NPR : Stealing Thunder from Satirists in the Mideast
I listened to part of Fresh Air today
A new tactic has emerged in the angry debate over cartoons depicting religious figures, as an Israeli artist launches a contest for the best anti-Semitic cartoon — drawn by a Jew. Amitai Sandy says the Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest is a response to an Iranian newspaper’s competition for cartoons on the Holocaust.
Sandy, who is also the publisher of Dimona Comix, describes the issue as a matter of pride. He insists that Jews can offer sharper, more offensive satire of themselves than anyone. After the contest’s deadline of March 5, 2006, the winners will be displayed in Tel Aviv.
As the interview wrapped up, Sandy explained that Jews already control the American humor industry with Seinfeld, the movie studios, etc. But with his Israeli accent and serious Israeli manner of speech, any irony was lost. And Gross gave no acknowledgement to the words he was using, simply thanked him for being with them. It was a sort of awkward moment, you kind of wonder, is he serious, or is he lacking in English vocablary where he didn’t mean to say that Jews control, but since the whole thing is about Jews making jokes against Jews (in this case for a larger political purpose), it’s obvious (intellectually, if not emotionally) what the real intention was. But the lack of reaction from the host just kind of left me feeling weird.
Perhaps if I heard the story from the beginning (available at the link above) I might have a different take on it. Did anyone else hear this? Did you notice this particular comment?