Occupy Wall Street and the struggle over Israel/Palestine

Below is an interview with Daniel Sieradski. Sieradski is a “cause media entrepreneur” and one of the driving forces of Occupy Judaism. The interview started with me emailing him for a brief comment on Marc Tracy’s piece in Tablet about the flotilla tweet controversy within Occupy Wall Street, and quickly expanded into the conversation below.

Adam Horowitz: Marc Tracy quoted you as saying “the the ramifications would likely be severe” if the flotilla tweet wasn’t retracted. What kind of ramifications were you imagining? Did you see any play out in the short time the tweet was up?

Daniel Sieradski: So, first thing is, I want to stress that I am speaking only for myself, not for Occupy Judaism, and not for any of the working groups at OWS in which I participate.

I did not ask that the tweet be retracted. And I did not say the ramifications would be severe unless it was. I said that the ramifications of the tweet itself would be severe. The working group chose to delete the tweet of its own accord. I simply asked someone in the working group to look into the matter and to tell me how it got there.

However, the tweet was immediately picked up by the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Jewish Internet Defense Force, among others, and began making its rounds about the net.

The ramifications I imagine begin with a mountain of press attacking OWS as being anti-Israel and pro-terrorism. Whereas beating back false charges of antisemitism was easy because the movement is not antisemitic, were the movement to embrace an explicitly pro-Palestinian agenda, it would be impossible to counter charges that the movement is anti-Israel. No matter how much we as individuals may reject such a framing, supporting the breaking of the Gaza blockade will surely be labeled as enabling the flow of arms into Gaza that will be turned on Israeli civilians. No matter how one might rebut those claims, we all know that mainstream media does not handle nuance well when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The external impression of being anti-Israel will not be helped by Boston’s “emergency march” on the Israeli consulate, which was promoted on the official Occupy Boston calendar. This is already being used by Andrew Breitbart and Commentary to insist that OWS is a cesspool of anti-Israel activism. It’s also already reached the Israeli press.

Furthermore, the external impression of being pro-terror can only be worsened by actions like Existence is Resistance‘s (EIR) Keffiyeh Day, which was marketed using an image of a convicted hijacker, Leila Khaled, and which called for the release of two convicted terrorists, Ahmad Saadat and Majd Ziada. The former is a PFLP leader whose faction explicitly rejects any negotiations with Israel and calls for the expulsion of all non-Palestinian Jews from historic Palestine and the latter was the getaway driver in a shooting attack on a West Bank settlement that was so indiscriminate that the lone victim was a Palestinian [Horowitz note: As can be expected there are differing opinions about Saadat's and Ziada's cases, see examples here and here].

As such, many Jewish supporters of OWS who do not identify as anti-Zionist, who do not support the goals of the anti-Zionist movement, and who sure as hell do not feel comfortable identifying with actions in solidarity with armed Palestinian militants, feel that the should OWS embrace a position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and particularly an anti-Israel position, that they could no longer be associated with the movement. This says nothing about non-Jewish Americans who identify as pro-Israel, nor the various Jewish leaders who went to bat for OWS last week in defense against charges of antisemitism, such as Mark Green, Eliot Spitzer and Randi Weingarten. It is a slap in their faces for a lone Palestinian solidarity activist operating without the consent of the General Assembly to announce on behalf of the entire movement solidarity with an attempt to break the Gaza blockade only two days after these individuals proclaimed “We are pro-Israel and we support Occupy Wall Street.”

Worse yet, there have been attempts to push Zionists out of the movement by claiming their support for Israel’s mere existence is fundamentally racist and as such, they should not be part of any serious social justice movement. I find such actions deeply offensive. Insisting that I or anyone else pass a litmus test requiring the rejection of Israel’s existence so that I can protest the fact that my parents are in bankruptcy and foreclosure — which is actually what these protests are supposed to be about and which is why I got involved with them — is obnoxious and infuriating.

That is why many people at OWS, including myself, feel that this issue is neither pertinent nor helpful to OWS’s objectives, and why I personally am very troubled by efforts to focus this movement on opposing the Israeli occupation.

Which is not to say that I support the Israeli occupation or the violation of Palestinian rights, or that I believe Palestinians and their issues should be excluded from this movement. Despite the despicable flaming I received from the Palestinian solidarity community last week alleging, among other things, that I support genocide against Palestinians, I would happily stand in front of an Israeli bulldozer in the West Bank any day of the week. I spent the last ten years working inside the Jewish community to change attitudes about the occupation and to create a more open space for dissenting voices. All I am calling for is a little bit of wisdom in determining relevant actions that address the issue of Palestinians’ economic destitution in a way that the predominantly non-radicalized public can connect to and be enlightened by and which cannot be turned back on OWS by the right-wing and the press as an expression of tacit support for terrorism. I would also prefer that these actions have buy-in from OWS working groups and general assemblies and are not just foisted upon the movement so that we are put in the position of having to defend ourselves from such charges.

AH: Was there any negative fallout from the EIR event?

DS: There have indeed been several blog posts circulating (I keep getting sent this one, for example) pointing out the EIR event’s arguable glorification of terrorism. There is also now a video circulating in which a man at the rally is heard shouting “Occupy Yahudi!” and “Yahudi are kaffars!” ["Occupy Jews!" and "Jews are infidels!"] Though EIR denies any connection to the man, the video shows that when asked why he was not being asked to leave or to be quiet, participants in the rally said, “We’re not going to tell him to shut up…He’s a grown man.” Yet such hate speech violates both OWS’s Principles of Solidarity and Good Neighbor Policy.

Beyond seeing that video and blog post added as a comment to every positive article about Jews and OWS I’ve read in the past week, there has not yet been a greater fallout from that particular incident. However, my concern is not what the consequence will be of each individual episode, so much as the cumulative effect of these things together. It’s only a matter of time before a conservative pundit does a round-up in the mainstream press and the anti-Israel charge becomes OWS’s new scarlet letter. It seems Commentary already has.

AH: You also told Tracy that “once the movement becomes explicitly anti-Israel you’ll have effectively alienated 3x more people than you’ll attract.” Can you tell me what this estimate is based on? Anecdotal info down at OWS? Polling? Something else?

DS: According to a recent Pew study, 48% of Americans identify as pro-Israel vs. 11% of Americans who identify as pro-Palestinian.

AH: Just because broad polling numbers indicate that many Americans identify as pro-Israel, doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be alienated from OWS based on a specific position or statement regarding the blockade of Gaza or the broader conflict. Have you seen, or heard of, people sympathetic to OWS being alienated by mentions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Along these lines, what are examples of attempts to push Zionists out of the movement, or forcing people to reject Israel’s existence?

DS: Knowing how long you yourself have been working on these issues, I am surprised that you would even entertain the idea that OWS won’t be significantly hurt by being seen as anti-Israel.

Marc Tracy himself says he’s growing weary of the movement’s co-optation by anti-Zionists. He’s just one of several dozen voices I’ve heard from over the last two weeks that have said to me that if OWS becomes explicitly anti-Israel, they will no longer be able to be associated or active within the movement.

This, of course, will have an even stronger negative impact on our efforts to recruit Jewish organizations to come out in the support of the protest.

Per examples of attempts to push Zionists out of the movement: One member of the community outreach working group threw a fit over email after an organizer of the Israeli tent protests addressed that group, saying that if the movement had room for “Zionist racists” in it that he would no longer be involved nor invite Palestinians to be involved. Another, Michael Letwin, who is a member of the OWS Labor Outreach Committee; Former President of UAW Local 2325 (Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys); and speaking here on behalf of Labor for Palestine and New York City Labor Against the War, sent the following email after Stuart Applebaum of RWDSU, UFCW & the Jewish Labor Committee announced a panel discussion about labor and OWS:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Michael Letwin
Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 7:33 PM
Subject: Re: [Labor OWS] LABOR MEETS OWS

Does Stuart Appelbaum really belong in OWS?

