“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.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Whatever You Do, Don’t Say Yes When This Chatbot Asks, ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Another in my irregular series on privacy in our era, and how to defend yourself in digital venues. For your cell phone-Get TruCaller or some other good robo call screener/blocker. If you have an Ooma phone, set your virtual ...
Unshaken Defiance
1 hour, 3 minutes ago
Views: 42 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
For Long Term Economic Growth, Fund Science ResearchVIDEO at link Avideh Zakhor is a Hertz Foundation Fellow and recipient of the prestigious Hertz Foundation Grant for graduate study in the applications of the physical, biological and engineering sciences. Here, she illuminates the difference between 'big science', which ...
Birth Control Works
5 hours, 30 minutes ago
Views: 92 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
NOT ONE WOMAN: What’s Missing From This Photo of Politicians Deciding the Future of Women’s Health? President Donald Trump met with the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus at the White House Thursday to try to hammer out a deal on Obamacare repeal. A major question in the final negotiations? Whether or not maternity care and mammograms ...
Birth Control Works
5 hours, 33 minutes ago
Views: 89 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
How to Lie in 14 Steps: The WikiHow Guide to Dishonesty Writing for Esquire in 1969, Gore Vidal laid bare a “demagogic strategy” William F. Buckley used to befuddle opponents: If one is lying, accuse others of lying. On television this sort of thing is enormously effective in demoralizing the ...
Birth Control Works
5 hours, 36 minutes ago
Views: 92 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
A Third of Black Women in Study of Disadvantaged Neighborhood Have PTSD - Chicago Tribune Nortasha Stingley doesn't remember a lot about the weeks after her 19-year-old daughter was shot and killed nearly four years ago. All she could do was cry. All she wanted to do was scream. After Stingley lost 40 pounds ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 4 hours ago
Views: 163 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
How Trees Talk to Each Other Published on Aug 30, 2016 "A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 5 hours ago
Views: 188 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Classic Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies Recipe - NYT Cooking ngredients 1 cup/227 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, more for pans 1 cup/200 grams dark brown sugar, packed ⅓ cup/66 grams granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters vanilla extract 1 ½ cups/187 grams all-purpose flour ¾ ...
The Vicious Babushka
2 days, 4 hours ago
Views: 183 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Ricardo Naipes, Al NorteI love how this song is about people living in the same neighborhood where my mom grew up in Southwest Detroit way back when the accordion was for the polka music. Oh and will someone please translate,,
Mich-again
2 days, 15 hours ago
Views: 219 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Maple Scones Recipe - NYT Cooking Ingredients 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup white flour (more as needed) 2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ pound (1 stick) chilled butter ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts or cooked wheat ...
The Vicious Babushka
2 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 297 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
How Politicians Force Doctors to Lie to Women - Rolling Stone On Tuesday, the Texas Senate advanced a bill that would enable doctors to lie to pregnant patients about fetal deformities in order to coercively dissuade them from choosing to have an abortion. Specifically, SB 25 eliminates withholding information regarding ...
Birth Control Works
2 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 344 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0