Philly 'Inquirer' Cartoon
Called Anti-Semitic

By Dave Astor

NEW YORK -- A number of readers and Jewish organizations are complaining to The Philadelphia Inquirer that a Tony Auth cartoon may be anti-Semitic.
Auth said this isn't true. "If you look at the body of my work, you can't cling to the belief that I'm an anti-Semite," he told E&P Online, noting, for instance, that he has frequently done cartoons critical of Israel's opponents.
His July 31 cartoon showed a Jewish-star-shaped fence penning in Palestinian men, women, and children. It was referring, of course, to the real-life fence Israel is building for what the country says is security reasons. "When I created the cartoon," said Auth, "I asked myself, 'How can I do a drawing showing that building a fence separates Palestinians and is an obstacle to peace?' I did not do it gleefully but with sadness."
About 150 people wrote the Inquirer as of Aug. 7, with most mail critical of the cartoon. Some said Israel is using the fence to protect itself from terrorists, not to imprison Palestinians. Others complained that Auth's use of a Jewish star was problematic because that symbol represents not only Israel but Jews in general. Israeli Consul General Giora Becher told the Jewish Exponent publication: "It was insensitive for the cartoonist to use the Jewish symbol of a Magen David, and to use it with barbed wire and some connotation of the concentration camp." And Harold Goldman, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, told the Exponent: "To me, the Tony Auth cartoon crossed a line between what is acceptable political commentary and satire to what is clearly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel commentary."
But, Auth said, criticizing Israeli policies doesn't automatically make a commentator anti-Semitic. He did note that he's giving some thought to whether using a Jewish star was the right thing to do. The cartoonist acknowledged that the star may represent Jews in general, but added that "it is the symbol of the state of Israel. It's on Israeli jets and tanks and the flag."
Lee Salem, executive vice president and editor of Universal Press Syndicate, said in an e-mail to a critic of the cartoon: "From what I've read in the Israeli press, not even the Israeli populace is unanimous [about] the present policy. But that seems to have little avail here in the States. Questioning or criticism of Israeli policy by Americans is just labeled anti-Semitism."
None of Auth's 50-plus newspaper clients complained about the cartoon to Universal as of Aug. 7, according to Kathie Kerr, the syndicate's director of communications. She added: "When Tony did a cartoon critical of radical Islam, there was an outpouring claiming he was anti-Muslim. It's the lot of the editorial-cartooning profession." The Islam-related cartoon brought in about 3,000 critical responses.
Auth said the Inquirer has been "very supportive" of him with the July 31 cartoon and over the years. He joined the newspaper in 1971, and won a Pulitzer Prize five years later.
You can see the cartoon on the uComics site.
Source: Editor & Publisher Online Dave Astor ( ) is senior editor for E&P.
From Mike Johnston
Hi Tony,
I read the article that calls your recent cartoon anti-semitic. I didn't see it as being so. In fact, it is a very accurate representation of political and social divisions in the Middle east today. It is not only the Israeli's who are building "walls" to keep out their neighbors. No one wants the Palestinians. Only a few years ago Iraq and Iran were fighting a war. And on and on. So indeed, just like in your cartoon, all the various groups that are indigenous to the region are segregated into the prisons that they have built for themselves. The area has been that way throughout recorded history.
Another thing that is more or less related is the term "anti-semitic". Interestingly enough it doesn't mean "anti-Jew or anti Israeli" (even though that is how it is used) since the Semitic peoples would also include Arabs. So maybe when the Israeli's say anything bad about the Palestinians they too are being anti-semitic. For what it's worth.

Alton Raines

Seems 'everything' is anti-semitic lately! I'm sick of the whining and manipulation by these so-called "defense" leagues. I recently saw a documentary that followed David Icke on a book signing and lecture tour in Canada, and a group of hyper-reactive Jewish activists literally hunted him like a fox, doing everything they could to either disrupt his book signings (at one they showed up to throw cream pies all over Icke and wound up instead doing damage to the childrens book section due to bad aim) or intimidate and frighten the owners/managers of radio and tv stations scheduled to interview him. And why? Because they had determined that Icke's extra-terrestrial "reptilian" theory was really "code" for "jews"!!!!!! Can it get any more nutty??? To hell with these idiots, they clearly haven't single a braincell left. Meanwhile poor Ernst Zundel is rotting away in a jail cell, despite his poor health, for daring to question the Holocaust. Thought-crime. How long are people going to sit idly by let the Zionist conspirators and those who support them (and or think or act like them) go on destroying the liberties of free men and women around the globe in the name of Jewish 'specialness'?? It's positively insane.



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