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Open letter to MSNBC - Weird Jews
Disrupting Yeshivas since 2002
leftyjew
weirdjews
leftyjew
Open letter to MSNBC
I sent this earlier today. Please feel free to send a similar letter to MSNBC....

To Whom It May Concern:
I was watching MSNBC this afternoon where you featured an ad sponsored by the Committee For Israel, a right-wing organization that tries to get Jews to vote Republican. Due to the distastefulness of and untruths in the advertisement, I am writing to ask you to stop accepting ads from Committee For Israel and to apologize for airing this ad.
The ad, aired at about 3pm on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, claimed that Occupy Wall Street protestors are primarily a anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, and showed protestors holding signs with trigger words like "Hitler." It was filmed in a news-like or documentary style to add to its pretense of legitimacy.
As a progressive Jew, I cannot say that I have ever favored this organization or its message, but I don't often write to news organizations on the ad revenue they take in. This particular ad was incredibly distasteful. I've been to the affiliated DC protest, and have many Jewish and non-Jewish friends involved in the Wall Street protest. Jews have been primary actors in these protests - holding services on Yom Kippur and the Sabbath, and erecting sukkahs in observance of Sukkot at the protest sites. Judaism and its adherents have been treated with nothing but respect from other protestors. The concept that the "top 1%" or "the bankers" are synonyms for "Jews" is a fabrication of the protest's opponents.
Please stop accepting ads from Committee For Israel and please apologize for airing this misleading and insulting ad.
I look forward to your reply,
leftyjew

EDIT:  I submitted it on a black hole contact form on their website with the subject "MSNBC TV - general" and feedback type "Correction request."  (also added the link to the ad)
31 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
sidruid From: sidruid Date: October 18th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
AND it's disgusting. Are you really saying anti-semtisim and "alien" signs are equivalent? I'm not a fan of the right wing appropriating Israel and/or Jewish issues to push their own agenda, but blowing off hatred as "isolated" is foolish.
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
That doesn't make it a part of the bigger OWS picture, and there are many Jewish people taking part in OWS themselves.

I agree that the overall message of OWS is not anti-semitic, obviously. And while anything to do with banking is likely to be co-opted by someone yelling IT IS THE FAULT OF THE JOOOOOS, I have a big problem with letting that shit slide while simultaneously focusing on how Jewish conservatives are behaving in the face of it.
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am TOTALLY with you on the conservative agenda co-opting Jewish concerns being disgusting. But I can't stand with you in the place where you say "since I can't wipe out anti-semitism in my lifetime, I'll just focus on X instead." I have to fight both. Otherwise I can't get up in the morning.
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm having trouble making the leap from political leaders saying "these people are anti-semitic, so this movement might be problematic" to "political leaders (who state that are) lending credence to stereotypes". How did we get from A to B?
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 19th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm struggling with this, but I can't put into words exactly why. It kind of smacks me as "pointing out racism is racist because it means you notice race".

I mean, I don't think Rush Limbaugh gives a shit about Jews, or about Israel, except in the sense that Jesus can't come back unless XYZ occurs either. But in a lot of circles, "banker" IS a code for Jews. Same as "from the Northeast" or "New Yorker" is a code for Jews.

So, no, anti-semitism is not what OWS is *based* on, but it certainly does attract that crowd, and pointing that out- no matter who does the pointing- isn't in and of itself a problem. Taking it to the conclusion of "therefore all this is worthless" is, on the other hand, a problem. But I don't think it *has* to go there...
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 19th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, on the subject of co-opting Jewish issues to further an agenda we agree then. I think.

(Man, I love Jews. Two of us and five opinions.)

The OP though was posting about a *Jewish* organization (I believe?) who was pointing out the anti-semitism that exists in the OWS crowd. And I don't see a problem with that at all.
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 19th, 2011 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
it's that I have a very hard time communicating what I'm thinking.

No, I am too. Add to the fact that today was really emotional around Gilad's release, and maybe it's not the best time to be debating. ;)
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 19th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Well FWIW, when I asked what you meant, you made perfect sense explaining it.

