If there is one thing that anti-Israel groups with an agenda really can't stand, it's the sight of people organizing and protesting without them, and even worse, pursuing an agenda other than the one the anti-Israel groups would really like to see, ie, trashing Israel.
So, to some extent, the Occupy movement has to be a bit of nightmare for the likes of International ANSWER. The sight of large, quasi-organized groups of left-leaning Americans blaming the problems of the world on economic inequality, rather than the State of Israel is infuriating.
There are a couple of ways to handle this. One is to attempt to persuade the Occupy Movement that protesting the existence of Israel is, in fact, something that should be a priority. Hence, the (tabled) attempt to convince the General Assembly of Occupy Oakland to protest at last night's AIPAC conference. Despite plaintive claims about AIPAC, Occupy declined to follow Code Pink and Students for Justice in Palestine out to the Hilton, and their rally drew fewer than fifty people. They did their best to link their hate to the memes of the Occupy Movement, carrying signs insisting that "AIPAC is the 1%", and falsely accusing AIPAC of forcing the US into Iraq, but it seems that the actual Occupiers weren't interested, staying away in droves.
The other way, of course, is to simply claim credit, as in this charming e-mail that landed in my box:
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the ANSWER Coalition. Founded just three days after the September 11, 2001 attacks, ANSWER has been the central organizer of many major demonstrations against war, racism and repression in cities from coast to coast over the past ten years. Today, ANSWER is an integral part of the Occupy movement that has swept the country and around the world, providing vital logistical as well as political support to this electrifying new expression of popular opposition to injustice, war and inequality.
INTEGRAL! Do you hear me, we're INTEGRAL!!
The year 2011 has seen an amazing resurgence of grassroots resistance here and around the world. In January and February we saw the popular uprisings that brought down the U.S.-backed regimes in Tunisia and Egypt.
I almost get the sense that ANSWER also wants credit for bringing down the governments of Tunisia and Egypt.
ANSWER has played a key role in linking the anti-war struggle to the Occupy movement, Richard Becker continues. He doesn't exactly go on to prove this, however, he just states:
While most U.S. troops will finally be leaving Iraq after devastating that country, thousands of “contractors” (really military in different uniforms) will remain. U.S. officials have made it clear they will continue to surround Iraq with U.S. bases that blanket the region. Following the bombing war against Libya, the Pentagon continues attacks on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries with impunity, threatens Iran, funds Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and has just sent an initial contingent of troops into central Africa. The real military budget this year will be well over one trillion dollars, more than $3 billion every day!
What to do about all of this? Send money, of course. International ANSWER may not be able to get Occupy out to protest AIPAC, but they still hope for a pity check or two.