Penn U Prez Criticizes Mr. Fish Cartoons – Update: Dwayne Booth Responds

From The Daily Pennsylvanian:

Interim Penn President Larry Jameson criticized recent political cartoons published by a lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication.

In a statement published on University social media Sunday night, Jameson said that the cartoons do not reflect his or the University’s views, describing them as “reprehensible, with antisemitic symbols, and incongruent with our efforts to fight hate.” The artwork facing scrutiny was made by cartoonist and freelance writer Dwayne Booth, who teaches courses at Penn on political cartooning.

© Mr. Fish/Dwayne Booth

Booth, who publishes cartoons under the name “Mr. Fish” on a personal website, currently teaches a communications course titled COMM 2920: “WARNING! Graphic Content: Political Cartoons, Comix, and the Uncensored Artist.” 

One of Booth’s cartoons, titled “The Anti-Semite,” depicts three individuals drinking blood — out of glasses labeled “Gaza” — in front of an Israeli and American flag. The cartoon appears to resemble the antisemitic Jewish trope of blood libel — which suggests that Jews use the blood of other groups for religious purposes.

Read the Daily Pennsylvanian story here.

On Feb 3, Booth posted a statement on his Instagram in response to recent scrutiny of his cartoons, which were first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative media outlet. He wrote that he considered it the role of an artist to provoke conversation and debate over “important cultural and political realities happening in the real world.”

February 6 Update:

Dwayne Booth has responded to the controversy:

9 thoughts on “Penn U Prez Criticizes Mr. Fish Cartoons – Update: Dwayne Booth Responds

    1. Actually, Nazism looks like imprisoning people in a ghetto, starving them, and murdering them.

  1. Yup. That’s an antisemitic cartoon alright. But “that’s antisemitic! I’m offended!” Is not an argument.

    Here’s my question? Who or what is the dove? Is your contention that Israel is the only thing preventing peace? What happens if, as you seem to wish, the Jews are gone? How long, do you suppose, that Iran and its proxies will tolerate the Holy Sites of the Prophet Yeshu being “defiled by crusaders?” Where will your dove be then?

    And when at last, O Beloved, when the land is at last liberated from the influence of the Crusaders, how long then until Iran, having no further use for its Sunni proxies, seeks to place the Land under Shi’a rule. Perhaps then, at last, your dove, roasted on a bed of rice, will grace the table of some emir.

  2. I’m not sure this is the right place for this discussion, but if it is, then let me say this. If being anti-Israel and being antisemitic are the same thing, then the cartoon is indeed antisemitic. But of course if being anti-Israel and being antisemitic are the same thing, then the label “antisemitic” loses its sting. And that’s because it is perfectly reasonable to criticize the actions of a nation.

    1. It’s not what’s happening here. What’s happening is people standing around drinking blood. Full. Stop. This is prima facie anti semitism in a way that could, frankly make Al Jazeera blush.

  3. I appreciate how D. D. Degg is being a diligent journalist with this post by following up to give us a fuller perspective.
    Mr. Fish is always controversial. Criticize me if you wish. But, having read and seen his work for years, I am confident and posit that he is not an anti-semite. He is an anti-israeli-nationalist. There is a huge difference. He is showing how too many chicken hawks in this world don’t want peace at all. Mr. Fish is making a single point here. I don’t have the time right now to review all his work. But, I’m certain he would not hesitate to make other points decrying the destruction and murder by Hamas.
    For decades I’ve been friends with a lot of Semites of various religious convictions from Palestine. They are kind, decent people who wish this centuries old blood feud would stop.

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