Born of the Arab Spring, our movement’s strength is that it seeks justice for all people. This reflects Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous observation that, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Stuart Appelbaum, however, is chief trade union defender of apartheid Israel (see below).

We wouldn’t tolerate other forms of racism or anti-Semitism in OWS. So how is this OK?

——-
June 13 New York City Picket Tells Labor Officials to Dump Israel Bonds
Appelbaum has long traded on his image as a “progressive” labor leader to attack growing international trade union support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. Recently, he has been at the forefront of a witch-hunt that banned supporters of Palestinian rights from meeting at the NYC LGBT Community Center.

http://www.laborforpalestine.net/2011/06/19/labor-for-palestine-june-13-new-york-city-picket-tells-labor-officials-to-dump-israel-bonds/

Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS) formed at historic conference
The support of the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement for a full boycott of Israel, as the most effective form of solidarity with the Palestinian people, was the overarching message of this historic gathering.

http://www.laborforpalestine.net/2011/05/06/palestinian-trade-union-coalition-for-bds-ptuc-bds-formed-at-historic-conference/

Sign on: Stop Scabbing for Apartheid — Withdraw From Israel Bonds “Celebration”
The undersigned labor, anti-apartheid and human rights activists call on you — Dennis Hughes (President of the New York State AFL-CIO) and Stuart Appelbaum (President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and head of the Jewish Labor Committee) — to respect the above call from Palestinian labor by withdrawing as “Honoree” and “Chair,” respectively, of the “State of Israel Bonds” fundraiser in New York City on June 13, 2011.

http://www.laborforpalestine.net/2011/06/07/sign-on-stop-scabbing-for-apartheid/

Open Letter to the Labor Research Association: Don’t Honor Israeli Apartheid
The LRA’s dinner program praises Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, for building “relationships with community organizations in an effort to expand the rights of unorganized workers.” What it doesn’t say is that, as head of the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC), he leads the witch-hunt against labor bodies in South Africa and around the world that support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid.

http://www.laborforpalestine.net/2009/05/04/open-letter-to-the-labor-research-association-dont-honor-israeli-apartheid/

On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM:
Please Join

Stuart Appelbaum
President
Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU, UFCW)

AND

George Gresham
President 1199SEIU

for a

Discussion on
“Labor and Occupy Wall Street”
Representatives from Occupy Wall Street will join us for a discussion on how Labor and Occupy Wall Street can work together on common concerns about the current economic conditions in New York and the United States. They will also update us on the current status of Occupy Wall Street.

Thursday, October 27, 2011
4:30pm.
RWDSU
5th Floor Conference Room
30 E. 29th Street
New York City

Both emails were blatant attempts to alienate and exclude Zionists from participation in OWS.

AH: I think it’s a misrepresentation to say that there are people who want to refocus OWS on the Israel occupation (Tracy made this charge as well). This controversy was over a single tweet, not a desire to overhaul the OWS agenda. You say you don’t believe that “Palestinians and their issues should be excluded from this movement,” and yet a simple statement of solidarity with an activist attempt to break the blockade of Gaza was considered beyond the pale. How can you imagine Palestinian issues being incorporated into OWS? Do you understand why many Palestinian activists viewed the tweet’s deletion as a sign they are not welcomed in the OWS movement?

DS: This question is either naive or disingenuous. This isn’t about a single tweet. This is about a concerted effort by the Palestinian solidarity movement to force OWS to take up opposition to the Israeli occupation. This is about folks like Andy Pollack responding to being told that the issue won’t be settled by OWS by saying “Well, yes, Mr. Zionist, it will be settled here.” This is about yet another organization seeking signers for a statement calling “criticisms issued of Israel’s domestic and foreign policy at Occupy Wall Street…integral to the larger protests.” It’s about some guy from the OWS PR team deciding that even though there is no consensus opinion on the Freedom Waves to Gaza it “does not mean that we do not fundamentally support it.” It’s about folks issuing directives to working groups to “get this [march to the Israeli consulate] on the website” as though it were an officially sanctioned event. And it’s about the dick with the @OccupyFortWorth account who tweeted, also without consent or approval from the Ft. Worth GA, “Zionism is racism. Israel is an apartheid state based on Jewish supremacy. FREE PALESTINE.”

This is an economic protest. While, U.S. military aid to Israel totals $3B annually, the total U.S. federal budget in 2010 was $3.4T. U.S. military aid to Israel is therefore: .08% of the U.S. federal budget. It’s not even one-tenth of one percent of what our country spends annually. Beyond that, 75% of U.S. military aid to Israel comes in the form of secured loans that are paid back with interest (ergo, the U.S. makes money on them) and which can only be used to purchase arms from U.S. defense contractors. In other words, U.S. military aid to Israel is corporate welfare for the U.S. defense industry and a form of pork barreling which supports the defense manufacturing sector, putting money in the pockets of working class Americans that, in turn, re-enters our economy.

It may be supporting a grave injustice, but the idea that we’re just showering obscene amounts of free money on Israel that is of no benefit to Americans is therefore a falsehood, and it certainly pales in comparison to the $20B shipped to Iraq in stacks of hundreds on palettes which simply disappeared into the ether. As such, people who insist that U.S. aid to Israel is somehow crippling our economy are over-inflating the issue and by doing so at OWS, they are conflating Wall Street’s corruption, Jewish power and influence in Washington, and human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories. I personally find that to be a very dangerous combination. And I fear JVP’s recent call to “Occupy the Occupiers” is just one such example of this moving in a direction that could have negative consequences for the Jewish community and its involvement in OWS.

If people want to protest the U.S. military industrial complex and military spending generally, including but not limited to military aid to Israel — amen, I’ll show up to that protest myself. But singling out an individual instance of that spending that adds up to less than one-tenth of one percent of the annual federal budget at a time of heightened sensitivity around “Zionist banker” memes infecting the discourse? Do I really have to explain why this is a bad thing for everyone?

AH: By maintaining such a hard line over what it is permissible for OWS to say about Israel/Palestine, are Jewish organizers basically telling the movement they have to chose between including Jews or Palestinians (and their supporters)?

DS: I am just going to reiterate that I am speaking for myself and not Occupy Judaism, which contains a plurality of voices on this issue and which has not yet reached consensus on a position on this issue. As such, Jewish organizers are not maintaining a hard line about anything. I’m just telling you like it is from my perspective as a person who has worked as an organizer and activist in the Jewish community for a decade. If you want the broader Jewish community to be involved in these protests, you’re not going to do it by forcing the people who show up to tacitly endorse the anti-Zionist line on Israel.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 93 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Scott says:

    Not everything he says is wrong, but there is a link between the screwed up economy and an Israel-centric foreign policy (including of course the Iraq war, which Israel alone among US allies heavily supported). Denying this, pretending it doesn’t exist makes the movement seem stupid. On the other hand, politics does require civility and a sensitive tone, and it makes sense to temper any extreme anti-Zionist sentiments. I’m not sure how to reign in the tone of the anti-Zionist stuff–given the nature OWS, you can’t ask people to be “polite.” But the perspectives of a group like Code Pink, for example, have to be there.
    Also, the 48-11 poll he referes to is pretty flawed–majority of Americans want US policy to be evenhanded, not favor either side.

    • annie says:

      the 48-11 poll he referes to is pretty flawed–majority of Americans want US policy to be evenhanded, not favor either side.

      also the huge leap in assumption all those who identify as pro israel would leave the protest is an assumption their loyalty to israel is so strong it supercedes their interest in why they participate in OSW. while that may very well be true of some of israel’s staunchest supporters it certainly is not the basis for the 3x assumption daniel makes, at all.

    • Citizen says:

      If you focus instead on the fact that Israel gets about 20% of ALL US foreign aid every year, plus interest, all cash we borrow from China in the first place, and that the second largest beneficiary under the formula worked out at the Egypt-Israel peace accords is Egypt, but only so long as it place nice with Israel, DS’s picture changes. And it changes more considering our loans to Israel are never paid back as they effectively always become grants-US underwrites Israel’s debt even though Israel is a part of the rich country club, the OECD, and its credit rating is higher than America’s. Aid we give Iraq is straight occupation and control finding by Uncle Sam. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid in US history even though it is a tiny country with a small population. Such aid should be spent at home here, and in larger eyes, at least half of all US military budget should be cut too, and spent at home. We are broke, 15 T in debt, we have a huge part of our population on food stamps, others homeless, etc ad infinitum.

  2. annie says:

    this is really excellent you’ve brought us this interview adam. thank you so much. i’m only about 1/2 way thru it but the hypocrisy is so thick i could cut it with a knife..something daniel probably does not even realize. more later. but thank you very very much.

  3. annie says:

    i’d like to ask daniel a question

    This is an economic protest. While, U.S. military aid to Israel totals $3B annually, the total U.S. federal budget in 2010 was $3.4T. U.S. military aid to Israel is therefore: .08% of the U.S. federal budget. It’s not even one-tenth of one percent of what our country spends annually.

    i don’t think at this point it is controversial to suggest the israeli government and the neocons have been pressuring the US to attack iran to protect israel. if we did that would you still claim our support for israel costs us a mere .08% of the US federal budget?

    also, does daniel think the wars we are fighting in the ME has any impact on the pocket books of average americans?

    • GalenSword says:

      Aid to Israel is not the correct number. The correct variable on which we should concentrate is the cost of Israel to the USA in today’s dollars. I have looked at the numbers for about a decade. It is quite probable that the cost of Israel to USA in constant dollars is at least $9 trillion. The USA probably subsidizes at least half the Israeli GDP.

      • Citizen says:

        GalenSword, oh yeah, just start figuring from Nixon’s “Berlin Airlift” of US military supplies to then desperate Israel, followed by impact of Arab Oil Embargo resulting therefrom, and just keep adding it up. Or, you could start with loss of USS Liberty and lots of its crew. Don’t forget 9/11, cost of war Iraq, cost of Iran sanctions, and fact that no request to aid Israel had ever been denied in decades.

  4. annie says:

    they are conflating Wall Street’s corruption, Jewish power and influence in Washington

    is daniel implying there is no jewish power and influence in washington? or is he just implying there is no connection between wall street and jewish power and influence in washington?

    but even if we take the “jewish power” out of the equation (which for the sake of argument i have no problem doing) is daniel suggesting wall street has no power and influence in washington?

    are we supposed to take washington out of ows? i think israel and israel’s lobbiests very much impact washington. if daniel wants to make the argument the israel lobby is not supported by wall street that’s an argument i’d been interested in hearing. it’s not something i am intimately familiar with but common sense would suggest some of the profits of wall street land in the coffers of politicians..with strings attached. if those strings are attached to israel..well..if they aren’t that is an argument i would be interested in hearing about.

  5. Dan Crowther says:

    Daniel is not making his argument as a Jew, he is making his argument as part of the bourgeois. He isn’t saying that “pro-palestinian” and “anti-zionist” messages will lead to “jews leaving the movement” – he is saying that these issues of solidarity, economic and social justice will “scare” off the bourgeois, in this case, bourgeois Jews.

    Fuck ‘em.

    Here is me, a few weeks ago, on another I/P at OWS post:

    Dan Crowther October 21, 2011 at 10:28 am with 3 replies

    I think, that unless Jews begin to address the issue of I/P and make an honest effort to reconcile their supposedly liberal views with what the “Jewish State” does – there will be a marginalization within the movement and the left in general. Right now, the main “Jewish” voices within the movement are obsessing over anti-semitism – and doing so in a way that is pure censorship.

    Your right Phil, new spaces are being opened up for discussion, debate etc.
    it will either mean the beginning of a new dialogue – or the end of widespread jewish involvement on the left. If you are willing to pitch a tent and camp out in downtown NY for “economic and social justice” for everyone, but are unwilling to discuss the glaring hole in your own communities commitment to these issues, your probably down there for no good reason, and you and the other people down there will figure that out soon enough.

    Daniel knows his time is about up. Everyone else is figuring it out as well.

    • American says:

      “your probably down there for no good reason”

      Exactly.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        I’ll probably end up on some gov’t watch list for this, but a little Marx seems helpful here (especially his analysis “proletarian revolutions”)

        Witty and Daniel here are bourgeois first and foremost – that is why they bristle at the thought of self-reflection, introspection and what they call “divisive issues” – they can be counted among the supportive as long as the movement doesnt ecompass these things.

        “Bourgeois revolutions, like those of the eighteenth century, storm more swiftly from success to success, their dramatic effects outdo each other, men and things seem set in sparkling diamonds, ecstasy is the order of the day—but they are short-lived, soon they have reached their zenith, and a long Katzenjammer [hangover] takes hold of society before it learns to assimilate the results of its storm-and-stress period soberly. On the other hand, proletarian revolutions, like those of the nineteenth century, constantly criticize themselves, constantly interrupt themselves in their own course, return to the apparently accomplished, in order to begin anew; they deride with cruel thoroughness the half-measures, weaknesses, and paltriness of their first attempts, seem to throw down their opponents only so the latter may draw new strength from the earth and rise before them again more gigantic than ever, recoil constantly from the indefinite colossalness of their own goals—until a situation is created which makes all turning back impossible, and the conditions themselves call out: ‘Hier ist die Rose, hier tanze’ [Here is the rose, here the dance].

  6. Meehow says:

    The annual $3 billion comes in the form of FMF *grants* not loans. Unlike every other country, Israel receives all of its grant money up front:

    “Congress has mandated that Israel receive its FMF aid in a lump sum during the first month of the fiscal year. Once disbursed, Israel’s military aid is transferred to an interest bearing account with the Federal Reserve Bank. Israel has used interest collected on its military aid to pay down its debt (non-guaranteed) to the United States”
    link to fas.org

    Israel also receives about $333 million in loan guarantees from the US.

  7. Thanks very much Adam for sharing this exchange. Mr. Sieradski is obviously an intelligent and thoughtful activist, but he is ultimately afraid to go beyond the Jeremy Ben-Ami/ J Street position. Afraid to alienate the likes of Mark Green and Eliot Spitzer, Sieradski prefers to bury the whole discussion that thrives openly on Mondoweiss, and that JVP courageously wants to open up. This is reminiscent of the Good Liberals on DailyKos banning Mondoweiss rather than allow unfettered debate on I/P.

    American liberals and American Jews need to take sides, even though it will be a divisive and uncomfortable discussion: we very much need a healthy public debate about I/P, America’s effective support of Jim Crow in Palestine, and the corrosive effect of the Israel Lobby on American foreign policy and America’s international standing, and OWS seems ready to take this discussion on. More power to them!

  8. Thank you for presenting the interview whole.

    Daniel Sieradski presents a mature and informed perspective.

    Those that are fixated on the Israel/Palestine discussion don’t care an iota if the “re-occupy” movements fail or not.

    Some of us do.

