I first heard of it a few days ago from a blogger noted for outrageous claims, but I have been late to pick up on the ploy, even though it has been used against liberals and liberal causes for some time. Similarly overbearing "conservative" commentators once assured me that of course Bill and Hillary Clinton were obvious anti-Semites and if you're old enough to read this you'll remember that Barack Obama was of the same racist, intolerant and bigoted stripe and perhaps even a Hitler Sympathizer and Muslim terrorist.
Of course there's always an anecdote, a selected collection of irrelevant or even fabricated 'facts' to prove the point -- and of course and strangely, those making the claim aren't often Jews. I've learned to discount these attacks, of course, you should pardon the metaphor, for many reasons including the observation that the accusations most often come from iron fisted defenders of a faith only they call Christian and who have only suddenly and temporarily stopped accusing Jews and other infidels of persecuting them. ( Sorry Muslims, you'll have to wait your turn for forgiveness.)
So for now, this week only and especially for you, I'm offering 99.99% off (what a deal) on the notion that the Occupy Wall Street people are really there to express their anti-Semitic notions about bankers and brokers and not their antiestablishmentarian anger at those who accepted massive and expensive rescue only to continue their shoddy practices to the detriment of the public and national survival.
That's a sentiment strangely similar to the Tea Party disdain for government bailouts, and the strange bed-fellowship implied here is difficult to sweep under the rug for those who need to look like the only ones discontent with the status quo on Wall Street. So how do you make the Tea Party look good and other people with the same idea look bad? You find something or someone atypical or irrelevant and promote it or him as the prototype.
The Jewish Journal today reminds us of the infamous "protocols of the Elders of Zion" that was used by Czarist supporters to identify the feared and hated Jews with socialism, a practice not unknown to this day and a book that was printed by "Christian" organizations around the world until recently -- if indeed they've stopped. I certainly remember the promotion of Abbie Hoffman to leadership of the many disparate and mostly respectable protesters in Grant Park during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. I was there and I'd never heard of him until I heard on the news that he was my leader, but of course it was enough to taint the many clergymen, Vietnam veterans and business leaders with the yellow star.
The fear of being labeled a racist of any stripe is, I think, being used quite deliberately to downplay the legitimacy of this protest. It isn't enough to play up the numbers of people who are making a mess of the city and its public and private facilities, particularly for a party trying to wear the mantle of some 18th century destructive, anti-Government protesters. It's hard to convince us that they're really secretly Mexican illegals or African Americans demonstrating their disdain for enterprise and civility, but anyone can be a Jew, or at least accused of it and so the sudden concern by the Religious right that their best friends are being offended on these holiest of holy days, by those unwashed, free loading, anti-Semitic hippies who seem to be gathering around the world calling for regulation.
And of course President Obama we already know to be a Jew hater and if he tries to impose regulations on the Jew-Dominated financial and banking interests, we have additional proof that regulation equals bigotry and not just Communism - just don't think about it too carefully and you won't notice the absurdity -- and if you do, the Tea Party will turn on you too, you bigot!