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« The Ever Disgraceful Mail and Guardian | Main | Recommended Reading Today »

August 21, 2005



I don't know, I actually kinda of like it. There have been many times that I've wanted to give the collective Palestinian people that exact gesture and leave them to their own devices.

Now being a concientious news/blog reader: It is a unilateral action to withdraw from Gaza, the Israeli people are getting nothing for this, except some really disturbing and heart-wrenching photos. Sharon seems to be manuvering himself into the most advantageous position to wait for the Palestinians to get their act together or to simply as the Jewish people have done all of history. wait.


Zapiro will never draw Sharon as a statesman.


One of the big ironies about Zapiro is that he'll never draw a cartoon criticising a Middle Eastern or Muslim leader or a hardcore dictatorship.

I think that tells a story in an unusual way though - by what he DOESN'T do. He knows that to do so would not achieve anything or appeal to the interests of his readers or help him to 'stir'. In a way he's admitting that he believes he can actually swing sentiment or appeal to/influence readers when it involves the Israel question. But when it involves someone like Iran developing nuclear warheads or Kim of North Korea causing a famine that kills 2 million of his own, or the Sudanese government committing genocide or the murderous civil war in Congo he won't comment because he knows he's powerless and that criticising those aspects doesn't appeal to readers.

To say Kim is a murderer is obvious and won't get many fired up. To say that a peace move is an 'up yours' does and is actually a psychological statement from him. One that says 'I believe I can contribute to making Israel to pull back from the West Bank (but I don't believe I can do anything about the mass human rights violations in Iran/NK/Sudan)'. It's the closest you'd ever get from him or others to saying 'Israel is not NK/Iran/Sudan/Congo'.

That, and you must realise, he does his cartooning to stir and is not exactly an intellectual or someone involved on the ground. It would make for a very dull and boring Zapiro if he was to tell a non-partisan story and that just wouldn't generate interest (in a sense he's a 'flame-warrior' - intentionally laying down 'flamebait' to draw venom). He wants to get people irritated and angry - it's not about being objective, that comes a poor second. Of course that does mean alienating a lot of people in the process but then he's a cartoonist - not a political negotiator in a tense situation.

Add to that, what I believe is a background aversion to a great many local religious Jews - being of Jewish descent himself (Jonathan Shapiro) - and how he uses his cartoons as a means to express these feelings. I rather believe he harbours dislike not so much for Israel per say, but a great deal of Jewish religion itself.

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