First they came…but here in America??

Am I really hearing this in America?  Go to YouTube and type in “anti-semitism and occupy wall street” and hear what I heard.

I’m Jewish.  I have never, in my lifetime, worried about Nazi Germany being repeated.

Until now.

Occupy Wall Street.  What does that have to do with the Jews?  Well, of course, let’s resurrect the idea that if there is money, it must be the Jews who manage it.  Oh, and let’s not forget that “my people” manage and own the media too – so “we” control what you hear and read in the press.

Is this really my country?  Am I really hearing people yelling about how the Jews should go back to Israel?  Am I really hearing about how the fault of the economy can be laid at the feet of the Jews?

How far is this from Nazi Germany?  As I recall my history, Hitler turned an entire population against the Jews, the gay people and the gypsies by blaming them for the economic situation in Germany.

One of the most compelling statements I know, “First they came…” attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) is about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

Mindful of what happens when we “allow” violations of anyone’s human rights, I have sounded the alert when “ministers” from our country went on an anti-gay tour that resulted in the death penalty for being a homosexual in Uganda.  I have joined my colleagues in sounding the alarm when women in our country and abroad were stripped of their rights.  I have sounded alarm after alarm.

I have sounded those alarms because I AM all of those people, by virtue of my humanity.  I have sounded those alarms without concern for myself because I am priviledged.  The fact that I am Jewish has never worried me as I have spoken out again and again.

Until I heard “IT’S THE JEWS!” from protestors in Occupy Wall Street.  And then I remembered my grandmother’s concern about my last name – “Levy” – because she always believed if something happens once it can happen again.

But we have said “Never again!” about the Nazi Holocaust, haven’t we?  And while we have born witness to holocausts in other countries, I live here – here in the United States – and here we say “never again.”

Is it time for “again” already?


7 comments on “First they came…but here in America??

  1. Ugh – awful.  There were news teams looking for anti-Semitic loons, which were then released as a compilation. And no doubt some astroturf as well, because it serves the 1% well to paint OWS as anti-Semitic.   One guy in particular got a lot of coverage and of course there’s some in every crowd. A quick search shows much more connection between OWS and “bankers” – an occupation demonstrably responsible for the financial crisis, rather than any racial identity.  
    Notwithstanding, you are right that stuff should be slapped down and ridiculed wherever it occurs.  No room for it here. 

  2. Racial and religious bigotry is hard to swallow no matter who the target happens to be. Of course, I’ve been called antisemitic vehemently by Jewish practitioners, because I oppose circumcision and consider it to be a form of genital mutilation when practiced on non-consenting infants…. “Antisemitism” means a lot more when it’s not thrown out at every single person in the world who disagrees with something that not even all Jews agree on nowadays.

    I’m against all organized religions, especially those that encourage infant body modification. If that’s all it takes to make me an anti-semite, then that’s fine by me. But just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I want to kill you.

    • I have to agree. I haven’t checked out the YT videos yet, but I myself have been called anti semitic & I was born Jewish. If I disagree with Israelis & how they treat Palestinians or how they act in general, I’m called anti semitic even by my own parents (if you want to call them that).

      I have unfortunately always felt like an outsider amongst my own people, but I’m slowly starting to feel comfortable with being Jewish even though unlike you, I don’t believe in any religion at all. IMO, it’s the root cause of all things negative.

      I myself am spiritually conscious & that is where my beliefs lie.

      If Jews continue to throw this term around just b/c someone doesn’t agree with something they believe or stand for, then when it REALLY matters, it will be like the boy who cried wolf.


  3. Respectfully, while the offensive comments of a few are repugnant…but protected under the First Amendment which Woodhull often uses to justify some of its positions, to suggest or even imply that the US is on a path toward Nazi Germany and to invoke the name Hitler undercuts your position and is far more offensive than anything some protester may have uttered.  Your comments discredit both you and your organization…the zero to Hitler is played out in society.  Call the comments out for what they are…but to besmirch the memory of millions of people who lost their lives under the fist of a tyrant by comparing now to then is disgusting.

    • I did not imply (or mean to imply) that the US was on a path toward Nazi Germany.  And you are correct – both Woodhull and I advocate for and believe in the First Amendment.  I didn’t suggest that we silence the voices…..just that we take note of them.  

      We are all excited about the Occupy Wall Street protests and fully support what the participants are trying to accomplish.

  4.   ‘Never again’ is generally the spoken portion of a thought. There is a darker completion to this statement which is ‘…to us.’  We see this played out over and again as citizens of the US and other countries turn a blind eye from atrocities equivalent, if not in numbers then in intent, to those meted out by the Germans, the Turks, the Khmer Rouge, even the Catholic Church. We see this played out when Jews quote the numbers of victims from the holocaust which exclude the nearly equal numbers of other victims of this evil, there were nearly 12 million persons destroyed in this, not 6 million. Or speak out condemning GLBTQI people as ‘abomination.’ 
      This is not to excuse the comments heard at OWS.  At least two things come to mind. The first, and very likely, is that these were plants placed by the conservative camp to discredit the OWS protesters. Divide and conquer.  The second is the need for continued education of the population at large as to exactly who these people running Wall Street are, then to expose these individuals. It is simply ridiculous to have a knee-jerk reaction, a ‘no, not my people’, response to these types of comments. There are Jews amongst the Wall Street elites. No one can forget Bernie Madoff. Yet the Kochs are at the top of the list, as well.
      It is individuals acting in a manner out of sync with civilized community who commit these heinous, narcissistic acts; not Races, Ethnicities or any other ‘People.’  Scapegoating can be expected, and education is the response.

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