(Also my hubby is horribly dyslexic and has a helluva time explaining himself in writing, so maybe I just have practice?)
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 19th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry, but I don't believe for a second that being seen as anti-semitic, even among liberals, is so horrific to people that they'll pack up and go home. (I spent years in No. Cal. and heard people who did not know I was Jewish say things wrt Israel and Jews in general that made me nauseous.)
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, yes. Exactly? I don't understand how this lends credence your argument. Anti-semitism exists. It has existed forever. It probably will always exist. Therefore... what??
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lightningxsnow From: lightningxsnow Date: October 18th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think this is difficult, because while I've definitely been in spaces/movements with underlying issues with anti-semitism (racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, you name it), sometimes in very large movements it is an isolated incident. I'm leaning towards the latter from what I've seen from the "Occupy" movement, but everyone could benefit from checking their damn privilege.
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Taking issue with anti-semitism is not counterproductive. Seriously, where are you coming from with all this?
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kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, see my comment above and we can continue to debate (if you wish) just the one thread.
lightningxsnow From: lightningxsnow Date: October 18th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah, for sure.
kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
"everyone could benefit from checking their damn privilege"

FREAKING WORD.

hopita From: hopita Date: October 19th, 2011 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
OK, not even reading the second sign (I saw the word "ILLUMINATI" and bailed), I have to say that I don't find the other two signs (green with stars and Yom Kippur) to be signs of Jewish hatred. I think the green/stars sign is talking about the US's financial support of the State of Israel, and the Yom Kippur sign has been identified as belonging to a Jewish protester who legitimately believed that everyone should be atoning on Yom Kippur.
kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 18th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, there are anti-semetic components to the protest. I have seen a few interviews posted on my Flist. While I agree it's an unbalanced approach to show ONLY the anti-semitism, it's also an untruth to claim these people don't exist.

quietann From: quietann Date: October 19th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Agreed... I have friends involved in the Occupy Boston protest and they confirm there is a fairly substantial part of the protest who are hard-core anti-Israel... which is not necessarily the same as anti-Semitic. But these hard-core anti-Israel people tend to be quite left-wing and do not overlap (much) with the right-wing people who use "bankers" as a code word for "Jews".
kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: October 19th, 2011 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that was the same thing I ran into when I lived in No. Cal.- liberalism with a VERY strong anti-Israel component. And sure, it isn't the same as anti-semitism, but the vast majority of conversations I had with those people taught me that it's a damn slippery slope.
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leftyjew From: leftyjew Date: October 19th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Before I trust poll numbers about a mass and disparate movement of individuals united under very little in common, I would like to at least see their methodology and sampling techniques.
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seiberwing From: seiberwing Date: October 19th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Let's see his questions. You'll get far more people in favor of gay marriage than homosexual marriage, it's all in the phrasing.
seiberwing From: seiberwing Date: October 19th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yeah. That guy sounds legitimately unbiased, scientific, and objective.

The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies
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leftyjew From: leftyjew Date: October 19th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, they are unwelcome.
If you scroll down in the link above to pajamasmedia, it has this transcript:

Anti-Semitic Occupy Wall Street protester: “The Jews control Wall Street! These are the Jews! The Jews control Wall Street. Google it! Google Wall Street Jews. Wall Street Jews! Their names are Jewish — do the homework, do the research. The Jews control Wall Street!”

Bystander: “Hey, didn’t I see you getting out of that Fox News truck parked over there by the corner?”

[Later, starting at 3:24]

Blogger: “Tell me something: Know what? People are saying that Fox News gave you $50. Did you get paid $50 to hold that sign?”

Anti-Semitic Occupy Wall Street protester: “Fuck Fox News and that bullshit.”

Blogger: “Did anyone pay you to hold that sign?”

Anti-Semitic Occupy Wall Street protester: “No! A fucking Jew made that up.”

Blogger: “No one paid you to hold that sign?”

Anti-Semitic Occupy Wall Street protester: “No.”

Note that it's the same one guy interviewed several times to make the same point. He's clearly nuts and unwelcomed. The interviewer just likes to cover him.

Anyway, as for the poll, it's hard to rely on actually "random" polling. The choice of days and times and locations matters, and since it's actually just asking every 0.5% of people isn't the most statistically rigorous. Also, this is only counting the activists - the people who are there - not the allied folks and people who agree with the cause.

Who is "the fellow who started OWS"?
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leftyjew From: leftyjew Date: October 19th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
my theory is that he wasn't welcomed. and that person's interruptions about him being sent by fox news (however believable it may or may not be) is evidence that he wasn't welcomed.
dream_king From: dream_king Date: October 19th, 2011 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Well given that Occupy Wall St was founded by a couple of guys who are definately Anti-Israel and very possibly Anti-Semitic given what they have written in their magazine, it is a very valid point.
seiberwing From: seiberwing Date: October 20th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Who cares, in my opinion. Many good things were founded by complete assholes and bigots--this country, for instance. As long as the movement itself does nothing but good, I don't care if the American Nazi Party is endorsing it.

(And as I understand, they are)
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