The Conspiracy

There are No Anti-Semites at Occupy Wall Street. Except for This Guy.

http://newvoices.org/2011/10/12/there-are-no-anti-semites-at-occupy-wall-street-except-for-this-guy/
The only anti-Semite of the whole protest, surrounded by people who don't like him. | Photo by David A.M. Wilensky

It must be lonely, being the only anti-Semite of the whole protest, surrounded by people who don't like you. | Photo by David A.M. Wilensky

Commotion surrounds a man holding a large sign that proclaims, “Google: Zionists control Wall St.” To his right, another man holds a sign that displays the word “ASSHOLE,” accompanied by an arrow pointing at the first man. Several more people are standing near him devoting their energy to telling passersby that the first man is indeed an asshole and that he does not represent the rest of the 99%-ers residing in the park.

“Don’t take pictures of him!” one man is shouting. “All he wants is for you to take his picture.”

“That’s right! All I want is for you to take my picture!” the man shouts at the crowd, several of whom (including myself) are taking pictures of him.

As Mik Moore (who happens to be a former New Voices Magzine editor and is a current member of our board) pointed out on Jewschool today, there has been an attempt from the right to delegitimize the Wall Street protests by claiming that they’re anti-Semitic.

But that charge is wrong and it’s not going to stick.

For one thing, this guy with the sign is it; this goofball is the entire anti-Semite community of the Occupy Wall Street protest. He’s not a slick well-moneyed anti-Semite like the Henry Fords of yesteryear. He’s scruffy and it doesn’t seem like he’s all there mentally.

More important than the sparse population of anti-Semites is the thick populations of Jews; there are a lot of Jews there. Never mind the 1,000 or so Jews who spent the evening of Yom Kippur holding a full Kol Nidrei service across the street from Zuccotti Park. Never mind the Jews in Philly, Boston and DC who did the same. And never mind the plans to set up a sukkah this evening at the protest here in New York, as well as in LA, Atlanta, DC, Philly and Boston. Aside from that, there are just plenty of Jews down there.

This is exactly the kind of social justice issue and progressive movement that American Jewish life has long sought to associate itself with. The fact that there are Jews involved and that my generation of Jews is excited about the protests feels only natural.

This afternoon I went down to the protest to grab some lunch (there is still a horde of falafel trucks down there, as there are year-round) and show a friend around who hadn’t yet seen the spectacle of Occupy Wall Street. While we were there, two Chabad guys asked me if I’d put on tefilin yet today (“I haven’t and I don’t plan to, but thanks”) and if I’d like some information about sukkot (“I already bought a lulav and etrog, so I’m good to go”). We also saw a couple of kippot among the throng and one hippie-looking guy with a beard and a nearly floor-length tunic with tzitzit affixed to its corners.

So the Jews of this generation, I’m forced to conclude, are with the 99%.

22 Older Responses to “There are No Anti-Semites at Occupy Wall Street. Except for This Guy.”

  1. John
    October 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    I am amused by how metropolitan America is wrestling with these tough questions of equality and fairness and our future, and the Chabad guy is just there to see that every Jew has put on his fringes for the day. This is coming from a guy who wears fringes every day, btw.

  2. Mike Lewi
    October 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    I usually do not comment on such maters in public yet I fell it is important that people know that this LIE has been around a very long time implemented by Anti- semantic and aniti Americans. I have a lot of over seas friends and one of my CHINA contacts actually ask me ” Does the Jewish own the wealth of the USA?” Seem unbelievable yet people believe what is convenit REGARDLESS of the TRUTH.

  3. channa
    October 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    i will be there -another Jew of an “older generation” visiting from Canada

  4. DiasporaMutt
    October 17, 2011 at 5:31 am #

    That hippie dude with the BegedYehudi(tunic) and tzitzit (fringes he tied himself) has a name — Christopher and he’s not Jewish, but a Noahide. He was living in Jerusalem for about 6 months and at the tents in Tel Aviv – just left for Brooklyn a few weeks ago — it’s nice to know he’s alive and well and spreading the love in NYC.

  5. David A.M. Wilensky
    October 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    A Noahide! Excellent.

    (He does know that doesn’t obligate him to wear tzitzit, right?)

  6. Michael
    October 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    There are No Anti-Semites at Occupy Wall Street. Except for This Guy……hhmmm….really? Check out this website…
    http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/10/13/more-anti-semitism-at-occupy-los-angeles/

  7. David Zarmi
    October 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    First to Michael – while it is important to spread the information about the anti-semitic nature of the Occupy L.A. crowd, it is not directly pertinent to Mr. Wilensky’s claim that there is no anti-semitism in Occupy Wall Street. I do appreciate nobody trying to argue that Zionist doesn’t mean Jew, because as much as anti-Zionist Jews will cry that the goyim should only hate the Zionists, the goyim who hate don’t differentiate and will laugh at the Jewish in-fighting as they march us to the gas chambers (or whatever it is they use next time around). Secular and Reform Jews did the same in the Holocaust, Of course the anti-semitism at Occupy L.A. is not your typical, “I hate Jews,” but exterminationist and genocidal.

    But more to the point, Mr. Wilensky, how is it that you find a few (and of course there are more) Jews at OWS and decide that the “Jews of this generation are with the 99%” (by which you mean the 1% of those thuggish enough to take over public property for no reason other than a dissatisfaction with daytime protests)? The Jews of this generation are broken into many differing beliefs, and many of us have absolutely no interest in destroying the frees country to exist in the history of mankind. No interes tin destroying the best mechanism for the creation of wealth and raising the material existence of Man that Man has ever devised. Please speak for yourself and your 1% rather than the 99% of this generations Jews who can think clearly about these matters.

  8. John Q Public
    October 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Saying that this nut job is the lone voice of anti-semitism in the OWS movement is inaccurate. I have seen blacks on TV news reports in the Occupy Sacramento, Oakland and Los Angeles “protests”. Women screaming that the problems and corruption in this country are the fault of “greedy Jews” of Wall Street. Wake up. They said “it can’t happen here”, but much of the overall complexion (no pun intended) of this movement smacks of Nazi Germany – the scapegoating, the desire by the government to take firearms from the hands of citizens, etc. I see it as the well-funded manipulation of the Left to install a Socialist dictatorship with Black PInocchio as it’s figurehead.

  9. Padrick
    October 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    “He’s scruffy and it doesn’t seem like he’s all there mentally.”
    DUDE–you just described the whole band of OWS ragamuffins! I think he duth protest too much! Let’s face it, you guys have no idea why you’re protesting other than everyone else is doing it and it might get you a lifetime of free lunches. Soooo stupid. This guy fits right in.

  10. Eric
    October 30, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    If Jews actually did run the country, we wouldn’t be $15,000,000,000,000.00 in debt.

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