    • I suspect if you were honest, you would really describe “those that are fixated on the Israel/Palestine discussion” as only those who are opposed to your views on I/P.

      Someone with your views is not “fixated”, correct? And if those who support zionism walk away from OWS over the issue, they are not the ones who “don’t care an iota if the “re-occupy” movements fail or not?”

    • robin says:

      Isn’t there a risk that the movement will fail from not being consistent?

      I thought Occupy Wall Street was about fairness, empowerment, and freedom. The name itself (“Occupy” + “Wall Street”) appears to telegraph a denunciation of two interrelated forms of domination: military and economic. Wait, military and economic domination, isn’t that Palestine’s predicament? And isn’t Palestine an American issue, with United States power serving as the backbone to Israeli apartheid? What makes this a “niche” issue — that white people are not afflicted?

      On what grounds do you exclude Palestine from a movement calling for justice and people power?

      The separation between issues (“economic” vs. “foreign policy”) is artificial. The opponents of OWS understand that, and therefore from the beginning defined the movement as anti-Israel despite no official OWS position on the matter. The connection is as simple as: an attack on concentrated power somewhere is a threat to concentrated power everywhere (though of course there are defined interests and specific links involved, as well).

  9. American says:

    “As such, many Jewish supporters of OWS who do not identify as anti-Zionist, who do not support the goals of the anti-Zionist movement, and who sure as hell do not feel comfortable identifying with actions in solidarity with armed Palestinian militants, feel that the should OWS embrace a position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and particularly an anti-Israel position, that they could no longer be associated with the movement.”

    Fine, then get the hell out.
    OWS doesn’t need the Jews to make them successful and being anti Israel.. i.e., against the corruption of US politics by Israel supporters ….is part of the total package against ‘special interest bizness as usual’ in this country.

    • annie says:

      Fine, then get the hell out.

      i wouldn’t put it so bluntly but that’s kinda where i am at. if their concern and support for the israel trumps their support for ows to the point they can’t include the idea of human rights for all people they shouldn’t be in the movement. period. the movement will survive without them and if it doesn’t what does it say for the movement? not a lot. something tells me as americans we can get something done without the support of extreme zionist jews if need be. and when i use the term extreme i mean those zionists who cannot be affiliated with a movement that includes people who want to end the occupation.

      if they can play my way or the highway so can we.

      • American says:

        Blunt is all they are going to understand.
        And way past time for some bluntness.

      • seafoid says:

        Who needs them, annie?

        OWS is about justice and that doesn’t stop at the Green line.

      • Typical.

        Why would you consider sabotaging the 99% over a factional issue?

        • annie says:

          oh please. as if ‘the 99%’ are completely united over everything else. is that what you are suggesting richard? because if i/p is the ONLY thing dividing the 99% in this country we damn deserve a conversation about it. i’ll tell you one thing i know, it is the ONLY thing uniting ALL our politicians. there’s not one damn politician who’s willing to be outed as a non zionist. not one. and where are our establishment non zionist journalists? so if non zionists are such a non issue and so do not represent anything mainstream in american why are they even bothering with us? you know why?

          we’re the best kept secret in america, and there are actually A LOT of us. but as daniel put it including our voice is a slap in their faces. well you know what? palestine’s been getting their faces slapped for decades and zios have no problem slapping us down again and again.

        • The 99% are united in experience, and face an uphill struggle.

          To lose 10% or 20% with every big dividing issue (and this is one), is suicidal. In this case, it is also partially racist as well as very problematic politically.

          I hear a lot of slapping down from you Annie. “I don’t care if I disrupt.”

        • annie says:

          I hear a lot of slapping down from you Richard. “I don’t care if I disrupt.”

          well at least you’re acknowledging the disruption would be coming from those zionists threatening to leave the movement although i seriously doubt they’d amount to 10 or 20%. besides, that disruption would mostly come from the islamophobic neocon contingent of the zios and their cohorts w/inroads in the press yelping about anti semitism etc. that’s the real threat and laying that at the feet of those wanting to end the occupation is sort of pathetic.

          too bad you’re not mr inclusive like you used to be. i have no problem w/zionists being in the movement if they don’t try to manipulate others into silence.. i think we can work with zionists to straighten out the economy. it’s the zionists who are the rejectionists here threatening to disrupt if they don’t get their way, isn’t it?

        • American says:

          “Typical.
          Why would you consider sabotaging the 99% over a factional issue?”

          LOL…you’re the typical one witty. Thinking everything on earth should revolve around the Jews and their ‘state’.
          Let me be “blunter’..who do you think gives a damn about Israel or Palestine signs at OWS besides Jewish zionist or Palestine activist?
          No one.
          This is about Americans, not you…you’ve disqualified yourself.

        • Get it through your head, Witty–it would be the zionists leaving OWS and sabotaging the movement.

        • Am_America says:

          Sieradski is far from a Zionist. the main problem with your movement is if someone says something you remotely don’t like they are a dirty zionist and their opinions are flawed. this won’t be the first time you guys sabotage something good because of your ‘us or them’ mentality. I

        • The disruption is from you Annie.

          Me asking that you respect the movement itself and not attempt to supplant with your fixation is not silencing or censoring you.

          Its asking that you be a respectful person, someone that adopts “the means are the ends”, rather than someone that adopts “the ends justify the means”.

          Let the OWS be the 99% movement only, and not try to steal the benefit of their hard work.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Look how I instruct annie on being “a respectful person!”
          ‘Why just yesterday, I flatly told Lillian Rosengarten, an elderly (courageous) Jewish woman (who went on a peace flotilla last year),

          You need to read some history.

          ‘I didn’t say, “Ms. Rosengarten, I respectfully disagree,” or “Ms. Rosengarten, maybe there’s another way to interpret this.”
          ‘Nope.

          You need to read some history.

          ‘If someone, especially a woman, crosses me, my ageing hippie persona goes right out the window.’

        • annie says:

          “The disruption is from you Annie.”

          bwwwwwahhhhh.

          make up your mind richard, first you say “I don’t care if I disrupt” (as if anyone could ever accuse YOU of not disrupting!) and now you say it is from me.

          frankly it is just soooo mindboggling it’s driving me up a wall. i better go file my nails that always relaxes me. oh wait, there’s nothing to file i’ve already chewed them all the way to my wrists. maybe i’ll drink. oh, it’s only 2:40 here in california and i try to wait till at least 3:13 to start drinking. plus i have to bicycle down to the liquor store and braid my hair it gets so tangled with the wind.

          life. respect. lets go stripsearch some palestinians i bet that would really calm everyone’s nerves. or if only we could target practice on some gazans like israeli teens..oh well.

          disrupt disrupt disrupt….what’s a girl to do? think i’ll run over to occupied oakland this week and rally the troops for an apartheid week demonstration. i better start organizing.

          maybe we can build a wall out of cardboard boxes and set up a mock checkpoint.

          you’ve inspired me richard! onward!

        • Newclench says:

          “besides, that disruption would mostly come from the islamophobic neocon contingent of the zios and their cohorts w/inroads in the press yelping about anti semitism etc. that’s the real threat and laying that at the feet of those wanting to end the occupation is sort of pathetic.”

          Nah. The problem is the liberal centrists who oppose the occupation (and the newcons) and want to support the social justice agenda of the #OWS. Dan S., and more broadly the many folks connected to occupyjudaism, don’t really care what the neocons think.

        • Newclench says:

          True that! Folks here like Avi, Mooser, Chaos etc. are almost as eager to add folks to the Zionist camp as Federation or AIPAC. Let someone show up who fails to be sufficiently anti- or non-Zionist and they’ll be set straight: if you say X then you must be Y, where X is less than full doctrinaire agreement and Y is an occupation supporting, racist, empire loving Zionist.

