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Do You Think Jewish Orthodontists Will Be Rioting In The Streets?
The results of Iran's cartoon contest. Yawn. Plenty of Sharon as Hitler. Here's one, for example, by some entrant named Leo Garesia, from the USA:


Most hilariously, it seems the Israelis won this one, by retaliating with their own tongue-in-cheek "Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest":

Eyal Zusman (30), actor and playwrite, and Amitai Sandy (29), graphic artist and publisher of Dimona Comix Publishing, from Tel-Aviv, Israel, 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!”

Here's the piece that won first place:


I love that the Israelis are so much better at anti-Jewish cartoons than the Arabs. Perhaps if the Arab societies weren't so obsessed with oppression, and didn't, in turn, condemn freedom of speech, their people might be a little more practiced at it.

Posted by aalkon at September 10, 2006 11:18 AM

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As usual, I strongly disagree with your take on the Arab world, especially viz. Israel's repeated and suicidal blunders in the region. The cartoons do indeed lack imagination, but calling one's foe Hitler, nazi or terrorist is a classic insult. (Didn't we recently hear that America's involvement in Irak was akin to fighting the nazis in WW2?)

Posted by: LA Frog at September 10, 2006 8:15 AM

But, the point is, the earlier cartoons about Islam caused death and destruction by people who are ultimately barbarians. You don't kill because you don't like somebody's speech; oops, correction: civilized people don't kill. And then there are the people who murdered Theo Van Gogh, the thousands at the WTC, just blocks from my old apartment in NYC, and so many more...shouting about Allah as they did it.

I'm not saying the Israelis are always right and the Arabs are always wrong. The problem is: The Israelis basically want to live in peace with the Arabs, but they can't. If the Palestinians wanted to live peacefully in Israel, do you think the Israelis would care that they're there? But, they don't. They, like too many Muslims, want Jews (and, ultimately, all non-Muslims) dead. Don't think, after the Jews are gone, that the Christians, Buddhists, etc., aren't next.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 10, 2006 8:29 AM

PS And I'm completely pro freedom of speech. I just think it's hilarious that even the tongue-in-cheek anti-Jewish and anti-Israel cartoons by the Israelis are better. And I stand by my remark about a free society fostering better speech than oppressive ones.

On NPR last night, I heard that in Lebanon, a woman cannot open a bank account. She has to hope that a nice man in her life -- father, husband, or brother -- will do it for her. Backward, oppressive, and disgusting. Among so many other parts of Arab society.

One more thing: I think you mistake my point. I don't have a problem in the world with them doing cartoons of Sharon as Hitler, Sharon fucking a goat (this one I have yet to see), or anything else -- besides the fact that it's not very amusing. As with people who send me insulting letters -- if they're funny insulting letters, I might actually respect the people who send them.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 10, 2006 8:31 AM

How nice that the tired "Sharon-as-Hitler" cartoon above was submitted by an American. Because of course, the Israelis are clearly worse than Iran, where they do nice things like stone people to death for such awful crimes as being homosexuals and rape victims.

Posted by: justin case at September 10, 2006 11:38 AM

"The Israelis basically want to live in peace with the Arabs..."

I hear you, but I don't think it applies to all Israelis. There is a substantial, warmongering faction in Israel which is no better than the warmongers on the other side.

"If the Palestinians wanted to live peacefully in Israel, do you think the Israelis would care that they're there?"

Yes, I believe the warmongers in Israel would; as I believe that most Palestinians would like to live peacefully; and I don't believe that "too many Muslims, want Jews (and, ultimately, all non-Muslims) dead." That's an extreme statement, and there lies my fundamental disagreement: you cannot put all the Arabs in the same bag. Doing so is only providing fodder for the fundanuts, and breeding resentment amongst most. How would you feel if you were systematically scorned, and profiled as a decadent untermensch just becaause of the civilization you come from (and by people who're mostly clueless)?

There is a dangerous pro-Israel, Arab-scorning bias in this country, and I really don't think it is moving the world in the right direction. (I recommend Andrew Gumbel's article on the subject in a recent CityBeat, "More Israeli than Israel":

As you've pointed out multiple times, the Israeli-Palestinian issue seems desperately unsolvable. But there is deep wrong on both sides -- not just one. I do condemn terrorism of any kind (guerilla and state sponsored), but as Reagan said, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". You can't systematically humiliate and genocide the Palestinian people, and not expect them to react. As Yasmina Khadra's wrote in his book "The Attack": [Palestinian characters] "We are only the children of a ravaged, despised people, fighting with whatever mean we can to recover our homeland and our dignity." - "Existence has taught me that a man can live on love and fresh water, on crumbs and promises, but he can never survive insults. And insults is all I've known since I came into the world. Every morning. Every evening. That's all I've seen for my whole life. When a person has bee scorned, when his self esteem has been wounded, all tragedies become possible. Especially if he recognizes that he's impotent, with no means of restoring his dignity. I believe that the best school of hatred is located in this very place [Palestinian territories]. The instant when you really learn to hate is the one in which you become aware of your impotence. It's a tragic moment--the most appalling, the most abominable of all."

