The political cartoonist Pat Oliphant's cartoons rely on classic images: Democrat as donkey; Republican as elephant. Recently, however, he evoked a more distrurbing image—one more commonly associated with Nazi propaganda or anti-Semitic rants of extremist Islamist clerics, in his portrayal of Jews as dogs.
The February 13, 2004 edition of USA Today published as an advertisement a large editorial cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon controlling the US media, a cartoon closely mirroring anti-Israeli, anti-American illustrations common in the Middle Eastern press and even neo-Nazi publications. CAMERA contacted the newspaper and was promised that future ads will be more closely scrutinized and vetted.
In recent months, many Americans have been dismayed to see mainstream media outlets publishing cartoons with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic images reminiscent of Nazi-era propaganda. The latest such drawing is one by syndicated cartoonist Tony Auth of United Press Syndicate in which a Star of David fences off Palestinians. Not only is the message about the purpose and impact of the fence completely inaccurate, its use of a Jewish religious symbol to excoriate the Jewish state evokes anti-Semitic cartoons popular in Nazi Germany and in the Arab press.
Cartoonist Joe Sacco has made it a professional goal to champion the Palestinian cause, presenting their perspectives on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in easily-accessible, comic strip form to the American public. His longest work to date on this issue is a 9-issue comic book entitled "Palestine," originally published by Fantagraphics in 1993 and republished in book form in 2002 with an introduction by noted Palestinian polemicist Edward Said. Written after a 2-month backpacking stint in the Gaza Strip during the first Intifada, the comic book depicts Israeli interrogators, soldiers, and Jewish settlers brutalizing and harassing innocent Palestinians.
Tom Toles, successor to the legendary Herblock as Washington Post editorial page cartoonist, is known for his simple if not simplistic style; small, "cute" doll-like characters; and droll, topical punch lines often echoed by a miniature secondary drawing in the bottom right corner of his panel. But Toles's formula failed utterly in his Sunday, Dec. 15 effort, undermined by a false moral equivalence apparently based on either ignorance or tendentious disregard of fact.