          At least no one is making fun of his name…. yet.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Gee, sorry for wanting to STOP THE MURDER OF PALESTINIAN MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN, Newclench. We can’t all be as tolerant and patient of the suffering of other human beings as you and Witty are.

        • Newclench says:

          Chaos, it’s supremely arrogant to think that only one narrow ideological perspective wants to stop the human rights abuses of Palestinians. That’s the whole point: you argue against folks who have demonstrated in the West Bank with Palestinians breathing tear gas and getting beat up as if they are the same as settlers who support the occupation. What possible motive could explain such a bizarre lumping together? This is not an argument between supporters of Israeli expansionism and opponents, it’s between opponents of the occupation and other opponents of the occupation who enjoy hyperbole.

        • Avi_G. says:

          That’s the whole point: you argue against folks who have demonstrated in the West Bank with Palestinians breathing tear gas and getting beat up as if they are the same as settlers who support the occupation. What possible motive could explain such a bizarre lumping together?

          clenchy said:

          I ‘care’ about Palestinians because I want them out of my adoptive country, Israel, my birthright.

          When the time comes for me to muster the moral courage to care about the rights of all human beings, then I might begin to consider how my vision — however perverse — impacts the Palestinian minority in Israel, or in exile or in refugee camps.

          But until then, I’m going to remain a hypocrite who feigns concern for a bunch of Palestinians. Still, take me at my word, I’m a humanist who sheds a tear for Palestinians every time they get gas in their eyes.

        • Newclench says:

          As a former member of a largely Palestinian political party in Israel, that’s another bizarre interpretation. Speaking as a former board member for Reut-Sadaka, [http://en.reutsadaka.org/] it really is crazy. You. Have. No. Idea.

        • Citizen says:

          There’s been a few annie, I remember Chuck Percy from way back when in Illinois–those few get railroaded out of their jobs–Baird comes to mind too. And currently, Ron Paul would cut aid to Israel, and as well a lot of the enmeshed military-industrial war machine. Too, there are the few high level appointees, such as Chas Freeman and Mitchell.

  10. “I did not ask that the tweet be retracted. And I did not say the ramifications would be severe unless it was.”

    That’s not what he told the Tablet–

    “then Sieradski and others “raised concerns to folks on the PR and media teams that there had been no consensus on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (opinions differ as to whether the topic is even germane), that it was not appropriate for this individual to make such a declaration on behalf of the movement, and that the ramifications would likely be severe.””
    link to tabletmag.com

    I’m going to interpret “raised concerns” as “asked for it to be retracted.” Classic gate-keeping.

  11. seafoid says:

    Jewish cognitive dissonance in the Guardian

    link to guardian.co.uk

    Archbishop Tutu and Michael Mansfield can hardly “progress understanding and peace in Israel/Palestine” while suggesting similarities with the South Africa apartheid regime (Comment, 4 November). I, too, frequently visit Israel/Palestine but do not see signs of apartheid. Ethiopians, Iranians, Indians, Palestinian-Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews are among the many groups on the buses, in the hospitals, coffee bars and shopping malls of the towns. There are Arab/Jewish projects in theatre, music, painting and sport. Many schools are mixed and, since 1972, there’s been a Jewish/Arab village, Neve Shalom/Wahat-al-Salam. No apartheid but yes, discrimination – some of it the same ignorant, inherent prejudice that we get here in the UK – but most of it coming from the reality of the situation for the average Israeli. Every home with a hermetically sealed security room. On the streets, young people armed and in uniform. A deep-rooted fear of what will happen next. “Will my young soldier daughter be able to handle the situation at the checkpoints?” “When will the next bomb strike?” A small country where everyone knows someone who is bereaved or maimed. For Jewish people, discrimination historically has always been the other way round. “Get out of here – go back to where you belong” were the cries of Europe before the state of Israel. And still the cries continue.
    Jenny Nemko
    Pinner, Middlesex

  12. annie says:

    If you want the broader Jewish community to be involved in these protests, you’re not going to do it by forcing the people who show up to tacitly endorse the anti-Zionist line on Israel.

    you’re not being completely honest here daniel. people can be supportive of ending the occupation without being anti zionists. no one is forcing endorsement of anti zionism on the protesters.

    your framing is transparent .

    “support for Israel’s mere existence” , “All I am calling for is a little bit of wisdom”, “Jewish organizers are not maintaining a hard line about anything”

    vs

    “cesspool of anti-Israel activism”, “pro-terror”, “anti-Israel and pro-terrorism”, “solidarity with armed Palestinian militants”, “the anti-Zionist movement” (ed note: i do not identify as an anti zionist and i am very much a part of this movement, i am a non zionist/non ethnic nationalist) “Insisting that I or anyone else pass a litmus test requiring the rejection of Israel’s existence ” (ed note: drama queen alert) “glorification of terrorism”.

    can you hear yourself the way others hear you?

    breaking of the Gaza blockade will surely be labeled as enabling the flow of arms into Gaza that will be turned on Israeli civilians. No matter how one might rebut those claims

    by whom? by most people? how can you speak with such confidence about this? who gives you that kind of authority? yes it will surely be perceived like that by israel’s staunchest supporters but not by the average person. most people understand blockades and occupations hurt innocent people. you’re so support-israel centric you label concerned advocacy and action with helping gazan civilians, ending the blockade as “anti israel”. what if i were to do the same to you? what if i labeled you as anti palestinian? or pro occupation? am i allowed to say i merely support palestines existence? or is it only you who ‘merely’ supports existence?

    because let me tell you something, by your own standards you are not merely supporting israel’s existence, you are advocating against including equal rights for all people into OWS. i am not advocating israel not exist. you are conflating ending the occupation with ending israel’s existence and basically accusing people of prioritizing the end of israels existence over support for human rights. we’ve heard this before, it’s old hat, disengenous and boring. it should be beneath you. so please do not tell us “Jewish organizers are not maintaining a hard line about anything” at the same time saying you will quit if things don’t go your way.

    This is about a concerted effort by the Palestinian solidarity movement to force OWS to take up opposition to the Israeli occupation.

    a tweet doesn’t FORCE anything on anyone. it merely implies there are people in the movement who support ending the occupation and the blockade of gaza. which there are, you just want to silence them under the guise of pretending you are being FORCED to co opt that attitude yourself. if opposition to the Israeli occupation being included in ows is enough for you to pack your bags and go home..then go. no one is forcing you, don’t silence us. the occupation is not worth silencing us. why are you protecting it?

    • seafoid says:

      I don’t think there is any point waiting for “the broader Jewish community” to turn up. What do they need to get off their asses? Is Gaza not shameful enough ?

      • Am_America says:

        that is kinda like saying I don’t see the point waiting for “the broader Arab community” to turn up. Wasn’t 9/11 shameful enough?

        • Newclench says:

          @Am_America: Did you just make a horrible racist smear against Arabs related to the 9/11 attacks? Wow. And just because seafoid did the same thing to Jews. *fingerwag*
          Two wrongs don’t make a right!

        • Chaos4700 says:

          We see what you did there, Newclench, and no, seafoid is NOT anything like AM_Radio.

          Take your “divide and conquer” tactics elsewhere.

        • seafoid says:

          Clench

          Do let me know when the Diaspora gets the finger out on Israel. I’m waiting for the tikkun olam.

  13. “75% of U.S. military aid to Israel comes in the form of secured loans that are paid back with interest (ergo, the U.S. makes money on them) and which can only be used to purchase arms from U.S. defense contractors.”

