Many have wondered: “is Anti-Semitism dead?” In a modern world, over half a century after the holocaust, do the Jews really need their own state, where the Jews are the majority? With the exponential growth of the Information Age, we are convinced that humanity has progressed past simple-minded racism. Or has it? As of late, the two most popular Facebook pages of the “Occupy Wall Street” Movement have acquired a combine total of nearly 1.3 million likes. It is fascinating to see how a rhetoric which began as anti-bankers, in general, has become so transparently anti-Zionist. One would think the pages would be littered with stats and figures about the state of the economy, or an analysis of the Wall Street system and recommendations for improvement. Instead, a good half of the photos posted demonize Israel and the IDF.
The unbiased observer is compelled to ask: What is the connection between the Financial Crisis of 2008 and the State of Israel? What does income inequality in the USA, “the 99% and the 1%,” have to do with the current war in Israel? It does not seem far-fetched to say that one need not be a marketing analyst, or a sociologist, to understand what these groups are really about. They can be summed up in one sentence: “the economy is bad, let’s blame the Jews and their g-d forsaken state.” Meanwhile, in recent weeks, Kristalnacht can be seen happening all over again in France.
Jews who believe in the Zionist State have often been described as “xenophobic,” or “overly paranoid.” Further research should be done as to the demographics of these 1.2 million Facebook followers of the “Occupy Wall Street” Movement. In the 1920’s, Henry Ford funded the printing of 500,000 copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be distributed in the US. Back in those days it was very difficult to measure how many of the pamphlets were actually read or taken seriously.
Today, in the age of social media, researchers have a whole new set of tools to measure the popularity of specific ideas and movements. A Facebook user has the free choice to “like” or “unlike” a page according to his personal taste. If the “Occupy Wall Street” Page posts content which is not loyal to the original “vision” of the brand, then a user can easily “unfollow,” or “unlike,” the group. The fact that these pages still have a following this large should serve as a red flag for Jewish leaders around the world.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, we are seeing a growing popularity correlated with the phrase: “hitler was right.” On Twitter, the hashtag feature allows all users interested in a certain theme to create discussions and news feeds based off of their desired choice of phrase. In this case the “#hitlerwasright” phrase has created a space on the web for those who wish to contribute to the discussion. An overwhelming amount of Twitter users discussing this phrase are openly glorifying Hitler. It is nice to see that several people of conscience have the bravery to also join these discussions and inform these users of their racism. As the IDF-Hamas war continues in Gaza, tensions and aggravations from Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian groups are rising. During these times of unease, hidden beliefs and sentiments are being revealed. And they are not pretty.
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