The American Kafir

2011/10/26

Organizer Behind “Occupy Wall Street” Has History of Anti-Jewish Writing

Source Article Link: Commentary Magazine

Organizer Behind “Occupy Wall Street” Has History of Anti-Jewish Writing

Written By Alana Goodman

It isn’t just a few crackpots engaging in anti-Semitism incidents at the Occupy Wall Street protests. Apparently, the main organizer behind the movement – Adbusters editor Kalle Lasn – has a history of anti-Jewish writing.

Back in 2004, he wrote a highly controversial Adbusters article entitled “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?” which peddled some of the more feverish theories about American Jews, neoconservatism, and the Bush administration (emphasis added):

Drawing attention to the Jewishness of the neocons is a tricky game. Anyone who does so can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite. …

Here at Adbusters, we decided to tackle the issue head on and came up with a carefully researched list of who appear to be the 50 most influential neocons in the U.S. (see above). Deciding exactly who is a neocon is difficult since some neocons reject the term while others embrace it. Some shape policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral, exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the U.S. is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image. And half of them are Jewish.

The “Jew Watch” list sparked an understandable wave of outrage across Canada and the U.S. But Lasn was unfazed. He wrote in defense:

Is it not just as valid to comment on the Jewishness of the neocons as it is to point out that the majority of them are male or white or wealthy or from the Western world or have studied at a particular university? If half the neocons were Palestinians, would the U.S. have invaded Iraq?

This wasn’t the only time Adbusters’ was hit with charges of anti-Semitism. In 2009, the magazine published a photomontage comparing the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto. This sparked a legal dispute between the magazine and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which reportedly owned the Warsaw photos used by Adbusters.

But Lasn also has defenders, including David Duke, who published this sympathetic essay by Jeff Gates on his website:

Kalle Lasn​, founding editor of Adbusters, is a graphic artist who eventually awoke to the harm he was doing as an advertising executive. An Estonian, he saw firsthand how the Soviets exerted virtual control by manipulating the mental environment. In March 2004, Lasn published an article in Adbusters pointing out that, whereas less than two percent of Americans are Jewish, 26 of the top 50 neoconservatives advocating war in Iraq are Jewish (52 percent).

He titled the article: “Why Won’t Anyone Say They’re Jewish?” By ADL standards, that meant he was an “anti-Semite”—just for asking the question. What’s since been confirmed is that the bulk of those who fixed the intelligence around that predetermined goal were either Jewish or assets developed by operatives who were Jewish.

That’s not to say the Occupy Wall Street movement itself is anti-Semitic. But if the top organizer behind the Tea Party turned out to have published a blacklist of American Jews he claimed had dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel, the backlash from the media would be massive. And if the top leader of the Tea Party fought a legal battle with the U.S. Holocaust Museum over an offensive collage he made using Warsaw Ghetto photos, politicians certainly wouldn’t be lining up to support the movement.

Related Article: @ Discover The Networks

Who is KALLE LASN?

  • Co-founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation
  • Derides “the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism” as “a destructive system”
  • Condemns American consumerism
  • Catalyst of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011

See also:  Adbusters Media Foundation

Born in Estonia in 1942, Kalle Lasn spent his early childhood years in a German refugee camp and then relocated with his family to Australia. From 1965-70 Lasn lived in Japan, where he founded a market research company and worked in the advertising industry. In 1970 he moved to Vancouver and spent the next two decades producing documentaries for PBS and Canada’s National Film Board.

In 1990 Lasn lent his support to an environmentalist group that was engaged in an anti-timber industry campaign. When the CBC and other television stations refused to sell advertising airtime to that organization, Lasn and his allies started Adbusters magazine which, according to journalist Kenneth Rapoza, once featured George Soros on its editorial board. (Aides to Soros said in October 2011 that Soros had never before heard of Adbusters, and Soros himself declined comment.) Soon after launching Adbusters, Lasn and wilderness cinematographer Bill Schmalz co-founded the Adbusters Media Foundation (AMF).