    For someone who has clearly devoted his life to “being Jewish,” he’s not very well informed on matters touching on Israel. It’s $3B a year of aid, that is to say, gifts, not loans. And it’s 25% of this, not 75%, that must be spent in the U.S. (For every other country on the planet that receives military aid, it’s 75%, but Sieradski has forgotten the power of the Israel lobby.)

    • Meehow says:

      Actually, it’s the other way around: 75% goes to American arms manufacturers, and 25% can go to Israeli arms manufacturers.
      It’s still special treatment, though: no other country is allowed to spend FMF grants to subsidize its own weapons industries.
      See: link to fas.org

  14. Donald says:

    Some of what he says is right, but some of it is bigoted. It’s all so entangled I’d probably have to spend hours thinking about how to respond in full.

    One thing that bothered me was this–

    “This is about a concerted effort by the Palestinian solidarity movement to force OWS to take up opposition to the Israeli occupation.”

    He’s spent some time alleging (I will assume correctly) that there are Palestinian solidarity activists who are glorifying Palestinian terrorists and that they are trying to kick Zionists out of the Occupy movement and then all of a sudden it is mere opposition to the Israeli occupation which is offensive. So the undeniably racist occupation itself is a sacred cow?

    I think the Occupy movement is extremely important–it’s finally raising issues of economic fairness that have been ignored by all the Serious People who stress austerity. And maybe political reality dictates that one shouldn’t link one worthy issue with another at this time. Politics is ugly. I get that.

    But boy, it sure doesn’t speak well of the people Daniel wants to defend if they would leave a movement for economic justice because others try to tie it in with opposition to the Israeli occupation. There’s a real sense of entitlement there–it’s fine to have most of our Congressional representatives and the President acting like lapdogs to Israel, but let someone speak a word against the Israeli occupation and that’s so offensive Daniel’s pals might join the neocons in attacking Occupy Wall Street. Disgusting.

    • The imposition of Israel/Palestine issues onto the occupy movements is the death of the movements.

      The OWS is not a coalition movement of various isolated single issue groups.

      It is a movement of the relationship of working (and non-working) class to owning class.

      If you agree with their thesis, then join their movement. If you want another issue to be presented, start another movement and invite whom will show up.

      With the parallel J14 movement, those that are primarily fixated on Israel/Palestine issues, insisted that that be the primary discussion, and in succeeding weeks, an Israel/Palestine demonstration attracted 5000, while the J14 attracted 300,000 and included Israelis and Palestinians commonly discussing their class relationships in solidarity around class.

      Division.

  15. iamuglow says:

    Its amazing how instep Daniel is with the opposition…

    First you have the anti-Semite smear thrown out there from the “right-wing” Emergency Israel group…then you have people on the “left” on the inside like Daniel suppressing talk of Palestine cause you know we’re already being called anti-Semitic we have to be careful now of what we say.

    This was the whole purpose of the OWS is anti-Semitic campaign. Before Israel becomes a topic, before Palestine gets a national platform…throw out the dreaded ‘Anti-Semitic’ smear and then watch OWS police themselves out of fear of being labeled anti-Semitic. And Daniel is here to make sure it works.

    If you can’t go out on a limb by supporting aid to Gaza cause you know that might offend some Zionist then we are not fighting the same battle. We are not on the same side. I/P remains the perfect measure of figuring out who is really for justice and who is just trying to protect the status quo.

  16. Les says:

    The point is to prevent discussion of Israel/Palestine, because inevitably the more people learn the more people come to oppose occupation and ethnic cleansing. Saying NO to discussion is saying YES to occupation and ethnic cleansing!

    • Donald says:

      “The point is to prevent discussion of Israel/Palestine”

      Unfortunately that seems to be the bottom line. I might even agree that the OWS movement isn’t the place to do it, but for defenders of Israel there is no appropriate time or place. Not now, not ever.

      • Am_America says:

        but for defenders of Israel there is no appropriate time or place.

        are you joking? it is the anti-Israel crew which is trying to hijack a domestic movement to further their cause.

        How is a Keffiyeh day going to appeal to the ’99%’(Which is actually more or less 30-40 percent as the movement looses supporters daily)

        • Donald says:

          Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, AM. I just said that the OWS movement might not be the appropriate place.

          But for the Israel right or wrong crowd, there is no appropriate time or place for anything except praise for Israel.

        • eljay says:

          From the OWS website:
          >> Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. … This #ows movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don’t need Wall Street and we don’t need politicians to build a better society.

          I’m just a regular Joe (well, eljay) and, to my mind, the I/P issue has nothing to do with the OWS movement and its core agenda. Putting the I/P onto that agenda:
          - dilutes the anti-greed, anti-corruption message;
          - shifts the focus away from the problem and potential solutions; and
          - unnecessarily exposes the movement to damaging smearing.

          For the same reason this site doesn’t discuss China’s human-rights violations, OWS shouldn’t branch out to embrace non-core issues, and should leave the I/P issue to a ZOP (Zionists Out of Palestine) “occupation”.

          Just my humble 2¢…

        • annie says:

          ok regular joe (eljay!) let me ask you this. our defense budget is over 1/2 of our federal budget. if someone were to believe our foreign policy was directly impacted by the greed and corruption of the 1% do you think they should just shut up about it at OWS? if they didn’t would it disrupt your participation? would you quit because others dragged our ME policies into the discussion?

          of that one percent how many of them do you imagine make their wealth divorced from the defense budget? does access to it have any impact on wall street? it amounts to almost a trillion a year.

          link to warresisters.org

          how much of that money does not flow thru wall street?

        • eljay says:

          >> annie November 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

          I’m not an activist, so I guess my thoughts aren’t much more than “theoretical” (for lack of a better word). Having said that, I don’t see any problem with the OWS movement discussing corruption and greed in the defense industry – without delving into and condemning one* specific foreign policy element – because it remains a discussion about corruption and greed.

          (*Fairness would demand that ALL foreign policy elements generating corruption and greed be discussed and condemned but, IMO, that would utterly derail the OWS movement as I currently understand it…or, perhaps, misunderstand it.)

        • Am_America says:

          Donald, ok a little lesson here. when someone puts something in italics, it is that portion that they are referring to.

          I am saying the same thing as you, there is no appropriate time or place for anything except the ridicule of Israel.

        • annie says:

          I don’t see any problem with the OWS movement discussing corruption and greed in the defense industry – without delving into and condemning one* specific foreign policy element

          that’s not really the way that life works..it certainly is not how our government works and it’s not how wall street works. it also not how our elections work or our politicians work. in fact very few people do not have priorities or things they focus on.

          also, i’m not sure if you understood me correctly. i didn’t specify “corruption and greed in the defense industry” i said the defense budget, they are not the same thing.

          our defense budget is over 1/2 of our federal budget….our foreign policy was directly impacted by the greed and corruption of the 1%

          the industry is what the budget supports. but who decides the budget and decides where it should be directed? washington.

          when the time comes (don’t hold your breath) there’s some kind of equitable distribution wrt which countries we direct more of our defense budget towards then it will make sense to focus equitably. we’re supposed to be spending that budget on our own defense but it’s not entirely clear at all how our middle east wars are protecting america (at least to me). like bombing iran..who does that protect again? turkey? france? some could argue SA? am i missing anyone? wall street has lots of access to directing the flow of money as it pertains to washington. if you’re interested in why washington does what it does follow the money and follow the 1%. it’s definitely not equally distributed so why would the focus be?

        • eljay says:

          >> annie November 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm

          I did understand what you were saying in your earlier post, but I guess my reply was poorly written.

          When, earlier, I said “I don’t see any problem with the OWS movement discussing corruption and greed in the defense industry”, in my mind “defence industry” comprised individuals and organizations in both the private AND public sectors.

