The news stories have been piling up documenting violence and disruptive behavior stemming from Occupy Wall Street demonstrations around the country. In Washington, Occupiers sought to storm a conference being held by a conservative group. In Boston, a group of the Occupiers marched on the Israeli consulate chanting “viva, viva Palestina.” And in New York, fear of sexual assault led to the creation of a special guarded tent for female protesters.
Defenders and sympathizers of the OWS movement have claimed that conservatives have cherry-picked isolated incidents out of context in order to besmirch a legitimate effort on the part of citizens to express their discontent with the economy and the political situation. It must be admitted that when it was just a matter of stray signs or utterances that might have been true, though it must also be said this was exactly the tactic used by liberals in the media to try to demonize the Tea Party movement. But with the sort of group violence we saw last week in Oakland and the attempt to interfere with the right of conservatives to free speech and assembly in Washington this past weekend, it is no longer possible to pretend that a spirit of hooliganism is not integral to OWS. Nor, after the march in Boston, is it possible for OWS’s Jewish defenders to assert that the sort of anti-Zionism that raised its head in Boston is an aberration.
It bears repeating that despite all of the huffing and puffing by the chattering classes about the threat to democracy that the Tea Party was alleged to pose, nothing like any of this ever happened at Tea Party rallies or their protests against members of Congress at Town Hall meetings. The Tea Party protesters may have occasionally been rude to a member of Congress or a senator, but they did not block traffic, attempt to stop those who disagreed with them from holding meetings or attempt to shut down an Israeli consulate.
This is not an accident.
The OWS movement is a spiritual descendant of the leftist protest of the 1960s that embraced violence and sought to disrupt and shut down institutions they didn’t like. Many Americans don’t like Wall Street and rich people. But the idea that a movement that has easily morphed into a piece of dangerous street theater represents the views of anything more than the far left is absurd.
The outrage in Boston also ought to remind liberal Jews who might otherwise be inclined to sympathize with OWS that the far left in this country is a cesspool of anti-Zionism. Liberals who make common cause with OWS are making a deal with an anti-Semitic and radical devil.