Anti-Semitic Cartoon Posted Under OWS Mantle
The post is ‘unauthorized,’ but what does that even mean at this point?
Some Jew-hating creep posted this comic on a Facebook page called #occupywallstreet this morning, maybe conscious that today is Yom HaShoah, maybe not (it feels worse because of the day, but it would be just as appalling another time).
The page is not affiliated with Occupy Wall Street or the New York City General Assembly, according to Occupy Judaism (which is). It is not the Facebook page of Occupy Wall Street (this is). Back in November, an official Occupy Wall Street statement condemned anti-Semitism. On top of all that, there is a strong argument that Occupy’s values are, broadly speaking, Jewish ones; the founder of Occupy.com (also unaffiliated) told me he explicitly sees an analogy between occupiers and Righteous Gentiles.
But practically, these caveats are secondary. The byzantine vastness of the web of affiliations and working groups and solidarity movements makes it unreasonable to demand that the average spectator understand distinctions between what is official and what is just some freelancing, unauthorized kook. The problem with Occupy isn’t that it’s anti-Semitic. It isn’t. The problem is that its famous bottom-up, “leaderless” structure denies the possibility of an authoritative voice that could convincingly condemn this crap and dissociate the larger movement from it. It’s the tragedy of the drum circle all over again: a compelling and massively important economic message is drowned out by the assholes and the self-imposed inability of the grown-ups to take charge.