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Spelling It Out

Over the last two days, since my publication of this article attacking the thread of outright antisemitism within the Occupy Norwich movement, some people have questioned my judgement. Is it genuinely antisemitic to assert that the Goldmans, the Lehmans, the Rothschilds, the Warburgs and the Lazards control – in circumstances shrouded in “mystery” – more than thirty global corporations, the United States’ Federal Reserve System, most of its member banks, and global political organisations including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and NATO? Is it genuinely antisemitic to say that these Jewish families, in the article’s own words, “dominate the world”?

Yesterday, I looked a little deeper into the matter. I shan’t take back one word of my argument. To take one of these assertions, without which the house of cards presumably collapses, the Anti-Defamation League - the United States’ leading opponent of antisemitism - has been aware of the accusation that those specific five Jewish families (plus a few others, mostly also Jewish) control the Federal Reserve System for almost three decades. This article of theirs demonstrates the flaccid impotence of the argument. (Even if it was true, by the way, after twenty-eight years it would no longer be news.)

Additionally, this week I have been challenged to come up with an article on who actually does exert all of this control over the globe. In other words, in a tête-à-tête between me and a collection of spurious racist falsehoods, asserted with absolutely no evidence, the burden of proof rests with me. “Who else is it, other than wealthy Jews?” I decline even to begin with that.

I have written to the organisers of Occupy Norwich on this matter, and I await their response. Neither am I alone in having noticed this streak. For now, I think that they have quite a nerve, claiming to speak for “the 99%” while harbouring racist nonsense. They don’t speak for me, and I trust you wouldn’t allow them to speak for you – at least until they retract their links to this article (and other antisemitic assertions) and offer a full apology.

About Ryan Watts

Artistic photographer, writer, board member of Norwich Co-Operative Arts and all-round fey twankhole.


7 Responses to “Spelling It Out”

  1. Um, are you conveniently forgetting that we hadn’t finished? I invited you to respond and you have so far failed to do so. This is not a response. Are you going to respond to the actual criticisms of your shoddy “journalism”, sensationalist tactics, cowardly approach and collective defamation of an entire group for something at best circumstantially related to Occupy as a group? I point people to the comment thread of said blog post for a more full story, rather than the strawman “criticism” he tackles here.

    You want to do good, join us. You want to criticise us? You better play whiter than white, because people are perfectly capable of seeing both sides of this, rather than the outrageous cherry picking BS you peddle.

    Posted by Ben | October 28, 2011, 11:55 pm
  2. I am not sure when you wrote this piece, Ryan, but as you know events have moved on. I couldn’t find a shred of evidence for racism in any of the comments by members of Occupy Norwich, but I understood the concerns about the article that was linked. It looked at first glance to be a simple attack on the power of big corporations, but the hidden agenda could be seen as anti-semitic. For that reason I removed the post. We also agreed at our meeting today to look more closely at the links posted, but it is an open group and we can’t see the hidden agenda behind everything. I can only repeat what I said before - if you see something that gives concern, let us know.

    I am not quite sure what you mean when you say “I have written to the organisers of Occupy Norwich on this matter, and I await their response.” I wasn’t aware we had any organisers. We have people tasked by the General Assembly to carry out various roles - so for example I am one of the Facebook group admins - but that’s it. Perhaps you could clarify that.

    I am aware that at the start of the movement in Norwich there was some bad feeling between different elements, and I have to say that I think this has clouded peoples’ judgement in this case. I don’t carry a banner for any group, and I didn’t know anyone in Occupy Norwich before the first meeting on October 15th. But it is difficult to avoid the suspicion that you were very happy to find a stick you could beat us with. Never mind. That is the past, and I want to think about the future.

    Different people have different views on how this movement should go forward. Some people see these differences as a problem; I see them as an advantage. Initiatives coming from different directions are much more difficult to block than a single line of advance. I hope we can put any infighting behind us and focus on the common goal. If we don’t, the laughter of the 1% will be the only thanks we get.

    Posted by Phil Grimes | October 29, 2011, 6:50 pm
  3. Wow… your silence is really making you look the bigger guy here. Are you still not willing to recognise your disgraceful behaviour, now that you know the full story (and not just the outrageously tenuous (for the scale of accusations), highly cherry-picked, utterly uncorroborated, incredibly unprofessional and downright cruel way you went about your “reporting”)?

