New York, NY, October 17, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on organizers, participants and supporters of the worldwide "Occupy Wall Street" movement to condemn anti-Semitic signs and comments that have appeared at some of the protest rallies across the country and around the world.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We are seeing some individuals holding anti-Semitic signs at the "Occupy Wall Street" rallies, and some videos posted on YouTube from the rallies have shown individuals expressing classic anti-Semitic beliefs such as "Jews control the banks" and "Jews control Wall Street." While we believe that these expressions are not representative of the larger views of the OWS movement, it is still critical for organizers, participants and supporters of these rallies to condemn such bigoted statements clearly and forcefully.
There is no evidence that these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are representative of the larger movement or that they are gaining traction with other participants. However, history demonstrates time and again how economic downturns can embolden anti-Semites to spread malicious conspiracy theories and promote stereotypes about Jews and money. As a consequence, these statements must not be left unchallenged.
The League continues to monitor the tenor and messages at the demonstrations to ensure that they do not get hijacked by extremists or anti-Semitic elements.