Anti-Semitic Image Posted to Occupy Wall Street Facebook Page, Jewish Group Calls for Removal
by Zach Pontz
A highly offensive photo [shown at left] posted Saturday to a Facebook page associated with Occupy Wall Street shows two arms— one of which is tattooed with the Star of David— placed in a sink, hands covered in blood, a bar of soap embossed with “UN” in the left hand. A Jewish group has called on Facebook to remove the image, and an official Occupy Wall Street representative denied affiliation with the page, which appears to be the second largest of its kind boasting over 237K “Likes.”
Eric Fusfield, director of legislative affairs at global Jewish group B’nai Brith International, starkly condemned the image in an interview with The Algemeiner in calling for its removal. “This cartoon is blatant anti-semitic trash. It’s a play on ancient stereotypes on Jewish bloodlust. It’s part of a larger campaign by Israel’s enemies to delegitimize the Jewish State by portraying Israelis as persecutors,” he said, “This is a way of isolating Israel, making it a pariah state. Facebook should take it down immediately. It should not play a role in the dissemination of hate speech.”
Responding to The Algemeiner’s request for comment, Dana Balicki, an organizer for the Occupy Wall Street movement denied any official affiliation between the moderators of the page and the central organization of the movement, “I have no idea who runs this, I think there are quite a few, at least a dozen pages. Whoever is running it is using their own version of free speech. They are doing it under the name of Occupy Wall Street and that doesn’t mean that any of the photos posted there are endorsed by Occupy Wall Street.” She was also unwilling to condemn the photo. “We are not in the habit of condemning photos, that is not really how we work. There are lots of other spaces online for that conversation, and it is not one that happens on the online community that we are curating.”
The Anti-Defamation League also condemned the image saying, “We are disturbed that this image found its way to an Occupy page. We hope that the administrators of this page will recognize that this cartoon is borderline anti-Semitic, offensive and inappropriate at every level, and that Occupy organizers will make clear that this kind of conspiratorial anti-Semitism is unacceptable and does not represent their movement.”
The picture has already garnered 650 “likes” as well as 88 comments, many of which support the photo’s intent. Here’s one such exchange:
Philippe Colas: Israel is fueling antisemitism. It’s time for the U.S. to stop funding this genocide!
Kassalah Messenger of Allah: Philippe Colas I agree with you
But not all comments were supportive. Others were highly critical of the photo. Brenda Priedon wrote, “This is antisemtic propoganda and very offensive. It does NOTHING towards giving OWS any credibility whatsoever, it just stinks!
The anti-semitic image isn’t the first time the movement has been linked to such offensive images. In April, The Algemeiner reported that a Facebook page claiming to represent Tampa’s Occupy chapter posted an image depicting a Jewish man driving in his car, with President Obama’s head in his right hand, while his left hand sits on the steering wheel of the car, which is made out of the United Nations logo. Representatives of that chapter rejected any affiliation with the photo.
Occupy Wall Street has been linked to anti-Jewish sentiment in the past. Kalle Lasn, founder of the Canadian journal, Adbusters, has been criticized for writing negatively about Jews.