The Gulf War

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The right's attempt to influence and recruit the left became highly visible during the Gulf War crisis in late 1990 and early 1991. As the movement against the war in the Middle East began to build, a handful of far-right and anti-Jewish groups began to seek alliances with liberal, progressive, and left antiwar coalitions. It is important to recognize that as a whole the antiwar movement overwhelmingly rejected these overtures by the political right, while recognizing that the attempt reflected a larger ongoing problem. It certainly was a problem for individuals like Wisconsin antiwar activist Alan Ruff who appeared on a panel discussing the pros and cons of the Gulf War in the town of Verona. Also on the panel in the antiwar camp was another local activist Emmanuel Branch. "Suddenly I heard Branch saying the war the result of a Zionist banking conspiracy," explains Ruff. "I found myself squeezed between pro-war hawks and this anti-Jewish nut, it destroyed the ability of those of us who opposed the war to make our point." A number of persons report that during Gulf War protests, they heard persons attempting to turn legitimate criticism of U.S. intervention in Iraq, or objections to pressure for invasion by some pro-Israel lobbies, into a blanket indictment of all Jews, which is a classic form of bigotry.

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