To the Editor:
I am writing in response to Jackie Mendez-Diez’s ill-informed, incendiary, and poorly reasoned letter in which she accuses me of employing anti-Semitic tropes in my cartoon, “The Shunning.” She wrote that I “may be Jewish,” and that the “cartoonist’s religious or cultural background is irrelevant.”
When you are accusing someone of being anti-Semitic, their religious and cultural background could not be more relevant. In fact, I am Jewish, although I’ve never been accused of being anti-Semitic before. I cannot imagine a more egregious affront to my character.
I would apply the same word she used to describe my cartoon — “disgusting” — to her accusation. She wrote that my cartoon constitutes “hate speech.” It is not hate speech. It is satire that is implicitly protected by the free expression clause of the First Amendment.
Mendez-Diez wrote that Dershowitz appears to “leer and physically menace an exaggeratedly young, pretty, helpless damsel-in-distress. This is a typical anti-Semitic portrayal of the menacing Jew threatening a pretty, blonde, young thing.”
Obviously — and not surprisingly — she doesn’t get the joke. Has she seen Stanley Kubrick’s film, “The Shining”? If not, I suggest she watch it immediately. My cartoon was inspired by the film’s famous poster.