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Rob Rogers makes the mistake of expressing an opinion on Israel and Gaza

Rob Rogers cartoon on Israel and Gaza

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers is taking some heat from Jewish groups around the US for a cartoon he drew depicting Gaza in a jail, surrounded by missiles and Israeli soldiers with one of the soldiers asking “Why do they hate us so much.”

Andrew Kidd, editorial page coordinator for The Oakland Press wraps up some of the complaints the paper has received over the cartoon. The following quote sums up many of the arguements:

(I?m) trying to understand why the Oakland Press on Aug. 7 would run such a one-sided, anti-Israel cartoon about this summer?s Hamas-provoked war on Israel, a war which we pray will soon conclude. Your readers are first distracted by the highly offensive imagery depicting Jews which is used in the illustration. Coming right out of the Nazi propaganda sheet Der Shturmer, cartoonist Rob Rogers draws the Israelis with big noses and ears, stubbly scalps and Nazi-type helmets. Our Detroit Jewish community is appalled by this display of anti-Semitism in an American newspaper. Looking beyond that, one then sees Israeli missiles aimed at Gazans when, in fact, it was Hamas which aimed its missiles at Israeli civilians. Israel?s response is to target the terrorists.

Israel and Gaza is such a volatile topic due to politics, religion and history that I don’t think a cartoonist could wade into the issue and NOT have someone angry at them.

Community Comments

#1 Paul Fell
August/11/2014
@ 8:15 am

You can’t win. If this guy had ever looked at any of Rob’s other cartoons, he would see that Rob draws ALL of his male characters this way.

It always seems to depend on whose ox is being gored.

#2 Ivan Camilli
August/11/2014
@ 9:45 am

These people who complain are just like the Muslims that complain about Mohamed cartoons. Hypocrites!

#3 Clay Jones
August/11/2014
@ 1:51 pm

I was going to make the same case as Paul about Rob’s drawings. I think when you complain about a cartoonist and accuse them of racism or anti-Semitism, you might want to look at that particular cartoonist’s history and body of work.

As for the Nazi like helment: Rob didn’t give them helmets on the Nazi style. But Israeli soldiers do wear helmets with that familiar shape, as do U.S. troops and many others throughout the world.

#4 Darrin Bell
August/11/2014
@ 4:03 pm

Those look like G.I. helmets, not NAZI helmets. “Stubbly scalp” is not, to my knowledge, an anti-semitic stereotype.

That said, there is something about the visuals a good editor should’ve caught: The ears and noses were bound to confuse the issue with readers, since you can’t really see the ears and noses on the Palestinians to compare the two. A good editor would’ve asked Rob to more clearly show a set of ears and a nose on one of the Palestinians, just to make sure his message wasn’t lost by the obvious, foreseeable reaction to those elements.

As for the content, it’s his opinion, and it’s beyond annoying when people conflate criticism of the actions of the state of Israel with “antisemitism.”

#5 arturo yepez
August/12/2014
@ 9:33 am

I think it is a great cartoon which depicts very well what’s happening there.

#6 Karsten Schley
August/16/2014
@ 1:11 pm

It’s a cartoon done by an editorial cartoonist. Personally, I don’t agree with it’s message but that just means that Mr Rogers did his job well – it brings a topic to the readers’ minds.

#7 Barry Hunau
August/17/2014
@ 9:59 am

I only criticism of the cartoon is that the missiles are pointed the wrong way.

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