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March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
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Pity: 11 Non-Racist Iranian ‘Wall Street Downfall’ Festival Finalists Were Excellent


A good anti-Wall Street cartoon can't catch a break in Tehran.

A good anti-Wall Street cartoon can't catch a break in Tehran.

The First International Wall Street Downfall Cartoon Festival in Tehran, showcasing caricatures from different countries, awarded first prize to an entry depicting three religious Jews praying in front of a Western Wall that’s been transformed into a Wall Street bank.

The festival didn’t get much attention, because it’s July and most anti-Wall Street zealouts and anti-Semites are at the beach. But then the Anti-Defamation League found out about it and it was off to the races, as it well should be.

First, because the cartoon really is nasty, or as Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, put it: “Once again, Iran takes the prize for promoting anti-Semitism. The winning cartoon takes the most sacred site in Judaism and perverts it into a shrine of greed. It is offensive on so many levels.”

He’s right, although I don’t personally believe that anything should be verboten for satire, including, of course, the prophet Muhammad.

Mahmoud Mohammad Tabrizi from Iran won the top prize (5000 euro, a letter of appreciation and the festival’s statue), and Alexi Kostofsky from Ukraine and Farhad Rahim Qara-Maleki from Iran stood the second and the third (4000 euro, a letter of appreciation and the festival’s statue, and 3000 euro, a letter of appreciation and the festival’s statue, respectively).

The 4th to 10th winners each received 500 euro, a letter of appreciation and the festival’s statue. Meantime, all the 70 finalists were granted letters of appreciation.

It’s a crying shame, though, that the Fars news agency, the festival’s co-sponsor, and the judges, couldn’t get over their anti-Semitic impulses, because the rest of the works are fabulous. So I decided to let our readers take a look and appreciate some dirty commie cartoons, in addition to the Nazi one.

Because good art shouldn’t go unwatched…

The ADL reminds us that in 2006, the Iranian government sponsored a Holocaust cartoon contest in which the winning entries used Holocaust images to deride Israel. That one was way nastier.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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