    You were willing to slander a group of people you know nothing about for a petty thing that you didn’t even bring up. You doubted you would have had a say, and that turned out to be wrong… but then you never even gave it a chance. I saw the headline, thought you were big, and did it without a single thought for your actions. I still want an apology on this blog.

    Posted by Ben | October 31, 2011, 12:09 am
    • Morning Ben.

      Your thread will get no response from me. I looked through it last night. I am within my rights to ignore a thread in which I have been labelled a “class A fuc…” (by you) and my piece branded “bollocks” while others continue slurring the families as “creeps”. It isn’t cowardice. It is my legitimate anti-racist argument against a minority of people who appear not to take it seriously enough.

      My article has been viewed by at least one experienced professional journalist, who, like me, has studied antisemitism, and regarded my piece as “excellent”. It also has the unequivocal support of a number of other left-wing thinkers and activists.

      Importantly, I have not had to take back one single word of what I said. For all the people who endorsed the offending article and commented on it in the hours after it was posted, it seemed that nobody within Occupy Norwich thought to question it. So I did.



      Posted by Ryan Watts | October 31, 2011, 10:28 am
  4. Ryan, it’s really disappointing to realise how stubborn you can be. Don’t you think that it is a perfect moment to be humble and admit that your article was disproporcionate and erroneous? Stop being so childish and apologise once and for all. Undoubtedly, you know that you are wrong. And you would look even clever if you retract your words and start discussing coherently.

    Perhaps you need to picture yourself when you started to write: that intelligent, open-minded idealist; what would that brilliant spring chicken have thought of your present behaviour? He would probably be angry and ashamed for betraying Socrates with such attitude…

    “My article has been viewed by at least one experienced professional journalist, who, like me, has studied antisemitism, and regarded my piece as “excellent”. It also has the unequivocal support of a number of other left-wing thinkers and activists.” Wow! AT LEAST ONE?? And he categorises it as “EXCELLENT”?? Well, sorry Ryan, that means a lot to me. And your concept of “left wing” puzzles me, as the new European right extremist groups and political parties are not anti-Semitic precisely; take some time to look into Geert Wilders’ ideological crap, please, as he is perhaps the most important racist and fascist bastard nowadays.

    Sorry, I know that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but I think that this can do you good. Live to learn (from your mistakes).

    Posted by David | November 11, 2011, 7:33 pm
    • “Stubborn”, yes. Stubborn in the face of racist material, and in the face of a small cluster of idiots clamouring to mitigate it, to use it as a springboard to discuss Israel/Palestine, and to actually rise to its defence.

      Sorry. It was racist. I explained my reasoning at least twice. Take it up with the Anti-Defamation League if you don’t think that it is questionable for a website to host material accusing Jewish families of controlling global corporations, national and international finance and worldwide political organisations. Over the course of a century, this group - one of the United States’ leading anti-racist organisations - has heard most of it before.

      It didn’t even provide any evidence, apart from the word “mystery”.

      I’d hate to put words into Socrates’ mouth. But I think he’d have a thing or two to say about propaganda which depended upon credulity and prejudice.


      Posted by Ryan Watts | November 12, 2011, 1:56 am
  5. Dear Ryan,

    First of all, the certainty of your assertion or reasoning is not directly proportional to the number of times that you repeat it, and my discussion is with you, not the Anti-Difamation League. The article is not accusing the Jews of controlling anything, but a bunch of rich families; nobody cares that some of them are Jewish or gentile, you are making an issue of it. Does the fact of being Jewish exclude them from criticism? If the author doesn´t provide any evidence, you could accuse him of defamation, not of racism.

    Your blindness and obstinacy are exceptional, and puts you amongst the sophists, never beside Socrates.

    Don’t bother to write again, as you lost all credibility and capacity to discuss at the very moment that you used an insult such as “cluster of idiots” instead of an elaborate reasoning. Keep on lying to yourself and crying for attention with your “I fight racism” pseudo-leftish behaviour, sir. Nobody believes you anymore.

    Good bye.

    Posted by David | November 17, 2011, 7:34 pm

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