments by a high profile entertainer at a major media outlet.
The other great source to push the Occupy Wall Street as a Nazi movement meme is Fox News, which has a very impressive record in this area. Here’s what the ADL had to say about Glenn Beck, while at Fox, pushed the despicable lie that George Soros, a Holocaust survivor, is a Nazi:
Glenn Beck’s description of George Soros’ actions during the Holocaust is completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top. For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say – inaccurately – that there’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, as part of a broader assault on Mr. Soros, that’s horrific.
While I, too, may disagree with many of Soros’ views and analysis on the issues, to bring in this kind of innuendo about his past is unacceptable. To hold a young boy responsible for what was going on around him during the Holocaust as part of a larger effort to denigrate the man is repugnant.
The Holocaust was a horrific time, and many people had to make excruciating choices to ensure their survival. George Soros has been forthright about his childhood experiences and his family’s history, and there the matter should rest.”
Of course, the far right is jumping up and down with excitement at the news that the Nazi party and the Communist party have said they endorse the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Here’s the thing. All kinds of extremists will attempt to attach themselves to groups that have national attention, appeal or both. Endorsements bring a headline or two to the extremists. However, that is far from proof that OWS wants anything to do with either the neo-Nazis or the Communists.
The Neo Nazis also endorsed the Tea Party soon after it’s inception. According to Gawker.com:
The users of a certain neo-Nazi message board that will soon invade this site with a flood of nutty racist comments have been debating these recent “Tea Party” protests, and at least one user likes what he sees.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think every WN needs to not only attend the April 15th Tea Party nearest you (I’m going to the Alamo in San Antonio) but then stay involved and help provide leadership to this movement.
I believe that this is the white revolution we’ve been waiting for.
It doesn’t look what we expected but this is it.
I’ve seen probably 50 videos on TV showing previous marches and what strikes me is that the participants are all WHITE. It stands to reason . . . we’re the ones being taxed to support Affirmative Action, Welfare and other worthless social programs. It’s our tax dollars going to ACORN and supporting the 12 million illegals swarming into our neighborhoods.
For the first time, white people (a.k.a. the lemmings) are finally awake and taking to the streets.
How did the Tea Party respond? According to the ADL, neo-Nazi Billy Ropper was a Tea Party organizer in 2009.
Billy Roper, who heads the white supremacist White Revolution group, based in Arkansas, is listed as an organizer on a Tea Party movement Web site. In a June 2009 post to the White Revolution blog, Roper claimed to be organizing a Tea Party in Arkansas and sending White Revolution “representatives who will be witnessing and converting lost souls at Tea Parties from North Carolina to Arizona.” [emphasis in original]
A May blog post revealed that White Revolution members will attend local Tea Party protests and distribute leaflets and flyers. Their goal will be to “educate, activate, and recruit.” The blog post encouraged readers to “plan to attend one to do your part for our race and nation!”
One of the Tea Party’s 2010 candidates liked to dress up like an SS officer.
Then there’s the Koch Brother’s financial ties to Iran. Yes, the same Iran that denies Israel’s right to exist. Has the Tea Party denounced the Koch Brothers? Has the Tea Party returned Koch money, which was “earned” by dealing with the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Regime of Iran? For that matter, if guilt by association is acceptable, are Tea Party supporters aware that Fred Koch, father of Charles and David, was a founding member of the racist, anti-Semitic John Birch Society?
The second problem the far right has: Jewish communities across the country are embracing Occupy Wall Street.
The Jewish Community in Los Angeles celebrated Sukkot with Occupy Los Angeles. Here is video, courtesy of JewishJournal: http://www.youtube.com/user/jewishjournal However, you wouldn’t know it if you relied exclusively on right wing media sources for your information. In DC, The Jewish Community in D.C. celebrated Yom Kippur with #OccupyDC .
So while the ERI may have joined the Hedge fund to perpetuate this disgusting myth, the Jewish Community isn’t fooled and neither is the Anti-Defamation League.
One recognizes the difference between opposing hate and exploiting it. The far right’s exploitation of hatred and its ability to promote it are very well documented. During the past week, Herman Cain’s electric fence idea, alienated Conservative Hispanics.
Here is part of the Somos Republicans’ reaction in the letter to Mr. Cain. They wrote, “Regardless of what side of the immigration issue one happens to be, we need to agree that the issue is a human issue. Do not forget you are referring to the electrocution and mauling of God’s children. You claim that you do not care about political correctness. This is not about political correctness, this is about basic humanity.”
Then there are Herman Cain’s attacks on black Democrats, Muslims, and women who are victims of incest and rape. Herman Cain even tried to resurrect the claim that Obama isn’t black enough when he said the President has never been part of the black experience. During the GOP’s Las Vegas debate, Cain got resounding applause and cheers when he blamed the unemployed for being unemployed.
Michele Bachmann’s hate resume includes the assertion that gays are “part of Satan.” Rick Santorum opined that Republicans could gain the Hispanic vote with homophobic propaganda as you can see in this video.
The far right are experts at hating. In fact, it would be much easier to list the people they like: rich, white, property owning male bigots.