Posted by: LA Frog at September 10, 2006 12:49 PM

Hypnotic rhetoric (Yasmina Khadra's), LA Frog.

But Amy's cartoon has it beaten for smarts.
Not trying to be pointlessly provocative, just bringing the focus back to Amy's subject.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at September 10, 2006 3:11 PM

Actually, I thought a lot of the Iran cartoons were great. They weren't really making fun of the Holocaust, though. There were a few that focused on the whole Holocaust as excuse to do whatever thing.

The one I enjoyed the most was the Palestinian flag with little Israeli flags occupying parts of it.

There was a poingnant one from China of children sleeping in a construction shovel.

Posted by: Nicole at September 10, 2006 6:06 PM

Actually, the general link Amy used includes more than just the Holocaust cartoon contest. There's also some sort of display of Occupation Cartoons that are separate from the Holocaust cartoons.

The Holocaust cartoons are all here.

Posted by: Orac at September 10, 2006 7:14 PM

And I should've said so -- sorry, forgot to credit you, Orac -- but this post was inspired by this post ( over in Orac-land, Orac's blog being one of my daily must-reads.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 10, 2006 11:53 PM

And back to my point about the barbarism, which, perhaps some people will not admit until the Arabs start coming for a few more Theo Van Goghs -- do you think Jewish orthodontists in Queens and Long Island will be rioting in the streets over these, and stabbing Arab filmmakters riding on bicycles? Sure, there are extremists of every stripe -- but it's naive to think that Islam and the Quran don't direct them to kill the rest of us nonbelievers. I lived blocks from the spot where the planes hit on 9/11. Like many people, I know a lovely man with three children who would be dead right now but for the fact that his wife had a TV meeting, and he, instead of she, took the children to school -- making him just late enough for work. They shouted stuff about Allah when those planes crashed into the World Trade Center.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 11, 2006 12:00 AM

"Allahu akhbar" = "My dad's bigger than your dad."

Posted by: Norman at September 11, 2006 5:43 AM

"On NPR last night, I heard that in Lebanon, a woman cannot open a bank account."

The way my wife shops, I'd call that sound financial planning.

Posted by: smurfy at September 11, 2006 2:09 PM

Amy -- just out of curosity, have you ever been to the Middle East or to a Muslim country?

Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but it seems like you're painting with a rather broad brush -- using words like "barbarism" and "uncivilized" without any qualification. I'm assuming you're not talking about Muslims or Arabs generally ...

I'd agree that the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks were barbarians. They also happened to be Muslim. But obviously there are terrorists of every religious stripe.

Posted by: jv at September 11, 2006 3:49 PM

Agh! Sorry about the multiple posts -- the Web site was giving me error messages yet still posting my comments.

Posted by: jv at September 11, 2006 3:56 PM

"just out of curosity, have you ever been to the Middle East or to a Muslim country?"

Just 10 minutes ago I got off the phone with a friend who spent 3 years teaching in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. She said her life over there gave fresh meaning to that old song by John Lennon, "Woman is the Nigger of the World."

Posted by: Lena at September 11, 2006 9:48 PM

No, there aren't terrorists of every religious stripe. There are a handful of Jewish, Christian, and other nutjobs (Eric Randolph, Tim McVeigh, etc.), but there are many, many Muslims who want anybody who's a non-Muslim dead. Read the newspaper and you might hear of a few. (Concept of Jihad mean anything to you?) And when you're in Manhattan, drop by the huge hole across from Century 21 where a vast mass murder took place -- in the name of Allah.

As Lena pointed out, Muslim countries are, for the most part, backward, horrible places, especially if you're a woman or a homosexual, or both. Toss the quaint multi-culti fantasies and join the real world.

PS For the record, I'm about as unracist as it gets (in fact, I find it completely uncivilized and primitive that people care about skin color or, say, how somebody else gets sexual pleasure), but what I am, when it comes to mass murderers, is realistic.

The people who want us dead? They ain't Swedes.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 11, 2006 10:24 PM

"For the record, I'm about as unracist as it gets"

???! Get real. Your take on Muslims is systematically dismissive, hateful and racist. Very Ann Coulter-ish, and disconcertig coming from someone as smart as you.

Sorry to be so direct, but I couldn't let this pass.

Posted by: LA Frog at September 11, 2006 10:52 PM

I don't mind directness.

Is Saudi Arabia a nice place for women and homosexuals? Iran?

Is it untrue that more than a handful of people who practice Islam want us dead?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 12, 2006 4:14 AM

"Your take on Muslims is systematically dismissive, hateful and racist."

Racist? Islam is a racial category now?

Posted by: Lena at September 12, 2006 6:49 AM

Damn Presbyterians and Hasids - blowing themselves up in Cairo shopping malls and beheading journalists - we must rid the world of their evil scourge and find the religion of piece(s)If we give Iran the bomb at least the world will be a better , safer place.

Posted by: jp at September 16, 2006 2:31 PM

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