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LATUFF'S ROOM
Likud Party Discovers Brazilian Artist Latuff
Anis Hamadeh, September 11, 2006

The Israeli Likud Party recently discovered the Brazilian image-maker Latuff. There is a text dating from September 5, 2006 in Hebrew together with 13 images displayed at www.likudnik.co.il/Front/NewsNet/reports.asp?reportId=171273. Here is an English translation of the article, followed by a commentary and the 13 cartoons. The emphasis in bold letters is added:1

Carlos Latuff - He has a reference in Wikipedia; at Google you can find 8 pages about him. But what does the Foreign Affairs Ministry know about him? The Mossad? The Committee of Foreign Affairs and Security? The Israeli Army? Any other element that deals with Israel's security?
Carlos Latuff - an Arabic family name. Born in Rio de Janeiro, 36 years old. On his homepage he is photographed with Leila Khaled, the terrorist who hijacked an Israeli airplane. He is one of the biggest Israel-haters.
He is the headmaster of one of the biggest factories for propaganda and incitements against Israel, he distributes poison in every place.
The damage he's doing to Israel amongst youth around the world is enormous. He is one of the most influential Anti-Zionists in the world wide web, an awesome graphic talent, and a great cartoonist. He knows how to influence and use the internet. He is a top player in the Iranian evil industry, and his cartoons participate in the holocaust denial gallery in Teheran.
He hates America & Israel, his cartoons show Israelis and their rulers as demons. He sends missiles of hatred no less powerful than the missiles that Iran is developing, and he takes part in a gigantic genocide industry, with one goal - the destroying of the Jewish state.
In an impressive video movie, in clear English, he's trying to unite all those who hate Israel. In a movie distributed in the net he asks them to be active and to participate in the struggle on the information front - to write stories & poems, to talkback, to blog, send photos, to participate in meetings and demos, to be active and to unite.
His satanic cartoons are published in the world journals, and in endless number of websites. He does not ask for copyrights and he urges people to use them freely.
And what is Israel doing? Nothing!!!
Did they complain to the Brazilian embassy?
Think what would happen to an Israeli citizen that was exposing the leaders of Brazil in this way. Did anybody try to charge him with incitement and attempted murder? Did anybody hear about him at all ??
This is the WMD that Prof. Harari, the ex-headmaster of Weitman institute lectured about in the last Hertzlia convention. This is the danger Prof. Yoav Gelbar is warning in his publicity work. That what brings the heads of the Jewish Congress to Israel this week.
The Israeli carelessness on the information front is not acceptable and can't go on. This Carlos should have been "taken care of" a long time ago, in some way or another. The question is: what should we do, and whose responsibility is it to do so?
I call you all to be active. There is no one institute that can challenge this kind of genocidal war. Not the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nor the Ministry of Defense, or even any other ministry. We have to unite, as Carlos suggested, and act together.
We are witnessing a systematic & basic way of giving legitimacy to hit the "Zionist demon". Carlos Latuff excels at this kind of propaganda. The problem will be solved - the "final solution" - by the Iranian President, who enjoys those drawings & cartoons, Nazi Germany, Holocaust denial, Hizbullah & its rockets. This is the reason he needs those atomic plants, he needs them to kill all those disgusting creatures that Latuff is drawing, and then the world will be a better place. There were others that tried it before, remember?
Goebbels was the propaganda minister of the 3rd Reich and made propaganda a powerful weapon for the Nazi regime. His basic assumption was that a lie said enough times became truth in the consciousness of people. Now we know that Hitler wrote his books and then manifested them in the Holocaust. The things that are said against Israel in internet forums & visual elements are copies of the Nazi propaganda. This is an ideology of genocide that has proven its power in the past."
It is an interesting phenomenon how the Likud - whoever wrote it - reacts on Latuff's pictures. Here is what Latuff replies in an authorized quote: "Of course, we can expect anything from IsraHell. If they can carry on 'selective killings' of Palestinians, and carpet Beirut with tons of bombs murdering hundreds of civilians, what is the big deal about 'neutralizing' one cartoonist in Brazil? Death threats, cheap attempts to terrorize me, however, will not prevent me from supporting Palestinians in their struggle against brutal Israeli occupation. The most that Likud creeps can do is silence me with a bullet, but they will never be able to silence my art."

In the text above, Latuff obviously is compared with "the Nazis". Not only that, he is reproached with "attempted murder" and a genocidal "final solution". Therefore, the text is suggesting in a threatening way, Latuff should be "taken care of, in some way or another". It is remarkable how the Nazi evil is projected onto this artist. Latuff is seen here as a destroyer, not as a critic. He is demonized in that his cartoons are called "satanic". He is viewed as a "top player in the Iranian evil industry". Yet, Latuff did not kill any people, but Likud killed many.

It is only natural that the Likud party is not especially fond of Latuff. The Brazilian does exhibit provocative items. The ones chosen by Likud are not even the most provocative ones by far. I have seen others... On the pages I created here on Anis Online I have not shown them all. Some of the pictures I did not like, they went too far for my measures. But I did not hold this against Latuff, because it is his right to freely express himself and to freely develop. Furthermore, there is the famous "Forgiveness" series which is a completely different side of the artist. No Nazi could have done it...

