Occupy Wall Street Is Not Anti-Semitic

By Jeffrey Goldberg


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?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-is-not-anti-semitic/246884/