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Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2002 at 5:18 PM
Attacks against IMC and my cartoons are just a tiny example how strong the forces trying to prevent people from finding out about the massacre of Palestinian people imposed by Israeli state are.
CARTOONS AND PARANOIA
In one of the first email messages sent to me, Mr. Samuel Althof, spokesman for Swiss non-governmental organization Aktion Kinder des Holocaust, declares:
"You can not compare the holocaust with the politik of israel against palestinians as you do in your comic. This is antisemitic"
Following this way of thinking from Mr. Althof, we can blame on Art Spiegelman for anti-Semitism in his MAUS comic strip book, since he compares Nazis as cats, Poles as pigs and Jews as RATS! Since Nazi propagandists often portrayed Jews as rats in movies, we can say that Art Spiegelman is anti-Semitic.
I thought myself that such affirmation from Mr. Althof could be result of ignorance or ill-intention. However, check these extracts from AKdH statement published in their web site (http://www.akdh.ch/latuff2.htm):
"...Enough said about the heavy symbolism of the picture's antagonism between the "people", symbolized by a child, and the "black wall" (execution wall at Auschwitz?)..."
"...The only solution is a demolition of the wall and as the wall stands for Israel = Jewry, when all is said and done, the cartoon stands for the extermination of the Jewish people and the state of Israel."
My conclusion is that allegation of anti-Semitism from AKdH is, in the matter of fact, a classic case of paranoia. Dave Raymond in his "Holocaust Survivors" article at (http://allfreeessays.com/student/free/Holocaust_Survivors.shtml) says:
"Unquestionably being involved in the Holocaust caused many psychological effects forever changing the way the Jewish people view the world and themselves. They now have been scarred by the past and compare everything today to those scars"
Many are the individuals, governments and non-governmental organizations able to manage this anti-Semitism hysteria to gain political profits, as can be seen on Anti-Defamation League web site (http://www.adl.org). Mostly of these malicious allegations has as a goal to silence any criticism to Israel and its policy of occupation and opression towards Palestinians, trying to label them as agressors at all costs.
According Encyclopaedia Britannica, anti-Semitism is "hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group". In my Warsaw Ghetto cartoon, Jews from Holocaust are not hostilized or discriminated, on the contrary. They are seen as victims of opression as well as other people depicted in the 6 cartoons from "We are all Palestinians" series. Is it offensive a comparison between Jews and Palestinians? Are not Palestinians victims?
Legal charges against Independent Media Center Switzerland aroused some questions:
1 - How long will IMC Switzerland remains "independent"?
2 - Is it really possible to carry on a project of a TRUE independent media?
3 - How to fight external censorship against IMC?
4 - How to fight INTERNAL censorship?
5 - In what is based editorial criteria of IMC to "hidden" hatred posts?
6 - Is IMC able to determine what is criticism to Israel policy and what is anti-Semitism?
AKdH has won the first round. IMC Switzerland is offline, as well as freedom of speech. We can expect a "domino reaction" if nothing will be done. Reactionary forces has shown how they are organized and smart. What about us?
Censorship receipt is ready: Just localize a pro-Palestine post on any IMC, find three or five Israel supporters (it's not a hard job at all), ask to them to publish louder claimings of anti-Semitism and...PRESTO!
But now I will address a clear and straight message to AKdH and all those ill-characters who send me viruses and post offensive and obscene material with my name in many IMCs: I know you are pissed off. I know my artistic support to Palestinian people stroke you a nerve...and I LOVE IT! You can expect more and more cartoons from me in the future. You can shut down IMC Switzerland and even every IMC web site. You can also to shut down the whole Internet. No problem. I will make cartoons in ordinary paper, make copies and deliver it to people in the streets. And if you go try to silence me with one ore more bullets, it's ok as well. My art do not depends on me to live. I don't need to be alive for my cartoons run free around the world carry on the struggle of Palestinians. There are thousands of decent people reproducing and forwarding my Palestine related cartoons every minute, and none of your attacks will make any difference. And you know that.
That's why you are so angry. Your anger makes me sure I am in the right path. Thank you!
*Latuff is cartoonist
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