A Cartoon Bigot

Holocaust denier working for ‘Occupy AIPAC’

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff
March 1, 2012
Latuff on AIPAC

The artist who took second place in the Iranian-backed International Holocaust Cartoon Competition is now making derogatory sketches for Occupy AIPAC, a far-left group that accuses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee of controlling U.S. foreign policy.

Carlos Latuff is the Holocaust-denying cartoonist who has attracted controversy for illustrating cartoons that portray the Israel Defense Force committing war crimes during the 2008 Gaza war.

In a 2010 article for the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs, Adam Levick highlighted Latuff’s work in a piece about anti-Semitic, propagandistic cartoons that had appeared on progressive websites. Wrote Levick:

Latuff is one of the more prolific anti-Semitic cartoonists on the web, with a staggering amount of work dedicated to advancing explicitly anti-Semitic political imagery. …

The use of such extreme and hateful cartoons by a site as radical and open to expressions of outright anti-Semitism as Indymedia is not unexpected. The site has even been criticized by the socialist Leftfor its defense of expressions of Holocaust denial. The use of such images by such "mainstream" sites as Daily Kos and MyDD is much more surprising, and may represent an ominous development within a significant segment of the progressive community. (One blogger at another mainstream Democratic blog, Democratic Underground, linked to the main Carlos Latuff site and said Latuff was a "radical" but "great"—a post that is still up at the site as of August 2010.)

The Occupy movement has been plagued by accusations of anti-Semitism. As Abe Greenwald noted in Commentary,

A quick sampling of the anti-Semitism on display among the Occupy Wall Street set yields the flamboyant and aggressive protester who yells, "You’re a bum, Jew" at his yarmulke-wearing interlocutor; the conspiracy theorist who laments that "Jewish money controls American politics," and warns the Russians not to let the Jews take over Russia too; and  the self-described Nazi with the swastika tattoo who regrets that America has been handed over to "other people." Ah, people power.

Alana Goodman, meanwhile, has pointed out that one of the founders of the Occupy movement, Adbusters’ Kalle Lasn, has a history of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories:

The main organizer behind the movement – Adbusters editor Kalle Lasn – has a history of anti-Jewish writing.

Back in 2004, he wrote a highly controversial Adbusters article entitled "Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?" which peddled some of the more feverish theories about American Jews, neoconservatism, and the Bush administration.

Update: Rae Abileah, a spokeswoman for Code Pink, which is organizing the Occupy AIPAC protest, claims "Latuff in no way is working for Occupy AIPAC.  He submitted some cartoons that were posted to our site because of their clear messaging about AIPAC and war on Iran.  We had no idea about his participation in an International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, and in fact before today I was unaware such a horrific competition ever existed.  This is problematic and we obviously condemn any Holocaust-denial.  May the memory of my relatives who perished in the Shoa be a blessing." She stood by her organization's criticism of AIPAC.