Rome And Jerusalem - America and the Jewish People
Right wing kooks, probably the most intolerant people on the planet, are pointing an accusatory finger at the Occupy Wall Street protestors and charging them with being anti Semitic. This is probably quite a hilarious accusation considering that many of the protestors are themselves Jewish and in fact organizers celebrate Jewish holidays at their park location.
According to the New York Times it seems that the charge of anti Semitism is based on one man holding a sign that equates Wall Street Bankers with being Jewish though this man was shouted down by the other protestors.
The accusation of the right wingers is dangerous but not for the reasons that those on the right would have you believe but because they are politicizing anti Semitism for mere political gain. Why is this dangerous? A reading of Martin Goodman’s Rome and Jerusalem tells the story of how 2,000 years of anti Semitism was the result of a cover up of the unplanned burning of the great temple in Jerusalem by the Romans. A Roman soldier broke discipline and burned down the temple and the general in charge had to cover it up and make it seem that it had in fact been planned in order to protect his father who had just become emperor of Rome. The general made it seem as if it was done against a people who were a dangerous threat to the empire, which was mostly fictional in nature but led to him and his father being elevated to hero status by the Roman people and two millennium of suspicion against the Jewish people.So it was done for political gain as the right is doing today and that is dangerous because it can lead to a real rise in anti Semitism sparked by the right that may last for generations and that is the direction the finger of accusation should in reality point. Toward those demagogues on the right.
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