The Anti-Defamation League has a post HERE regarding the anti-Jewish/racist comic book published by supporters of the anti-circumcision ballot initiative in San Francisco. (There is also a move to get it on the ballot in Santa Monica.) For background on the ballot initiative, check some of the major California newspaper sites. What I want to talk about is a comic book put out in support of this initiative that portrays Jews as vile monsters, like this: [click to enlarge]
To be clear, I am not claiming that all supporters of the anti-circumcision ballot are anti-Semitic, racist, or whatever. I am specifically addressing the comic book put out by a prominent supporter of the initiative. The publishers claim that the comic is pro-human rights and not anti-Jewish, but that seems a stretch when you have a blond superhero (called Foreskin Man) fighting grotesque Jewish characters that tap into the very old stereotype of depicting Jews as sub-human, bloodthirsty barbarians/vermin/creatures. When one recalls the European myths of Jews sacrificing Christian children for blood rituals, you've got some serious historical tropes at work. And of course, more recently we have the examples of the 1900s Elders of Zion crap and 1930s Nazi Germany propaganda. And look at the Jewish characters. How the hell could this not be offensive?
Here are some more panels from the first issue, which is apparently set in San Diego [facepalm + sigh]:
The Jewish characters are a combination of evil thugs or monsters. If you think I'm exaggerating about the monster part, the gang leader is named Monster Mohel:
In these comics, doctors and thugs tie up unwilling beautiful big-breasted mothers so they can circumcise their sons against their will (but with the father's permission), an act they anticipate with almost sexual/sadistic pleasure. Granted, one has to get past the ridiculousness of a hero called Foreskin Man whose costume has a uncircumcised phallus tip as a logo he wears on his chest. This is so ridiculous it's almost a parody that one would find in The Onion or a bad SNL skit. But all this ridiculousness aside, this is some vile stuff. I mean check out the eyes and dripping teeth of Monster Mohel:
When I saw the cover for issue 2, the thing that really jumped out at me was the fact that Foreskin Man is visibly holding an 8-ball in the very weird setting for a circumcision, a pool table (plus you get a good look at that logo):
So, if one is going to set a circumcision as taking place on a pool table, why out of all the things the superhero (who is able to fly through the air) would do be to pick up a pool ball? Weird, but okay, so maybe he does. Well, out of all fifteen pool balls, he just happens to pick up the 8-ball? Chance, coincidence? Given the fact that 88 serves as a dog whistle for Neo-Nazis (Neo-Nazi code for "Heil Hitler," derived from Heil Hitler = HH = 88, "H" being the eighth letter of the alphabet) is seems too much of a stretch to me. Comic book images in general and covers in particular are very deliberate, and this seems like a subtle little signal put out there for "the right people" to get.
Here's the panel after he hits "Monster Mohel" with the 8-ball. Notice how the hand is now claw-like. This is typical propaganda art that demonizes one's enemy as non-human, a monster. (Remember, it's not anti-Jewish!)
Apparently in Foreskin Man's world, circumcision is so bad that it is better to kidnap a child from his parents than to let them circumcise him.
...and apparently there are sexy hippie chicks (also with large breasts) that will raise kidnapped children "their way"; certainly with their foreskins but probably also raised to hate Jews as well. (For you San Diegans, the foreskin-loving hippies choose Ocean Beach near the pier for their meeting place, which considering the freak factor of OB, makes sense, doesn't it?)
Check out the kid: in all the illustrations the babies' faces are drawn to look like little men instead of newborns, and they react like very alert kids instead of little babies. Anyway, so while I might be off on the 8-ball symbolism, it seems rather clear that the work is clearly anti-Jewish, but really, this is so far off the WTF scale... I never dreamed I would write a blog post about [sigh] FORESKIN MAN.
In the linked story, the comic's creator hints at creating a different kind of story. I anticipate a subsequent edition with a Muslim storyline involving Foreskin Man to deflect charges of anti-Semitism. It will be interesting to see what happens to the ballot measure.
Final note; I obviously do not own the copyright to these images, which are made freely available on the Internet by the creators. I report them here in the spirit of criticism as permitted by copyright law.
UPDATE: Ah hell, there is a Foreskin Man card set too. Check out this SF Gate post HERE.