It is a funny detail that in the Likud article about Latuff there is the suggestion to complain to the Brazilian embassy. The idea behind it is that governments should control their artists, a kind of Middle Ages notion of art. (Will they call for attacking Brazil next?) Obviously, the writers of the article above are completely helpless, on the one hand, and fully unaware of the fact that Latuff's images are reactions on Israel's massive crimes, on the other. This blindness unfortunately is encouraged and affirmed by Israel's friends, like the USA or Germany. They don't intervene, so Israel does not realize that its measures towards Arabs have from the beginning been racist and brutal. Our mainstream media is presenting us a lie every day. There are much more people around in this world who actually do not accept Israel's standpoint. They are millions, if not billions. They cannot all be killed, you see. They know about the security arguments and terrorism and all that, but they also know about the occupation and destruction of the land of Canaan and thus regard Israel's actions as selfish and arrogant. And they do not accept this bloodshed with the Hitler and the anti-Semitism argument. Therefore there is a huge global opposition against the official Israel. It is repressed to an extend in many countries, but it can never be stopped as long as Israel does not stop its delusive war against "evil". In this way, Latuff is right when he says they will never be able to silence his art.

Let's see the pictures now that Likud was friendly enough to give a wide publication on the mentioned page. (In full size on the page mentioned above.) Maybe they did it because of his artistic abilities. Keep in mind the Likud plaudit: "An awesome graphic talent, and a great cartoonist":

1. Here we see a Mr. Olmert who lets bombs fall down on Lebanon and Palestine. The text says: "Collective Punishment, Trademark of Israel". Now, where is the scandal? Is it the criticism of collective punishment, or is it collective punishment?

2. The soldiers/butchers in this cartoon say: "Israel Occupation forces are entering Gaza... Since there's no longer Israeli settlements there, Gaza is now free fire zone!" Now, what is to be criticized? Is it the mapping of Israeli slaughtering, or is it Israeli slaughtering?

3. A Lebanese child set on fire by an Israeli gasoline can. One must keep in mind that the Likud (and the other parties) also opposed international media when it did not follow the official Israeli propaganda and when it gave too much attention to the killed Lebanese civilians. There were far more than a thousand Lebanese people killed (for the alleged reason that two Israeli soldiers were captured on probably Lebanese soil)

4. Worried Palestinian behind the Israeli wall, dressed as a detainee with a red badge for "Palestinian" on his shirt, and a number. There is a clear reference to actual situations here. Israel built a wall on Palestinian land (!) and locks the Palestinians away. It is a disgraceful wall and most people in the world hate it. Small wonder that cartoonists take this subject. Comparison with Nazis? Yes, here Israelis are compared with Nazis. There is a clear reference to actual situations.

5. An Israeli soldier who is angry that the UN demands a truce. He had just shot a big hole into Lebanon with a US weapon and missed the small apple on the head of the Hezbollah man who is standing in front of Lebanon, symbolized with the flag.

6. A satirical picture showing Mr. Olmert on "The IsraHell War Crimes Channel". He says: "Unfortunately we had to stop the rain of bombing over Lebanon, but weather in Gaza still the same".

7. A girl watering a small tree which is growing out of a big dead cedar tree, still smoking, a symbol for Lebanon. (Why did the Likud pick even this one?)

8. Under US applause, an Israeli soldier presents a bomb to the Lebanese people "From Israel with Love". The West is looking away and the UN is stifled. The subtext says: "In loving memory of the children of the Lebanese village of Qana, murdered in an Israeli attack on 30 July, 2006". The soldier is portrayed in an ugly way to indicate that his action is ugly. It is not fiction, the Israelis did, in fact, commit the Qana and many other crimes recently in Lebanon.

9. Mr. Olmert speaking in front of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), saying "We want full-scale war" and "Gaza, Beirut, Damascus, Teheran". He is barefoot, kind of kneeling on the desk, the mouth dripping foam, and dressed in a white lunetic's jacket so that he cannot move his arms He is laughing insanely. The scene refers to the prevailing delusion in Israel's politicians who think they are allowed to kill everybody who they don't like. A great part of the world thinks of Israeli politicians that way.

10. Condoleeza Rice here, in a corn flakes parody, saying: "Burning flesh smells so good." Out of the box of war crimes fall bombs, they fall onto Beirut and Gaza. This refers to US aid to the killing in Lebanon and the whole marketing of the war, where the publics are fooled by media and politicians.

11. An Israeli plane sending bombs to the shore of Lebanon, about to kill a boy.

12. The text says: "Israel began a fifth day of bombardments as part of an operation that followed Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers. More than 80 Lebanese were killed, including women and children." - One of the soldiers says: "I heard that in 1942 the Nazis massacred civilians in Lidice as revenge for the death of a Nazi officer." - The other one answers: "Yes! The good ol' Nazis taught us a lot..." - I personally don't like that too much. Still, it refers to real situations. I wrote about the phenomenon elsewhere and don't want to get in on Nazi comparisons now.

13. Text TV: "Israeli troops and tanks moved into Southern Gaza and arrest Palestinian minister." - USA says: "Israel has a right to defend itself from the Palestinians." - Tied-up UN says: "But who will defend the Palestinians from Israel?"
All in all, Latuff can be happy to receive so much attention and laud from the Likud. Too bad that those people do not have the means to deal with a guy like Latuff. They only have oppressive means at their disposal. And this is exactly what the Likud text proves: every criticism is connected to Hitler in one way or another, beyond all limits of reason. The Likud words about Latuff are no rational words, they are traumatic words. They have nothing to do with Latuff.

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Footnote
1: It is not possible for me to check the validity of this translation. It came to me in an email. If there are mistakes in it, please tell me, so I can correct them. (back)
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