Shalom Life | August 07, 2015

Cartoonists use Satire to to Showcase Israel's Struggles

The Israeli Cartoon Project has animators using satire in order to highlight everyday difficulties of living in Israel

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: August 6th, 2015 in Culture » Art » News

Cartoonists use Satire to to Showcase Israel's Struggles

Photo by Guy Morad

Credit: Israel Cartoon Project


Many Israelis are tired of the constant criticism their country receives on the international stage - no matter what Israel does, the country is almost always perceived to be the aggressor, and seems to be held to a different standard than the rest of the international community. Furthermore, with political and argumentative defenses for Israeli actions rarely bringing about any change in attitude towards Israel, it is no wonder that Israelis are fed up with the classic method of "hasbara," or Israeli public advocacy.


Subtitle: A cartoon showing the way BDS abuses the suffering of the Palestinians while ignoring the positive work of the IDF

And so, out of frustration at the international community, The Israeli Cartoon Project was born. The project has Israeli cartoonists applying their creative gifts to making the Israeli experience more relatable to non-Israelis.


Subtitle: A cartoon of John Kerry, signing the Iranian Nuclear deal on the plunger of a bomb detonator

Asaf Finkelstein, a founder of the project, says that the project was initially spawned at the recent adoption of BDS by the British Student Union. Coupled with international anti-Israelism, easily visible in statements like those made by Orange CEO Stephane Richard, Finkelstein realized that a new approach to Israeli advocacy was necessary.


Subtitle: Final destination of Gaza Aid

"We realized that the people opposing us were much more numerous than we are," he told the Times of Israel. "We said: 'Hey, no one's listening to us anymore.'"


Subtitle: An edgy cartoon illustrating just exactly who supports the boycotting of the Jewish State.

"There's a huge amount of ignorance in the world about what goes on here," explained Israeli caricaturist Shay Charka, who was quick to jump to the call of Finkelstein for artists willing to draw these satirical cartoons. "It's very easy for people to 'buy' horrific images of us, while there are no buyers for our argument of 'listen, it's not that terrible.'"

Charka believes that the only way to fight the global boycotting campaign against Israel, which uses many horrific images taken out of context to garner support for its boycott, is by using images of his own.


Subtitle: Kim Jong Un falls asleep after realizing Iran is being given a similar deal to the one that would have prevented North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"A caricature grabs you immediately because of its humour. It works like a Trojan horse," Charka continued, "once you've smiled, you’ve opened up. And that’s when the message can trickle down, even if you didn’t mean for it to."

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