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Anti-Semitic Cartoon Posted Under OWS Mantle

The post is ‘unauthorized,’ but what does that even mean at this point?

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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 (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.

Related: At Occupy Wall Street Central, a Rift Is Growing Between East and West Sides of the Plaza [NYDN]
Earlier: How Jewish Is Occupy Wall Street?
Filmmaker’s Son Takes Occupy to the Internet

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This is the stupidest thing I have ever read on the Tablet. Honestly, who cares? Yes, idiots post and say idiotic things every day, and they do it in the name of whatever will get them the publicity. You spend half the article explaining how this cartoon has nothing to do with OWS, and then another half convincing us that its still their fault. Seriously? 

    Ephraim_K says:

    This is the stupidest comment I have ever read on Tablet (not the Tablet, idiot).

      hypnosifl says:

      How is the comment stupid? Do you think some troll posting an anti-semitic cartoon on someone’s facebook wall is newsworthy, or exposes a fatal problem with OWS? Even if they did have an official leadership, it’s totally implausible that the leaders would even bother condemning this cartoon, any more than the leadership at Tablet would bother to condemn an anti-semitic post in one of the comments to the articles on their website (of which I have seen a number). Like Möish says, “idots post and say idiotic things every day”, it doesn’t merit this ridiculous lengthy chin-scratching analysis.

    yevka says:

     I agree.

Cool_Romeo says:

The problem isn’t just that OWS has nobody to condemn or root out this anti-semitism, though that is a problem.

The problem is also that for some reason the OWS movement attracts some of these lowlifes.  Not every leaderless movement does.

This will only marginalize OWS from mainstream America and destroy its message.

julis123 says:

The problem is that people on the left don’t realize that they have a real problem with antisemitism. Show me any group on the left and it always has an antisemitic element (sometimes masquerading as “anti-zionism). Pretending a problem doesn’t exist won’t make it go away.

    yevka says:

     Anti-zionism is not the same thing as antisemitism.

      julis123 says:

      Tp paraphrase Martin Luther King: Scratch an anti-Zionist and you’ll find an antisemite

      No, it’s not.  It’s just that, historically, they very much tend to walk hand in hand.

      BTW, looking at the events of the past few weeks, it becomes obvious that there is a basic fault in the whole concept of anarchy as a philosophy.

The problem is the simplistic American notion of freedom of speech where even Antisemitism is tolerated as an aspect of the freedom of expression. So one jerk paraded around with a huge sign in the background of TV reports saying ‘End Zionist Occupation of Wall Street’ and no one had the sense to tell him to get lost. Hate speech is not freedom of expression, it is a crime.

PhillipNagle says:

I find it very disturbing that the author claimed OWS  “values are, broadly speaking,  Jewish ones.  This left wing theology is not part of the Jewish religion.  I am really sick and tired of people telling me how to vote because I am a Jew and then give reasons that have nothing to do with Judausm.

herbcaen says:

The cartoon was probably written by a reader of The Forward or Haaretz


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Anti-Semitic Cartoon Posted Under OWS Mantle

The post is ‘unauthorized,’ but what does that even mean at this point?

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