While riots over the cartoon depiction of Muhammad continue to rage worldwide and controversy surrounds an Iranian newspaper's decision to hold a Holocaust cartoon competition, an Israeli cartoonist has come up with his own ironic - some say misguided - response. And it's attracting a wide audience.I see at his blog that Terry Gross interviewed Sandy on Fresh Air. Listen here. Gross asks him if it's "kind of sick," and Sandy defends it as sane and smart.
Amitai Sandy, 29, a Tel Aviv graphic artist, has launched the Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoon Contest, a challenge, led by Jews, to find the best cartoons, caricatures and short comic strips that demonize the Jewish people.
"We'll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew-hating cartoons ever published!" wrote Sandy on his Web site. "No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!"
Sandy told The Jerusalem Post that his intention was to challenge bigotry by using humor - an approach that officials at Yad Vashem are not convinced is the best idea.
"We're not sure this is the best way to respond," said spokeswoman Esti Ya'ari.
Ephraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Israel office, was more emphatic. He pointed out that the initial response of many Jews to Hitler was one of ridicule. "It might have been funny at the time, but it wasn't an effective response," Zuroff said.
But the contest, launched on Tuesday, is getting lots of attention among Jewish bloggers - at sites like Jewschool.com, which receives thousands of visitors a day. Bloggers are playing up news of the contest and directing Web surfers to Sandy's site at www.boomka.org.
February 16, 2006
The Jerusalem Post reports: