My buddy, Steve Greenberg has a new book out. called Fine-Tooning the Problem, available here from his web site. I asked Steve to send me a cartoon that caused him some trouble, and that’s his trouble making cartoon below, along with Steve’s comments. See Steve’s online archive here. E-mail Steve.
I definitely get grief when I do cartoons sympathetic to Israel, like the recent one about the endless rocket attacks on the town of Sderot, near the Gaza border. I got snarling diatribes about “U.S. sponsored terrorism” and massacres of civilians and even a brutal Arab cartoon of an Israeli soldier mowing down bottle-fed tots who were merely throwing paper airplanes. But those aren’t paper airplanes being hurled at Israel, they are rockets, and although crude, have killed and injured many people, destroyed buildings, and left civilian populations living in fear at all moments.
Hamas supporters are shooting 50 to 100 or more rockets at Israeli civilians, aiming indiscriminately, and doing so every day. The Israeli response has been to try to take out the attackers, which is a far cry from Hamas specifically targeting civilians, but the rocket launchers are deliberately mixed among civilian structures in Gaza. For Hamas, a non-response from Israel is a win, but a response that kills bystanders and generates sympathy is a win too.
I’ve done cartoons critical of Israel, which sometimes draws mild rebukes from Jewish readers. But do a cartoon sympathetic to Israel nowadays, and screaming vitiol and sometimes blatantly anti-Semitic remarks start coming in. The only comparable responses are from cartoons relating to abortion. –Steve Greenberg