Daily Israel Report

The "Occupy" Movement: From Wall Street to AIPAC

Anti-Israel groups set sights on hijacking the Occupy brand name, as a way of undermining Israel, arrogating increased credibility for BDS.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/14/2012, 8:45 PM

The Occupy Movement, which began with social protests against the economic injustices of Wall Street, has turned into another forum of de-legitimizing Israel. This time instead of Occupying Wall Street, protesters aim at Occupying AIPAC. 

Since the onset of the demonstrations in September 2011, the movement has been tainted by anti-Israel and anti-Semitic undertones.  While many still refuse to acknowledge these trends, the protests against economic and social inequalities have evolved into a legitimate way of, once again, casting the Jews as the world’s scapegoat.

With the upcoming American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, scheduled to take place at the beginning of March in Washington D.C., Leftist and anti-Israel groups have chosen to set their sights on hijacking the Occupy brand name as a way of undermining Israel and its supporters and arrogating increased credibility for the Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Over 100 organizations including, but not limited to, American Jews for a Just Peace, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Artists Against Apartheid, CODEPINK, Christians for Palestinian Rights, Citizens for Palestinian Self-Determination, Friends of Palestine, Global Exchange, If Americans Knew, International Solidarity Movement, Rachael Corrie Foundation, Stop AIPAC, United for Peace and Justice, US Boat to Gaza, Veterans for Peace, are planning to take part in the efforts to “Occupy AIPAC.”

The agenda is scheduled to consist of protests, panel discussions, educational workshops, and cultural performances on topics including, "From the Arab Uprisings to the Occupy Movement: Freedom & Justice vs. the Right-Wing Israel Lobby," “Palestine, Israel & the US- Changing Discourse, Changing Policy,” “Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions,” “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere,”  “Ending Military Aid to Israel,” and “Tears and Laughter from Palestine,” among others.  

“Anti-Israel protests at AIPAC are nothing new but the way the BDS coalition has neatly appropriated the slogans and the spirit of the movement praised by Obama could give these outliers a bit more prominence and a more respectful hearing in a mainstream press that has bent over backwards to excuse the excesses of the occupiers,” Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin states.

The fact that this fiercely anti-Zionist group is identifying with the mainstream Occupy movement- a movement that prides itself on upholding the values of “social justice”- demands that the public re-examine the very foundation upon which the Occupy movement was established and the issues for which it contends.