Denouncing American consumerism as an “ecologically unsustainable” and “psychologically corrosive” phenomenon, Lasn derides “the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism” as “a destructive system” that has caused “a terrible degradation of our mental environment.” In his 2000 book Culture Jam: How to Reverse America’s Suicidal Consumer Bingeand Why We Must, Lasn wrote: “The aggregate level of American life fulfillment peaked in 1957, and with a couple of brief exceptions, it’s been downhill from there.” According to Lasn, “at least 75 percent” of the U.S. population is “caught in a consumer trance,” having been “brainwashed” into “believ[ing] in the American Dream.”

The dangers of consumerism, says Lasn, have profound “environmental, psychological, and political consequences” not only domestically, but internationally. Asserting that “every single purchase that you make has some kind of an impact on the planet,” he complains that “we, the rich 1 billion on the planet, are now consuming 86 percent of all the goods in the global marketplace, leaving a lousy 14 percent for the rest of the 5 billion people on the planet.” The worldwide resentment that is allegedly bred by this “overconsumption in the rich countries,” Lasn concludes, “is one of the root causes of terrorism.”

Lasn and AMF strive to combat consumerism through such initiatives as “Buy Nothing Day” and the “simplicity movement,” which encourage people who have been “stung by consumer culture” to drop their obsession with money and material possessions.

Warning that anthropogenic “climate change” poses a worldwide ecological threat, Lasn says that “overconsumption is in some sense the mother of all our environmental problems.” Specifically, he derides the automobile—because of its greenhouse-gas emissions—as “arguably the most destructive product we humans have ever produced.” To counteract the environmental damage allegedly caused by such emissions, Lasn recommends “not just a carbon tax, but a global across-the-board pricing system” in which cars would cost “around $100,000” apiece, and “a tankful of gas, $250.” Moreover, Lasn calls for the imposition of a 1 percent “Robin Hood Tax” (i.e., taking from the “rich” and giving to the “poor”) on most goods and services worldwide, with the aim of using its generated revenues to fund social-welfare programs.

Lasn refers to advertising professionals, whom he holds in contempt because of their commitment to perpetuating consumerism, as “the cool-makers and the cool-breakers” who “more than any other profession … have the power to change the world.” He hopes to promote “a mental/environmental movement that will wipe the advertising industry out as we know it.”

In 2004 Lasn wrote a controversial Adbusters article entitled “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?”—criticizing America’s most influential neoconservatives for their “view that the U.S. is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image,” and noting that “half of them are Jewish.”

Describing himself as someone who has “been a student of revolution all my life,” Lasn says that in the summer of 2011 he and his fellow Adbusters staffers—especially senior editor Micah White­—were “inspired” by the popular revolution that had recently occurred in Tunisia. Moreover, they “thought that America,” whose economy was in crisis, “was [also] ripe for this type of [mass] rage.” According to Lasn, Americans’ anger stemmed chiefly from Wall Street financial speculators’ violation of the “sense of fairness Americans have always believed in.”

Lasn was also confident that young Americans’ “despondency” over such concerns as “climate change,” “corruption in Washington,” and the “decline” of their country, greatly increased the likelihood that the U.S. might experience “a Tahrir moment” of sorts. (The reference was to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a focal point of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.) Emboldened further by “that sort of anarchy cred” which the civil disobedience/“hacktivism” group Anonymous had been demonstrating in recent times, Lasn and his Adbusters associates held brainstorming sessions on how they themselves might effect “some kind of a soft regime change” to diminish the political influence of “finances,” “lobbyists,” and “corporations.”

In an effort to “catalyze” a protest movement against those forces, Lasn and Adbusters “put feelers out on our [Internet] forums” suggesting a mass demonstration in the hub of New York City’s financial district. Thus was born the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, whose first public rally was held on September 17, 2011. After some OWS demonstrators subsequently became involved in conflicts with police officers, Lasn said that “police brutality actually helps the movement” by drawing media attention.

While Lasn concedes that every popular movement faces the “danger” that its idealistic leaders may eventually “turn into monsters,” he nonetheless believes “it’s very important for us to win, and [to] worry about how badly we behave later—right now we need to pull the current monster down.”

Lasn is an open admirer of Marxists like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, anarchist David Graeber, and post-anarchist Saul Newman.

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