I simply must share this e-mail with the members of Joshua's Army that I received over the holiday weekend from four of the entrants in Iran's `Holocaust cartoons' contest.
"To whom it may concern:
Having participated in the Irancartoon-Hamshari contest, we would like to affirm that we are not anti-semitic and do not agree with the way this contest is being used and manipulated by the Iranian government as a revisionist action, which purpose is to incite Israel and the US.
We are professional cartoonists and have participated in many other international cartoon contests. As artists, we are deeply concerned about various issues. The recent war in the Middle East is one of them. (the heavy attacks by Tsahal (Israel Defense Forces) in Palestine and Lebanon, and the response of the Hezbollah...)
When we participate in a cartoon contest we usually accept its rules. The organizers usually have a professional ethic (they do not change the rules), independence and they respect the ideas of the cartoonists. But unfortunately, we noticed that the Iranian Cartoon House used our trust for the Iranian government's benefit. The Iranian government states: "the Holocaust on Jews never existed". For us this is a historical fact and we want to make clear that we are against all kind of revisionism, antisemitism, racism or xenophobia. We do not at all deny that millions of Jews were horribly murdered by the Nazis.
As cartoonists, our aim is not to revise the historical record. That is the realm of historians. On the other hand we certainly do not deny our responsibility concerning the personal work we created relating to the contest initially titled "What is the Limit of Western Freedom of Expression?". We would like to insist on the fact that our intention was not to mock in a funny way the Holocaust. Our drawings are political and aim to arouse reflection in the people’s mind.
All of us are anti-war proponents, and most of us democratically support the "weakest and oppressed ones" and thus draw in their favor. That's why we supported the Palestinians and Lebanese in the war that Tsahal wages on them. This doesn't mean at all we are "revisionists".
We have not received any information from the Iranian Cartoon House telling us that the intention of this contest was to link the exhibition to a specific governmental action. We strongly protest against such decision without our knowledge.
The participating cartoonists
Ben Heine, Firuz Kutal, Marcin Bondarowicz , David Baldinger..."
Is this a joke? Whom do you think you're fooling?
I wonder, guys... did you actually LOOK at the images you drew? The images of the other contestants? Given the outright Holocaust denial and Jew hatred of the Iranian government, do you expect anyone to believe you didn't know what kind of use these drawings were going to be put to?
Own up. You wanted the recognition and the chance to win a few ill gotten dollars, and you weren't particular about who or what you had to crap on to do it.
During the Hitler years, there were artists like Thomas Mann and Marlene Dietrich who left rather than participate in Hitler's genocide , and then there were artists like Leni Riefenstahl, who made films for the Nazis, liked the money and the recognition and didn't particularly care what was happening to the Jews, Gypsys, Homosexuals or any of Hitler's other `undesireables'... it simply didn't concern them in the slightest. You belong in the second category.
And guess what? You claim not to be `anti-semitic' but almost every sentence you've written here reeks of racism and Jew hatred..just like your cartoons. `The heavy war waged by Israel and the Hezbollah response'? Like Hezbollah didn't start the war by attacking Israel and launch missiles at Israel's civilians? And Hezbollah and the Palestinians don't deliberately use civilians as human shields?
Hezbollah and Iran have an agenda of creating a second Holocaust. They make no secret about it.
By participating in this contest, you showed your support for that agenda, and participated in the demonization of a small, democratic country surrounded by genocidal enemies and outnumbered 100 to 1 by its enemies. So much for your claim of `democratically supporting the weakest and oppressed ones.'
Don't get me wrong, fellas. You have a right to draw these foul caricatures. But don't whine about how you're being `misrepresented', or claim to be representing the underdogs or expect anyone to believe that you're `not anti-semitic' when you ally yourself with people that want to murder every Jew in Israel.
And don't get upset when people see you for the racist, know-nothing prostitutes you are and react accordingly. When you wallow in that particular kind of filth, it's an insult to people's intelligence to expect them to believe that you really didn't expect to get all that dirty or smell quite so badly.
Buy the ticket,take the ride.
I went ahead and replied to the artists' e-mail with these sentiments. Should you care to do likewise they can be reached at the following e-mail addresses: