Eli Clifton reports: The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), has joined the pack of conservative groups working to discredit the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The ECI — a Bill Kristol–Gary Bauer–Rachel Abrams-conceived organization — launched a YouTube ad this morning, seeking to paint the Wall Street protests as anti-Semitic.
The ad, which was faithfully promoted by ECI’s go-to media outlets — Politico’s Ben Smith, the Weekly Standard, and Commentary — alleges that Democratic party leaders are “turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic, anti-Israel attacks,” and urges President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to “stand up to the mob.” Watch it:
While the anti-Semitic signs and clips shown in the commercial are deeply offensive, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have consistently rejected the attempts of a small number of extremists to hijack the movement. In fact, on Friday, “new media activist” Daniel Sieradski organized over 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters to participate in Kol Nidre, the prayers that begin Yom Kippur.
It turns out that one of the characters being highlighted in the ECI video was honing his act as a loud mouth on the streets of New York well before Occupy Wall Street began. The man in question is Danny Cline aka “Lotion Man” and his desire to capture the interest of anyone holding a camera seems stronger than anything else. Offending people seems to be Cline’s preferred way of gaining attention. As a self-confessed petty thief, he isn’t representative of the movement he’s attempted to insert himself inside. But he turned out to be a useful performer for ECI’s purposes.
The last thing the Israel lobby would want to highlight would be scenes such as this: Jewish demonstrators celebrating Yom Kippur.
As for what an accurate representation of the incredibly diverse face of Occupy Wall Street actually looks like, here’s just one example: