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Israeli Political Cartoonists on Cartooning Israel

In today’s global political climate, which has been called a tumultuous time, the role of the political cartoonist has become muddled. At its very core, a political cartoonist is someone whose work plays a crucial role in the political discourse of a free society.

Ann Telnaes, president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and a cartoonist for the Washington Post, has said that the “job of an editorial cartoonist is to expose the hypocrisies and abuses of power by the politicians and powerful institutions in society.”

But is this art a form of activism that ultimately seeks political or social change?

NoCamels (the leading news website covering breakthrough innovation from Israel for a global audience) looks at how political cartoonists, Jewish and gentile, portray Israel from the viewpoint of Israeli cartoonists. Among the cartoonist NoCamels talks to are Avi Katz,Amos Biderman,Michel Kichka, and Rutu Modan.

The problem, according to Katz, is that cartoonists are often pushed into a position where they have to defend their right to evaluate or even critique a political situation.

As an example, he brings up the controversial cartoon published in the global edition of the New York Times in April this year where Netanyahu is depicted as a dachshund wearing a Star of David collar and leading a blind, yarmulke-clad US President Donald Trump…

…The drawing “was not very smart,” Katz says, adding that it may have even been ignorant. But he doesn’t believe it was intended to be anti-Semitic as other organizations and individuals, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and Trump himself, have claimed.

An interesting discussion, read it here.



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