The Jewish Victim of Newtown Conspiracy Theorists

Gene Rosen Sheltered Kids — And Finds Himself in Storm's Eye

Blame the Jew: Gene Rosen, a retired psychologist, is distraught as he recounts the reactions of children who survived the Newtown school massacre. Conspiracy theorists call the interview evidence that the mass killing never really happened.
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Blame the Jew: Gene Rosen, a retired psychologist, is distraught as he recounts the reactions of children who survived the Newtown school massacre. Conspiracy theorists call the interview evidence that the mass killing never really happened.

By Anne Cohen

Published January 18, 2013.
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Cooper added: “This phenomenon is a huge headache for those of us combating anti-Semitism. You have imagery that’s always there. ‘Who’s the puppetmaster?’”

Another actor in this far-right theater of the absurd is Mike Harris, an editor with the innocuous-sounding web site Veterans Today, which purports to be a “military veterans and foreign affairs journal,” In fact, the site has become a hub for anti-Israel conspiracy theories. In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, Harris gave an interview on Press TV, a channel backed by the Iranian government, in which he blamed the Newtown shootings on “Israeli death squads.”

Why? Because, he said, the Israelis were angry about the United Nation’s vote in November to grant Palestinians non-observer status. He also went on to blame

According to Harris, the killings stemmed from a culture of violence in America, fueled by “a Zionist controlled Hollywood,” and “a Zionist controlled news media.”

Mark Potok, editor-in-chief of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, whose Hatewatch blog reported on Harris’ allegations, says the problem goes way beyond Gene Rosen, or even Sandy Hook.

“This is probably the most conspiracy-oriented country in the world,” he said, “It’s gotten worse in recent years.”

But when it comes to the case of Rosen, Potok is disgusted.

“A man who is actually a hero is being pilloried by these people,” Potok said. “Conspiracy theories are the way that weak minds deal with complex situations.”

Cooper suggests that in this case, it may go deeper than that. “When you have to confront evil, some people don’t want to confront the difficult questions,” he said. “They’re more comfortable pounding the usual suspects.”

For now, Gene Rosen is the “usual suspect.” And he doesn’t know what to do about it.

Contact Anne Cohen at feedback@forward.com


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