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Arab Unity - Sabah al-Khair, June 12, 1986
Israel, by its very existence, is a threat to the goal of the Arab nation -
Wartime: Arab Unity - Ruz al-Yusuf, Egypt, June 5, 1967
The Zionist midget is about to be destroyed in the powerful arms of Egypt and
Syria. The destruction of Israel is a condition for Arab unity, but the dispute
still has regional character. This caricature was published the day the Six Day
War broke out, which may lend the caricature a kind of situational legitimacy,
since it serves the war effort.
Peacetime:Arab Unity - Al-Sha'ab, Egypt, May 30, 1989
The caricature accompanies an article calling for war against Israel, the
Zionist entity, as a precondition for Arab unity. In contrast to the message
conveyed in the caricature of 1967 entitled "Wartime" the message here is of a
worldwide conflict. Here, the target is not just Israel, but all Jews. The
Jewish fangs are aimed at all humanity, and the Arabs, under Egyptian leadership
(note the globe wearing a kaffiyeh) have the task of eliminating the scourge.
This is 11 years after Camp David.
Die Judenspeiss - wood engraving, Strassburg,
This picture is from an anti-Semitic leaflet
aimed at arousing contempt for Jewish
moneylenders. THe artist was fully aware of the
purpose of his engraving, which nevertheless
does not contain any distorted physical
reflection of the Jew or his family. In fact,
the mother shown rocking her child in the cradle
imparts human warmth and softness to the
libelous character of the basic message. Since
the Jews are shown at home, there is no need for
special identifying marks, such as the Jewish
badge which the artist has in fact foregone. One
sees an objective depiction of a typical room in
a home, rendered in faithful detail, without
malice. Yet what the engraving lacks is made up
for in the accompanying caption, which
reproaches the Jew for his devious ways. Such
integration of objective illustration and
venomous accompanying text is a common genre of
anti-Semitic art in the later Middle Ages.
Uradel by Aubrey Beardsley
With the discovery of the statue Venus de
Milo (1920) and its exhibition at the
Louvre, this Hellenistic masterpiece came to be
considered the incarnation of feminine beauty,
while admiration for classical Graeco-Roman
beauty in Europe reached unprecedented heights.
The proportions between the statue’s head, torso
and limbs were measured precisely and invoked as
the final word in human physical perfection.
An example of the Jew being
held up as the antithesis of such perfection is
Aubrey Beardsley’s Uradel. The black mass with
short legs, fat hands, head directly connected
to the torso, the crooked, bulbous nose,
intended to accentuate the ugliness of the
profile, are all a caricature of the ideal of
perfection. Beardsley, who took the mannerism of
late nineteenth century European decadence to
absurd limits, painted the antithesis to his own
style in Uradel.
Ariel Center for Policy Research / NATIV
Shaarei Tikva 44810, Israel
Arieh Stav, Editor-in-Chief
Leah Kochanowitz, Editor