The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reacted with outrage Thursday to news of an “offensive” anti-Semitic cartoon being awarded an Iranian prize.
The controversial illustration pictures three religious Jews praying in front of a representation of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s most sacred site, with a label attached saying “New York Wall Street”.
The cartoon was declared the winner of Iran’s first annual “International Wall Street Downfall Cartoon Festival”, sponsored by Iranian media outlet Fars News. The winning illustrator from over 1,600 entries was announced as Mohammed Tabrizi, who was awarded a €5,000 cash prize for his offending work.
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman criticised the winning cartoon for “perverting” the most sacred Jewish values “into a shrine of greed”.
“Here is a trifecta of anti-Semitic notions – of Jews worshipping money, the canard that Jews ‘control’ (New York’s financial district) Wall Street, and a cynical perversion of the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism,” he declared, adding that “once again, Iran takes the prize for promoting anti-Semitism”.
The provocative contest’s judging panel included seven representatives from Iran, Turkey, Poland and Romania.
“This contest not only puts virulent anti-Semitism on a pedestal, but in posting the images online and involving judges from other countries, help promote classical anti-Semitic notions before a global audience of potentially millions”, Foxman concluded.
In 2006, the Iranian government notoriously sponsored a Holocaust cartoon contest in which the winning entries derided Jewish suffering and belittled the six million recorded Jewish deaths as a result of Nazi persecution.