“It’s Yom Kippur. Banks should atone.” — The Truth Behind the Sign

Zombie and Pajamas Media smear a 14-year old Jewish girl with false charges of antisemitism

There have been many reports of alleged antisemitism being a major part of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, most of them originating at right wing blogs. In some cases there have indeed been incidents, rhetoric and signage where the anti-Semitism is rather self-evident.

In other cases, bias against the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and the political ideology therein leads to a mis-characterization and distortion of what is seen, in order to maintain the right wing narrative of OWS and the left.

This is one such case.

The case involves 14-year old Sophie Johnson, who attended an Occupy Los Angeles demonstration and was photographed by “Ringo” (who runs the website called “Ringo’s Pictures”) holding a sign reading, “It’s Yom Kippur. Banks should atone.”

Sophie Johnson (Ringo’s Pictures)

This photograph was featured in the PJ Tatler section of Pajamas Media entitled: More Anti-Semitism at Occupy Los Angeles. Below this photograph “Zombie” provides the following caption and interpretation:

‘It’s Yom Kippur: Banks should atone!’ Hmmmm…why would the banks and bankers engage in a Jewish ritual practice (atonement on Yom Kippur) if they weren’t Jewish? Again, we return to the ‘Jewish bankers’ theme.

This webpage, already known to me, came up in a discussion we were having here at LGF. Being curious, I decided to Google for a possible story behind the sign and most importantly the young girl holding this sign, who had been accused of antisemitism by “Zombie” and Pajamas Media. The answer popped up in front of me almost immediately, and it was written by the very same young girl that is being maligned by right wing bloggers:

Why I Went to Occupy L.A. Instead of Synagogue
14-year-old eighth grader at Malibu Middle School in Malibu, CA
Posted: 10/10/11 06:51 AM ET

A little more than a month ago, I became a Bat Mitzvah. In Judaism, that means I am now an adult and have pledged to keep the traditions of my faith. And yet it was for those very reasons that I decided to spend Yom Kippur - the holiest day of the Jewish year - joining the protesters of Occupy L.A. instead of going to synagogue.

‘I am also fulfilling my role as a Jew, which is to help people who need my help.’ — Sophie Johnson

No, my parents weren’t thrilled when I first brought up skipping services on this important holiday, but since my Mom marched on Washington for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, I think she at least understood where I was coming from. Also, my mother knows first-hand what it’s like to lose her job in this recession. She was laid off from the newspaper where she worked for 18 years before she got hired by the Huffington Post and AOL.

Sophie Johnson (Mette Lampcov)

Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, a day where we reflect on how we could be better people and apologize to anyone who we may have hurt. I think it’s time for the big corporations and banks in America to say they are sorry too.

Continue reading at the Huffington Post.

As you can see, the girl in question is in fact Jewish, and recently “became a Bat Mitzvah.” Her intentions were according to her interpretation of Judaism in the context of Occupy Los Angeles and the economic injustices that are a major part of American society.

It is not antisemitic by any means.

I close by suggesting that Zombie, Ringo, and Pajamas Media issue an immediate retraction and apology to Sophie Johnson.

UPDATE at 10/16/11 1:00:32 pm

I’ve come across several right wing blogs slandering 14 year old Sophie Johnson as an antisemite. One such blog is JamieWearingFool where he continues the right wing smear job:

Ugly Anti-Semitism at ‘Occupy LA’
Thursday, October 13, 2011
by JammieWearingFool

I guess when they become violent those Jewish bankers will be among the targets.

[…]

It’s gotten so ridiculous the media is now concocting polls telling us this “movement” is now twice as popular as the Tea Party. Which begs the question: Shouldn’t any poll taken on the “99%” show a 99% approval?

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
That Crashing Sound? Another Trump Promise Shatters-AT&T Merging Time Warner No surprise here, but resignation at what this means for pricing, consumer rights and privacy. Trump's campaign promise When he was campaigning for president, Trump said that AT&T/Time Warner is "a deal we will not approve in my administration ...
Unshaken Defiance
6 hours, 27 minutes ago
Views: 179 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
“There Is a Shriveled Emptiness Where Trump’s Soul Once Resided” When you start losing the GOP loyalists like Michael Gerson, who worked in the Bush White House, and who is NOBODY's idea of an alt-left agitator, things are getting ugly for Trump. But when Gerson goes to the Washington ...
Khal Wimpo (wounded at Bowling Green)
6 hours, 37 minutes ago
Views: 137 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Another Democrat Starting Trump Impeachment Process Come on guys, get behind the bill. All of us. we should get behind this bill as it emerges as fast as we attacked the BCA. Following Donald Trump’s equivocating of white supremacists and those who oppose them in ...
Unshaken Defiance
1 day, 6 hours ago
Views: 348 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
How Militias Became the Private Police for White Supremacists Magazine Guns to a protest? Clubs? We can not tolerate anti American militias. The bloody weekend in Charlottesville that began with several hundred chanting white supremacists on a torch-lit march will long be remembered for the searing image of a ...
Unshaken Defiance
1 day, 7 hours ago
Views: 302 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Starting in 2018, Police Dogs Injured in the Line of Duty Can Be Transported by EMS to Veterinary Clinics ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL – Ambulances are for people. It’s always been the law of the land. In Illinois, it'll soon be "almost always". Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, signed House Bill 2661, Tuesday. It will allow police dogs to ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 10 hours ago
Views: 292 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
At Last, a Big, Successful Trial of Probiotics - the Atlantic Aside from preventing sepsis, it also reduced the risk of infections by both the major groups of bacteria: the Gram-positives, by 82 percent; and the Gram-negatives, which are harder to treat with antibiotics, by 75 percent. It even reduced ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 10 hours ago
Views: 323 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The New War on Birth Control - Pacific Standard Although it wasn't clear at the time, the attack on Phillips marked the beginning of a new anti-contraception movement—conceived in the U.S., but unfolding in Africa, where women's frustrations with the dearth of safe, effective family planning options are ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 10 hours ago
Views: 381 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
M83 - Do It, Try It (David Wilson Video) M83 - Do It, Try It video by David Wilson. Following the video's premiere at Sundance Next Fest it is now available to watch online. The track is taken from M83's seventh studio album Junk, available to buy & ...
Thanos
2 days ago
Views: 265 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marvel’s the Defenders It’s all coming together. Learn about The Defenders from the stars themselves: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones. Marvel’s The Defenders premieres globally August 18, 2017, only on Netflix. Watch The Defenders on Netflix: netflix.com SUBSCRIBE: ...
Thanos
2 days ago
Views: 284 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
AG Madigan Issues Guidelines for Responding to Sexual Assault Crimes “We took a comprehensive look at why sexual assault survivors rarely report their crimes to law enforcement, and it was clear that our criminal justice system can and must respond, investigate and better support survivors,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa ...
Birth Control Works
2 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 295 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0