Occupy Wall Street Is Not Anti-Semitic



I've been sent the link to this video, put out by the Emergency Committee for Israel, several times, and finally opened it this morning. It contains a handful of examples of anti-Semitic rhetoric expressed at unknown points, and at unknown places, in the Occupy Wall Street protests. The rhetoric is quite obviously anti-Semitic, but I was left thinking that if this was all the anti-Semitism the Emergency Committee could find, then they're going to have look harder before making definitive judgments.

Sure, there is going to be hostile anti-Jewish feeling expressed at the margins of any populist movement, but a) it appears as if the people expressing these thoughts in the video are real outliers; b) it's obvious to me that most people who attend these rallies are angry about corporate greed and excessive CEO compensation (among other financial concerns) and not about Israel or perfidious Jews; and c) this movement has (like most political movements, actually) disproportionate Jewish representation. To say that there are occasional outbursts of anti-Semitism at Occupy Wall Street is not to say that Occupy Wall Street itself is antisemitic. The University of Chicago has an anti-Semitic professor on the faculty, but does this make the university itself anti-Semitic?

Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in National

From This Author

Just In