An Israeli cartoon competition to find the “best, sharpest, most offensive Jew-hating cartoons ever published,” launched in response to an Iranian daily newspaper’s international cartoon contest focusing on the Holocaust, has announced a winner – a “fiddler on the roof” takeoff on September 11.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri, one of the nation’s top five, conceived the Holocaust-themed contest as a response to the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten’s solicitation of cartoons depicting Islam’s prophet Muhammad, which evoked a violent reaction around the Muslim world.
In February, Farid Mortazavi, Hamshahri’s graphics editor said the paper intended to turn the tables on the assertion offensive material can be published in the name of free speech.
“The Western papers printed these sacrilegious cartoons on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let’s see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons,” he said.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on the record denying the Holocaust ever occurred and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.
Hamshahri’s challenge to the Holocaust inspired Israelis Eyal Zusman, actor and playwright, and Amitai Sandy, graphic artist and publisher of Dimona Comix Publishing in Tel-Aviv, “to fight the fire with humor.”
“We had to do something,” Sandy told Spiegel, the German daily.
Rejecting their first option, jokes about mullahs, they fell back on the Jewish tradition of self-deprecation and created “the right response to a crazy campaign” – the “Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest.”
‘September 11’ – 1st place
“You should only poke fun at your own kind. We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” Sandy promised when the contest went online. “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”
And based on the entries from around the world, he might be right.
Top honors went to Aron Katz, 24, of Los Angeles, for “September 11,” showing the silhouette of a Jewish fiddler atop the Brooklyn Bridge while smoke pours out of the World Trade Center’s twin towers in the background. The piece spoofs the widely believed rumor in the Arab world that Israeli agents were responsible for the 9-11 attacks in the U.S. Katz donated a portion of his $600 in prize money to an Israeli charity that supports rights for Palestinians.
‘Studio 6’ – 2nd place
Second place “Studio 6,” a spoof of the claim made by some Holocaust revisionists that the real purpose of Auschwitz was to serve as a backdrop for a film, was submitted by Ilan Touri, 32, from Sydney, Australia.
About a third of the 150 cartoons submitted were disqualified for “poor quality” or because they made fun of Jesus or Muhammad. Most cartoons tackled various anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as the charge Jews use the blood of Christian or Muslim children to make matzos for Passover, or that Jews control the media.
‘The 11th Commandment’
Reaction from around the world has been mixed. “We don’t think this is the right way,” said a spokesman for the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. The Simon Wiesenthal Center dismissed the contest as “gallows humor.” Some Christian evangelicals who strongly support Israel asked, “How could Jews do something like this?”
One Iranian-American in Los Angeles wrote, “I’ve heard that the Jews want to takeover the world. I hope it happens soon.”
Sandy, who says he was “almost a little disappointed that nobody really got upset,” given all the Jewish clich?s spoofed by the cartoonists, defends the project as a “demonstration of strength and self confidence.”
“Before the others point their finger at us, we’ll do it ourselves and funnier,” he said. “We’re kosher anti-Semites.”
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