Thursday, January 25, 2007

Who Is Letting the Race Issue Out of the (Ink)Bottle?

The press is striking back at President Moshe Katzav and accusing him of seeking to manipulate the race issue by portraying himself as a poor Oriental Jew (he was born in Persia/Iran and grew up in a transit camp).

Here's the political cartoon in today's Ha'Aretz and you judge who is being discriminatory and racist?

There's a play on words here.

The text has the Dreyfus-like figure telling Katzav that "it's not Breasts' Island but Devils' Island" (the Hebrew word for devil or evil spirit is shed and shaidim in plural while the word for breast is shad or, in plural, shadayim). While the spelling appears similar, the pronunciation is not.

Now, besides the fact that the real name of the prison location for Dreyfus was Devil's Island and not Devils' Island, the cartoonist, Amos Biderman, a former religiously observant Jew, by the way, seeks to portray Katzav as an idiot or someone with so little knowledge that he would make such an elementary mistake.

Not to mention the basic legal principle that since he hasn't been tried, he's not guilty of anything and all the information the media is reporting is conjecture, if not wild accusations, or, at the very least, wishful thinking.

Katzav could, of course, be guilty. Clinton was and sneaked around. But Clinton had a long record of peccadillos (here and here and here) whereas this Katzav business just burst upon us, after Miss A attempted to blackmail him.

In any case, win or lose, his complaint upon being treated one way because of his background seems to hold water with this caricature as an example.

1 comment:

JusticeforShylock101 said...

This gave me an idea for a better cartoon. Pollard's sad because of broken promises and lies, and Dreyfus says "Yeah, I had to deal with this too."