- 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
- 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 ( firstname.lastname@example.org
) 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
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