Monday, February 13, 2006

Why I think the Danish editor was wrong to want to publish the Holocaust cartoons

A few posts ago I promised to explain to a critic [see comments on Danish editor panders] why I think it was wrong of the Danish editor to want to publish the Iranian contest Holocaust cartoons.

Simply put: cartoons are a form of an editorial. The Muslim Prophet cartoons were published to say something about what is going on in the Muslim world.

What would be the point of publishing the Holocaust cartoons? If [with a big emphasis on the IF] they were being published to illustrate how these cartoons [the ones that have consistently been published in the Arab/Muslim world about Jews and about Israel] evoke a kind of cartoon which was familiar in the Third Reich, I would not be against that at all.

That would be an effort by the newspaper to educate its readers. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is what newspapers are supposed to do [as opposed to entertain readers].

But just to publish them to show that "we can be equal opportunity offenders" is misguided, silly, and smacks of pandering.

Obviously the powers that be at the Danish paper thought the same thing because they immediately pulled back from the offer.

4 comments:

Stuart Fields said...

Surely the cartoons were solicited in order to illustrate a point about self censorship?

Narukami said...

If the point of the various Cartoon Contests is to somehow prove that Western countries will (or will not) allow satire and insult of their sacred beliefs then someone should send these editors a DVD copy of Monty Python's Life Of Brian. It has it all: satire, insult, humor and some very smart writing. Oh and it even has Space Aliens with blasters too. Who could ask for more.

Zack Jalamani said...

A question to Professor Lipstadt:

Who is excatly responsible for what happened in the Holocaust?

Is it the Nazi Party and the SS alone?

Is it the German people as a whole?

Is it Europe as a whole?

Is it acquiescent America as well?

Please comment on who is exactly responsibel and why?

Thank you.

Zack Jalamani
Santa Clara, CA

Deborah Lipstadt said...

I find your question somewhat revealing. What does "who is responsible" have to do with denial, which is what this conversation is all about?

To give you a short answer: simply put first and foremost it was the Germans who designed, planned and carried out the murders.

However, they could not have done so without centuries of antisemitism to build on, without the assistance [passive and active] of their allies, Swiss banks, other countries which refused to act in a timely fashion [America among them] etc. etc.

But the prime responsibility goes back to the Germans, their leaders, and the 100,000s of people who played a role in this murder process.