February 16, 2006

An Israeli anti-Semitic cartoon contest.

The Jerusalem Post reports:
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.

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.
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.


Balfegor said...

"It might have been funny at the time, but it wasn't an effective response," Zuroff said.

Er, one supposes. But it's unclear to me what an effective response would have been. The only one I can think of that reliably leaves you alive is fleeing the Continent, but for the Jews of Israel to do that today would be . . . why, the terrorists really would have won then, wouldn't they?

As it is, plucky little Israel already fights back against the suicide bombers and the mullahs with their mad dreams of nuclear fire, so where's the harm in making fun? I think it's a fine idea.

Harkonnendog said...

I think it is a great idea. Islamists have long contended that Jews get special priveleges because of their status as victims, and that Muslims should be accorded equal priveleges.

This contest provides moral clarity. No, Jews don't murder to protest disrespectful cartoons- no, they don't firebomb embassies if you draw a picture of Moses, and yes, Jews do understand the importance of free speech. And YES, they DO have a friggin' sense of humor.

So no, Islamists are NOT acting for equal protection, they are demanding special priveleges. It is, unfortunately, necessary to make this clear.

RogerA said...

Concur with the foregoing comments--heard the interview today--This guy is a left wing Israeli--and he has a keen sense of humor!

My first gut reaction is to be vewy vewy afwaid of people who lack a sense of humor--they are the dangerous ones--Mazel Tof, Amatai

Icepick said...

Is anyone else reminded of the Monty Python skit about the world's deadliest joke? Maybe these Jewish guys are going to make an anti-Semitic comic that's so funny that every anti-Semite that reads it will fall over dead from laughter. Humor really is the best weapon!

Palladian said...

I love the smell of post modernism in the morning. Problem is, the Muslim world hasn't yet made it to the modern part of post-modernism yet.

Synova said...

I think it's a *fantastic* idea. You take what other people mean in earnest and turn it into a farce.

Judo, and they've got no defense against it. Oh, look! The Jews are laughing at our insults!

It only makes the rioters and offended look even more responsible for their own offense.

vbspurs said...

Good one!

I suggest we British make cartoons of people with bad teeth, the French make cartoons of stinky people, and the Irish get drunk and forget about the cartoons.


Gerry said...

Well, above I took the position that the Rose of the Prophet Muhammed idea was not as bad as other commenters were making it out to be.

Here, I'll take the position that this guy is a moron.

Let's say that there was outrage at some political cartoons that seemed to defend wife-beating.

Would it be an appropriate response, or an effective one, for victims of spousal abuse to protest those cartoons by having a contest to see which one of them could come up with the best cartoon supporting wife-beating?

You know, fighting back with humor?

I don't think so.

P. Froward said...

This isn't going to have much effect on anything, good or bad, except that anti-Semites are going to seize on the cartoons as "proof" that "the Jews" are finally 'fessing up to their crimes.

But so what? It's paralyzingly funny. It's as good as the Statue of Liberty on the lake in Wisconsin. That's all the justification it needs.

Harkonnendog said...

"Let's say that there was outrage at some political cartoons that seemed to defend wife-beating."

LOL!!! Do you really think this applies to this situation?!?