Real-life nude cartoon character makes political debut

Shoshka is the brainchild of one of Israel's best-known cartoonists

November 6, 2017 16:55
2 minute read.
Shoshka, the costumed cartoon woman running for prime minister

Shoshka, the costumed cartoon woman running for prime minister. (photo credit: Lahav Harkov)

Anyone heading into the Knesset midday Monday witnessed an unusual site: A costumed buxom blonde woman traipsing around the traffic circle near the entrance to the legislature.

Even more unusual: She plans to run for prime minister.

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The real-life cartoon character danced around on the grass, and tried to climb up the Menorah statue at the center of the complex, hoisting a leg up.

She was not to be allowed to visit the legislature, since with her breasts and vagina in full view, she certainly did not fit the dress code.

“I haven’t had any plastic surgery - this is all real,” the cartoon character said, gesturing.

That seemingly cartoon-like woman is Shoshka.

Shoshka is the brainchild and alter-ego of artist Zeev Engelmayer, one of Israel’s best-known cartoonists. At first, she starred in his cartoons, but then, he created a Shoshka bodysuit and began walking around in character.

The 2016 Shoshka-themed exhibition “The Prom-Assed Land” was a massive success in Tel Aviv, winning Israeli exhibit of the year.

When Shoshka was set to appear in a Jerusalem Municipality-sponsored event, City Councilman Arye King resigned from the coalition over it.

After that taste of politics, now Shoshka wants to run for “Shosh Hamemshala,” she said, in a play of words on the Hebrew term for prime minister, rosh hamemshala.

Shoshka’s first campaign promise is the “free smiles law,” another play on words, as the word for “smile” is similar to the word for “education.” She also promised to abolish homework, to a group of schoolchildren passing by.

“I am going to hang flags all over Israel. I want to spread happiness. I want friendlier politics,” Shoshka said. “Our message is to get rid of the heaviness.”

According to Shoshka, Israelis take themselves too seriously. Her nudity is a message to “remove our prejudice and cliches, and just say ‘here I am.’”

As for foreign policy, Shoshka says she’s great at international relations, and has appeared to great acclaim in Berlin and Paris.

And she may be the key to peace with Iran, as she said a giggling group of veiled Iranian women vacationing in Paris took photographs with her this year.

“There’s something about happiness and fun, that shows it doesn’t matter where you come from,” Shoshka said. “We need this in our region.”

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