Quds Day: Cartoon Edition

By Graeme Wood

At a stand just off Enqelab, near the center of the Quds Day rally, a very active desk gave away and sold postcards and memorabilia about the Palestinian cause, and about the perfidy of the Israelis. For about $1.50 I bought Holocaust, a book of illustrations by the Iranian political cartoonist Maziar Bijani, whose work the organizers sold proudly. I reproduce a few key images below. Think of it as an anti-Maus.

(This is an account of the Quds Day rally in Tehran. Click here for all parts of the series.)

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I post these because they are, for starters, fascinating clinical documents. They largely provide their own comment, so I will add only a few observations.

  • The United Nations and the West are mostly depicted as dupes, rather than conspirators.
  • The cartoons deny the Holocaust (see the Jews' numbers multiply after the Second World War), but they mostly decry its instrumentalization.
  • The cartoonist's acquaintance with anti-Semitic tropes is fairly sophisticated, and he knows something about history -- what Zyklon B is, for example. This is not casual anti-Semitism, used cynically as a convenient tool against Israel (though that would be bad enough). It is sincere, calculated Holocaust denial that would presumably be just as deeply believed by its creator if there were no Occupation at all.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2009/11/quds-day-cartoon-edition/29572/