CHICAGO – It was a scene “straight out of Istanbul or Amsterdam,” remarked one observer. Dr. Arie Friedman wasn’t sure if the Twitter feed he was reading was “coming from Paris or Pakistan.” But this was neither Europe nor the Islamic world, this was Chicago — and social media was capturing the day of hate one tweet at a time.
Fox News Channel contributor Jonathan Hoenig resides in downtown Chicago. On Sunday afternoon he found himself in the swarm of an anti-Israel protest. The hedge fund manager captured on his smartphone more than just a protest against the Jewish State’s anti-terrorism measures in Gaza. He documented calls for Israel’s “annihilation”.
Through his Twitter account, Hoenig proved that any citizen with a smartphone and Internet access can be a journalist more powerful than the New York Times. Nowhere to be seen on the websites of the daily newspapers, the “Capitalistpig” exposed what some would call Jew-hatred not seen since 1930s Europe.
Sarcastically tweeting, “some ‘friendly’ reading material being passed out,” Hoenig displayed a flyer being distributed at the rally depicting the anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control. Beneath the crude caricature of a larger-than-life, hook-nosed figure controlling the world from behind the scenes, the German caption reads, “The Jew: The inciter of war, the prolonger of war.” The wording, writes Hoenig, is from 1943 or 1944, during the height of the Holocaust.
To dispel any doubt about the intention, Hoenig tweets a photo of one of the protestors holding up a sign reading, “Israel you will pay, your annihilation is on its way.” He also mockingly noted a “fascinating instructional pamphlet” that defaced President Obama and declared “Zionism is the Enemy of Humanity.”
Chicago parents may not be too pleased to learn that their child’s teacher might have been part of the rally activities. With pictures to boot, the Fox News contributor tweeted “Plenty of union and commie groups here too,” and “Guess who is teaching at Chicago public schools?” Both posts reveal demonstrators wearing their red “Chicago Teachers Union” gear.
“There were also communist groups and socialist groups there, as well as explicitly anti-Semitic literature,” Hoeing told Watchdog.org. “I did see an Israeli flag with bloodstained kid’s handprints calling the Israelis Nazis. They actually seemed to “tone down” the swastikas in the second rally as compared to the first.”
On July 26 he captured similar anti-Semitic rhetoric including “lots of Nazi and Israel comparisons.” He also revealed what some would deem hypocritical. Gay activists openly condemning Israel, which arguably exceeds the United States in protecting the human rights of the GLBTQ community. Gays in Palestine are often jailed and tortured for their sexual orientation.
“One of the things I found most notable at the anti-Israel rallies I’ve been to is the number of children there, many holding inflammatory anti-Israeli signs with Nazi references or those comparing the current conflict in Gaza with the 9/11 attack in the US,” said Hoenig.
Chicago media paid little attention to the rally, devoting less than a minute of coverage during their ten o’clock evening newscasts. The most extensive coverage was conducted by Univision Spanish language newscast. Chicago’s ABC affiliate did report that demonstrators chanted demands that Israel’s land be given to the Palestinians.
Referencing displays of signs equating the Star of David with the swastika, Dr. Friedman said, “This can only be described as an offense to all people who aren’t consumed by Jew-hatred. In light of such ugliness, is dialogue even possible?”
Attempts for comment from the Chicago Teachers Union has been unsuccessful.
Paul Miller is a contributor to the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity
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