Monday, February 20, 2006

Anti-semitism and cartoons

In an unpredictable response to the ongoing controversy over the Mohammed cartoons, an Israeli group announced an anti-Semitic cartoon contest. Only a couple of cartoons are posted so far, but they promise a gallery soon. (NB: I make no promises if you click on that link: there are genuinely offensive cartoons mixed in with genuinely funny ones.)

From the official announcement:
Eyal Zusman ... and Amitai Sandy ... have followed the unfolding of the "Muhammad cartoon-gate" events in amazement, until finally they came up with the right answer to all this insanity - and so they announced today the launch of a new anti-Semitic cartoons contest - this time drawn by Jews themselves!

"We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!" said Sandy "No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!"
I discovered this news at the Alien vs. Predator's hilarious "official response" to the Mohammed cartoon controversy. Further, as another reason why you should always turn to Alien vs. Predator for your breaking news, it reveals (via Haaretz) that Jdate.com has been using porn models as the typical lovely ladies that one could encounter via jdate. Too funny — and not at all covered in my BBC summary news of the day. Elsewhere, the Danish editor who deliberately commissioned the Mohammed cartoons explains his reasons, and they're all surprisingly good ones. The mere act of publishing them seemed pointless: both thoughtless and provocative.

For Christmas, I received a copy of Will Eisner's "graphic history" The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It's good, perhaps a touch too earnest. Eisner was feverish to tell the story of the life of this infamous document. He touches on its initial forging in Russia during the time of the Dreyfus affair, the two novels that it was copied from, and its eventual — and endlessly repeated — unmasking as a fraud. Eisner managed to complete the book just before he died. The Museum of Comic and Cartoon art in NY will have a retrospective on Eisner "soon."

There's a good interview at NPR that puts the Protocols into its historical context and modern contexts. The interview is with Steven Bronner, the political science professor (12 minutes, no transcript). Surprisingly, the very first caller on the NPR believed the Protocols are real, and the professor sets him straight quickly. How nice to see someone with such calm mastery of the facts.

Incidently, I have no idea why I've posted a few things recently about anti-Semitism. I don't plan on it being a theme on this still-new blog, although I do think that racism in all its forms is insidious and evil.

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