          I see no problem in discussing the corruption and greed related to defence spending / defence industry / foreign policy / etc. My contention is that:
          - OWS should focus on the issues of corruption and greed, and not target one particular foreign policy element (I/P) unless it’s prepared to target them all (to avoid the impression of bias and resultant defamation); and
          - targetting one foreign policy element – or all of them – will derail the movement from its focus on corruption and bias (by expanding the focus to encompass the significantly broader issues of foreign policy, defence spending and the “defence industry”).

          Again, I’m not attempting to “tell” anyone what to do – I’m just offering my opinion as a “regular guy” who sees the possibility of focus being lost and a well-intentioned movement falling victim to agenda “over-reach” (for lack of a better term).

        • Donald says:

          “My contention is that:
          - OWS should focus on the issues of corruption and greed, and not target one particular foreign policy element (I/P) unless it’s prepared to target them all (to avoid the impression of bias and resultant defamation); and
          - targetting one foreign policy element – or all of them – will derail the movement from its focus on corruption and bias (by expanding the focus to encompass the significantly broader issues of foreign policy, defence spending and the “defence industry”).

          Again, I’m not attempting to “tell” anyone what to do – I’m just offering my opinion as a “regular guy” who sees the possibility of focus being lost and a well-intentioned movement falling victim to agenda “over-reach” (for lack of a better term).”

          I think this is right. I’m hopeful about this OWS movement in a way that I never was about Obama (the hope and change candidate). They’ve already shifted the conversation away from the obsessive focus on deficits to the exclusion of every other economic issue. That’s huge. Bringing in the I/P issue would probably be a mistake. I doubt most people know much about it and because of that, it’s easy for the cries of “anti-semitism” to take over the conversation. That tactic wouldn’t work in a mature political culture with a press corps that did its job, but this is America, dammit, not some fantasyland where political discussion is conducted in a rational intelligent manner.

        • eljay says:

          >> … – targetting one foreign policy element – or all of them – will derail the movement from its focus on corruption and bias …

          Correction: … derail the movement from its focus on corruption and greed …

      • American says:

        “I might even agree that the OWS movement isn’t the place to do it, ”

        I think OWS can include the Israel Lobby corruption…OWS should be able to protest any and everything wrong in this country.
        The more glaring examples of what’s wrong with Washington and their special interest friends that affect all of us the better.
        Put it ALL out there….99% of the country will join if they find only one thing or two things they can identify with whether it be WS or jobs or inequality or political corruption –and the ranks will grow.
        What better place to put it all on the table now that OWS has gotten national and international attention.
        Let it rip.

        • Donald says:

          “Put it ALL out there….99% of the country will join if they find only one thing or two things they can identify with whether it be WS or jobs or inequality or political corruption –and the ranks will grow.”

          Hmm. Well, that contradicts what I just wrote above, but maybe you’re right. If there are a lot of different issues being raised, then there’s no reason why the I/P conflict shouldn’t be one of them. But I doubt it will be the one that resonates the most with most people.

  17. Its a grave tragedy that those that post here have not concluded at all, “I hear what he is saying. There are other venues to address my points that don’t disrupt another critical issue.”

    A statement of the absence of humility on the part of the IP fixated.

    I do not go to a demonstration about opposition to the global food chain monopoly and talk about liberal Zionism. I talk about food.

    • Mooser says:

      “I do not go to a demonstration about opposition to the global food chain monopoly and talk about liberal Zionism. I talk about food.”

      Yes, I see know reason why your self-serving compartmentalisation of issues shouldn’t be honored by all. It’s unconscionable that anyone would make you uncomfortable. We should remember that the death of every Jew that has died started with them feeling uncomfortable! Anyone who makes you uncomfortable mocks their sacrifice, by cracky!

  18. seafoid says:

    Surely Occupy Judaism is the settler movement . Or is that Jews Occupying?

    There was a funny post in the Guardian a few years ago. A reader wrote to say he passed all bills addressed to “the occupier” to his Jewish flatmate.

    • Newclench says:

      And this Phil, is why folks talk about MW as harboring antisemites.

      • Avi_G. says:

        Newclench November 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

        And this Phil, is why folks talk about MW as harboring antisemites.

        No. That’s what YOU say when you’re bad-mouthing Mondoweiss on other websites.

        Incidentally, your obsession with the Occupy movement’s handling of the Palestinian case is quite pitiful.

      • tree says:

        And this Phil, is why folks talk about MW as harboring antisemites.

        You obviously missed the other thread where eee explained that if you’re not a Zionist and a supporter of Israel, you’re not a Jew. He personally ex-communicated Mooser and Shmuel and Hostage, and maybe more since I last looked. (Is there a minyan yet?) You’re so busy altering that “big tent” of yours to exclude people the left of you, that you missed eee’s wholesale elimination of Jews.

        • Newclench says:

          tree, I’m not a Zionist, but I am a Jew. Who made eee the Jewish pope?

        • tree says:

          tree, I’m not a Zionist, but I am a Jew. Who made eee the Jewish pope?

          Apparently eee feels he can speak for all Jews, (kind of like hophmi does, on occasion, but eee does it all the time) and all true Jews support Israel.

          My point is that you found offense in a harmless joke, while ignoring an ignoramus who is defaming all Jews with his nonsense. Eee’s the anti-semite, but you don’t notice. Maybe you should readjust your vision and start noticing who is your real enemy.

          And frankly, I’ve heard his kind of bigoted blather about Jews, (and of course, Palestinians) from way too many Zionist Jews. ‘ Jews always look out for other Jews….’ except that they don’t; the counter-examples are too numerous, and many Zionist Jews don’t really give a hoot about other Jews, unless those Jews support the accepted Zionist sense of the superiority of Jews. The orthodoxy is way more important than the individual to them. Its the parallel to white supremacists who call any white who disagrees with them a “race traitor”. You’d do a lot more good confronting THAT problem rather than finding excuses not to talk about it, IMHO.

  19. American says:

    “It is a slap in their faces for a lone Palestinian solidarity activist operating without the consent of the General Assembly to announce on behalf of the entire movement solidarity with an attempt to break the Gaza blockade only two days after these individuals proclaimed “We are pro-Israel and we support Occupy Wall Street.”

    I just noticed that last part. Sieradski is a real supremist Jew isn’t he? Imagine a lone Palestine activist daring to appear at OWS and make the Jewish occupiers feel bad…..yeh who is a Palesitine US citizen to show and make the Jews uncomfortable!!!!
    Sieradski is the one who needs a slap in the face.
    I ask myself every time I see some narcissistic racist like Sieradski who these Israel/Jews think they are….then I remember it’s our own fault—-we’ve been so nice to them, treated them with such kid gloves in their unreasonableness and unending demands for so long that we made them this way.
    Time to take the gloves off and unmake them.

  20. moco says:

    Co-founders, organizers, members of EIR openly defend, justify terrorism, only they call terrorism “resistance”, wearing and selling their fraud Khaled holding ak47 t-shirts stating “resistance is not terrorism”. They cannot comprehend how keeping innocent, harmless, defenseless people (including children and babies) hostage in deadly conditions is considered terrorism.

    I confronted then on the matter and was harmfully harassed. EIR cannot comprehend how defending, justifying Khaled’s terrorism to people who could have been killed on 9/11, whose family members died on 9/11, who still carry 9/11 PTSD, is harmful for Palestinians, Muslims, world. The hijackings Khaled participated in inspired other hijackings including 9/11.

