The right has been leveling accusations of anti-semitism against the Occupy Wall Street protests because a few people have been spotted carrying anti-semitic signs. They having conveniently overlooked the fact that their own Tea Party movement had issues with racism and with anti-semitism. Here are some links to news stories and blogs discussing some of these instances of anti-semitic signs and behavior:
-A poster inviting people to a tea party rally which depicts tax money disappearing into a funnel with a Jewish Star of David on it
- A protest sign showing piles of the dead bodies of Holocaust victims, labeled "National Socialist Healthcare"
- Another protest sign stating "Obama takes his orders from the Rothschilds"
- A note left by a tea party protester in which the writer called Rep. Anthony Weiner "Schlomo Weiner"
- Another note written by a tea party protester addressed to Rahm Emanuel, signed with a swastika
- white supremacist groups being allowed to distribute literature at tea party events
- Tea party-distributed emails in which Jewish Texas State Rep. Joe Straus is attacked because he is not Christian
For more information, I have included several more links which discuss these and other instances of anti-semitism in the Tea Party:
Both groups - OWS and the Tea Party - have had problems with people bringing hateful signs to rallies or committing anti-semitic acts. Should either group be defined by the actions of a handful of people? No. They should, however, be judged by their reaction to these occurrences, and by whether they denounced them or not.
The Tea Party spent all of its time denying that these posters - and others depicting President Obama as a monkey or wearing tribal gear - were bigoted. Instead of admitting that there were a few problem members and denouncing and distancing themselves, they tried to claim that it wasn't racist to show the president with a bone through his nose, or that bringing up the Rothschilds (Jewish bankers) wasn't anti-semitic. The OWS protesters, on the other hand, have been quick to denounce the anti-semitism when brought to their attention. They have not tried to deny that talking about Jewish bankers is anti-semitic. On the contrary, as the following link states,
"Occupy protesters have taken to surrounding the man, who gave his name to me recently as David Smith, with rebuttal signs, including one that reads, “@!$%# —>". ...
During a trip to Zuccotti Park to observe the early stages of the protest on September 19, two days after activists first set up camp there, the Forward’s Nate Lavey and I watched as Smith entered the plaza with his cardboard sign, was confronted by one vocal passerby, and then was chased out of the occupied plaza by a shouting mob of activists. Police eventually intervened to separate him from the crowd.
Where are the signs of Tea Partiers surrounding anti-semites with rebuttal signs? Where are the stories of tea partiers confronting anti-semites and racists, to the point where police had to intervene? Is it any wonder people formed a poor opinion of the Tea Party when, instead of confronting anti-semites and bigots, they actually invited them to distribute literature at their rallies?