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Tuesday, February 14 2006

Cartoon Fallout Down Under

At The Age of Melbourne, cartoonist Michael Leunig and editors are up in arms after a hoaxer submitted one of Leunig's drawings to Hamshahri, the Iranian newspaper holding a contest of Holocaust-related cartoons. The Age's editors rejected Leunig's cartoon in 2002. Leunig contacted Hamshahri, which removed the cartoon from its web site. The Age is considering legal action.


UPDATE 2/16: Free-lance writer Richard Cooke has apologized for submitting Leunig’s work to Hamshahri.



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The Age is bending over backwards to save Leunig's skin. He produced an antiSemitic cartoon last month in which he depicted a comatose Ariel Sharon ordering a strike on Sheik Yassin as "an old Palestinian man in a wheelchair" thereby conveniently airbrushing out of existence Yassin's role as a mass murderer and of his role in producing the racist Hamas Covenant which calls on Muslims to kill Jews everywhere.

Leunig was given op ed space then and again today in the Age to explain himself. In today's op ed he blames anti war elements on the hoax and doesn't even touch the subject of the foul antiSemitic content of his "artwork".

It's ironic that the cartoon upon which this latest hoax was predicated was itself based on an elaborate hoax by the Palestinian propaganda machine which falsely claimed that there had been a "massacre" in Jenin when Israeli troops entered the refugee camp to destroy facilities for suicide bomb making after terrorists murdered 30 Jews celebrating their Passover in Netanya in April 2002.

And despite the offensive nature of the cartoon with all of its noxious Holocaust imagery, Jews protested against it without resorting to the intimidation and violence we have seen from those who were offended by the Danish cartoons.

Mr Leunig has a record of hostile to Jews cartoons, he always claims that he actually is the voice of morality, now we all see who are his fans and whose morality he is representing. Picturing Jews as evil beings is funny but starring in the Iranian press is embarrassing, especially to one who thinks he is the torch of freedom and justice.

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