    I support cutting aid to Israel and other human rights violators (of course the US is one too), I support justice for Palestinians, I support it being included in OWS, however EIR cannot comprehend how foolishly harmful they are to OWS and other honest non-violent social justice workers. OWS neglected to weed out harmful self-serving groups. Hopefully OWS can finally see the difference between honest non-violent, pro-peace, social justice groups from fools wearing terrorists hugging machine gun frauds.

    • Mooser says:

      Good try, moco. Clever, trying to tie the Palestinians to 9-11. Good try.

      • Mooser says:

        “harmfully harrassed”? Sounds like you take writing at Witty U.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          They’re all starting to sound pretty much the same, really. It’s getting frightfully boring.

        • moco says:

          Not nice, m(l)ooser, mocking me for my writing, foolishly failing to address the issue. Khaled’s hijackings and the 9/11 hijackers connected Palestinians to 9/11. Everyone who honestly cares knows EIR’s defense, justification, wearing, selling terror is only harmful for Palestinians, Muslim-Americans, OWS. So what is your goal with your worthless comments, hiding something, someone? If you cared for Palestinians you could comment on my concern for how holding on to destructive failed methods is only harmful for everyone, most of all Palestinians. If compagni who oppose Zionism, oppose the US sponsored crimes on humanity Israel commits, know what is happening is a genocide, send money directly to Palestinians, organize and attend events for Palestinians, if we who care can’t object to foolish self-serving groups who moronically feel defending, justifying, selling, wearing terror is how to generate support for their cause, if we who care get mocked because you want us to keep silent, you need more help for you cognitive, reasoning skills than I do for my writing. Obviously you can’t comprehend compassion, people making their own effort to engage instead of disconnecting, however difficult. You must have graduated from L’Università dei Cretini with honors.

        • moco says:

          for Chaos4700

          Oh no, no fun seeing my comment? Only your own fault for not sending me your “must haves” for comments on crimes on humanity, terrorism, genocide…

  21. jayn0t says:

    Imagine if, during the movements of the 60s and 70s, people had said they don’t want these movements to adopt an anti-apartheid perspective, because it would alienate white Afrikaners. Or if, like Zionists today, they used the touchy-feely language of the left to defend racial oppression: “Many Jewish supporters of OWS who do not identify as anti-Zionist… do not feel comfortable identifying with actions in solidarity with armed Palestinian militants”. Or “I find such actions deeply offensive”. Or that they’d ‘grown weary’ of the movement’s ‘co-optation’ by black people who don’t like apartheid. They would not have been interviewed. They’d have been laughed at, and shown the door.

    But today, when Jews like this guy Sieradski argue for the inclusion of their supremacist brethren, they are taken seriously. This discrimination illustrates a prejudice on the left. He does make one good point – it is true that the media would criticize an Occupy movement which specifically opposed Jewish supremacy. But that’s like saying, if movements in the 80s had been criticized by the media for explicitly denouncing apartheid, they should have stopped doing so. The media’s bias – you can be anti-capitalist, or anti-America, but not anti-Israel – needs to be challenged, not capitulated to.

  22. kma says:

    thanks for posting this article – it’s enlightening to hear Sieradski’s explanation for censoring a tweet in support of the flotilla – which backfired on him and is probably much bigger news than the tweet itself.

    Sieradski & friends want to control this, they say, because it will shred OWS and make it hard for him to organize more Jewish organizations to back OWS. but people didn’t suddenly start this movement because organizers suddenly got better at it. they are out there physically 24/7 because they are harmed, homeless, and angry, and the action unites us all (homeless or not) through our humanity.

    Sieradski’s argument that aid to Israel is a mere tiny bit completely neglects the immense effects Americans are feeling from being on the wrong side of a major ethnic cleansing. that “tiny” aid (which Sieradski sinisterly says benefits us!) produces more tear-gas canisters in our faces than the Oakland Police, more embarrassing UN meetings, more shame, more censored children’s art exhibits, more convicted-for-free-speech university students, more threats to our very livelihoods (as in the UCB senators pressured by AIPAC and its ilk), an effective congressional zionist caucus (meaning pro-likud) of about 95% of all of congress… and we feel we are limited in our voting power against the lobby. just like OWS issues.

    Sieradski may not be proud of how many ISM volunteers are Jewish, but we Americans are proud of those on the flotilla willing to stand up to the IDF and the illegal siege. and if you’re Irish – you can hold your head up! Sieradski can’t win by modifying the organic voice of OWS in order to “attract” more “mainstream” organizations, and his efforts would be much better utilized campaigning against Israel’s blockade instead. it would make the whole tweet thing a moot point.

  23. kma says:

    one more thing (sorry) – Sieradski and OWS may not be ready to hear “Free Palestine”, but apparently other “occupies” are. so, he calls them “dick”s? the anti-war movement went through this exact exercise in the past decade, and “Free Palestine” is absolutely part of “anti-war” in the US. so, if anti-war gets mixed up in the occupy movement, it won’t be excluded.

    the source of the problem, as always, is that Israel’s behavior (and the US too) is so bad that we cannot condone it, and people like Sieradski who DO condone it can’t erase the truth, so they have to censor it. he’s desperate.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      i agree: i think that one thing the Left has achieved in the last 3 years is that palestinian solidarity is part of it. we must be dealt with and not railroaded. the Nation respects us. there’s no going back n that

      • DBG says:

        So the 99% thing is BS. unless you are saying the left is the 99% and everything else is the 1%. Palestinian solidarity is one thing, trying to hijack a domestic movement (and the way you make it sound anything important to the left) is another.

        • Ines says:

          The 99% may be the majority, but what distinguishes them from the 1% is that their needs and aspirations count for zero when choices are made that will shape the very environment in which they live.

          The 1% are small in number but they’re huge in power. That’s because they understand the power of solidarity, even, especially, across geographic or any other borders. The wider the network, the greater the power.

          While they’re busily forging an intricate web of strategic alliances and a wide variety of mutually beneficial partnerships that spans the globe, they fight tooth and nail to make sure that the 99% remain divided and as narrowly focused as possible on issues that are deliberately framed as separate, when in fact they’re not. On the contrary, in many cases they go to the heart of the matter.

          Israel is a great example: on its own, deprived of the global network that ensures this racist, expansionist, rogue terrorist state continues to enjoy a steady flow of extraordinary political, economic and military support, colonial settlers and legal immunity for its war criminals, it would very quickly end up in the dustbin of history, where it belongs.

          At the same time, no effort is spared to make sure that the Palestinians are isolated from the rest of the 99%, that their struggle for human and legal rights is compartmentalized all by itself, and that these victims of massive state terrorism are themselves labeled “terrorists” and therefore undeserving of justice or legal protection.

          Most Americans would probably be outraged if they knew how much their government’s unconditional support of Israel has cost them, directly and indirectly. They’re not allowed to know. But if they did, it wouldn’t take them long to decide that their own freedom and that of the Palestinians are more connected than they ever imagined.

          This strategy reminds me of how globalization is labeled a good thing when corporations outsource jobs to sweatshops all over the world, but when laborers unite across borders to defend their mutual interest in guaranteeing decent living and working conditions, they are forced to defend themselves against accusations of “communist conspiracy”. Workers can avoid such “harm to their cause” by focusing only on their own local issues, a great gift to the outsourcers, who are laughing all the way to the bank (the Cayman Islands bank, no doubt!)

          But that’s what happens when the 99% allow the 1% to define the terms and frame the issues.

  24. For DS, the Nakba was worth it for his precious fantasy about “jewish self-determination”. Take the pigeon shit out of your eyes.

    I was there at the EIR Keffiyeh day, and we were all complaining that the “Yehudi” dude should shut up.. He was told to do so in english and farsi before some zionist made a whole scene accusing EIR of supporting his statements.