Vocabulary of anti-Semitism or anti-Capitalism? - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Barka
    • 12.09.10 | 18:12 (IST)

    A cartoon in Harvey's "Coin's Financial School" (1894) depicts the Rothschildt family as an octopus, embracing the globe in its tentacles. No Jews are mentioned in Frank Norris' "The Octopus" (1901), a novel about capitalism and corruption in the California railroad industry. The company of America's first billionaire, Rockefeller's Standard Oil, was nicknamed 'the octopus'. The simile has been near ubiquitous during the recent financial crisis, applied to Wall Street, AIG, GS etc etc. A BBC headline from 15.2.2010 - "Greece: Spearing the 'octopus'" cites a Greek farmer issuing a common complaint in post- financial collapse Greece: "It's the octopus," said the farmer, flexing his fingers like tentacles. "It's the mayor, the president, the factories, the euro; it's you, the British, the Americans. Take, take, take." I've seen the octopus-metaphor in connection with Walmart and the IRS, the Taliban and various terrorist organizations. Oh, and Ahmadinejad called Paul, the 'psychic octopus' who correctly predicted the outcomes of Germany's performance at the recent World Cup, a "symbol of the decadent West." Accusing Mr. Levy of spreading the 'vocabulary of anti-Semitism' -- with the implication of spreading anti-Semitism itself, which is utterly ridiculous -- is as ignorant as accusing a Hindu or Native American who uses the Swastika as a good luck symbol of being a Nazi.

    from the article: Time for disengagement
    First published 00:45 12.09.10 | Last updated 00:45 12.09.10
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