Delegitimizing Jews and Israel in Iran's International Holocaust Cartoon Contest

Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519, 2014. Delegitimizing Jews and Israel in Iran's International Holocaust Cartoon Contest. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 13 (2), pp. 167-189. ISSN 1472-5886

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In 2006, the Iranian government-aligned newspaper Hamshahri sponsored The International Holocaust Cartoon Contest. The stated aim of the contest was to denounce "Western hypocrisy on freedom of speech," and to challenge "Western hegemony" in relation to Holocaust knowledge. This government-backed initiative was a clear attempt to export the Iranian regime's anti-Zionist agenda. Using qualitative thematic analysis and Social Representations Theory, this article provides an in-depth qualitative analysis of the cartoons submitted to the contest in order to identify emerging social representations of Jews and Israel. Three superordinate themes are outlined: (i) "Constructing the 'Evil Jew' and 'Brutal Israel' as a Universal Threat;" (ii) "Denying the Holocaust and Affirming Palestinian Suffering;" (iii) "Constructing International Subservience to 'Nazi-Zionist' Ideology." Although the organizers of the International Holocaust Cartoon Contest claimed that their aims were anti-Zionist, this article elucidates the overtly anti-Semitic character of the contest and its cartoons. It is argued that the cartoons exhibit a distorted, one-sided version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and of Jewish history, and may therefore shape viewers' beliefs concerning Jews and Israel in fundamentally negative ways, with negative outcomes for intergroup relations and social harmony.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Modern Jewish Studies
Creators: Jaspal, R.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2014
Volume: 13
Number: 2
ISSN: 1472-5886
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 15 Apr 2020 11:35
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2020 11:35

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