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As the Islamic riots over the Danish cartoons raged, cartoonist Michel Kichka was in San Francisco, away from his drawing board. In response to the many emails he received asking for his opinion, he issued the following public letter over the Internet:
"Since the 'cartoon controversy' affair, I've been asked to express my point of view. I want to share it with you as a cartoonist and as a Jew.
"Cartoons are a wonderful communication tool. As a universal language, they have the power to bridge cultures and people. Condensing a whole comment into a single image is a very sophisticated art.
"Cartoons focus on the politically non-correctness of reality, showing the naked truth. Each cartoonist stands with his own agenda, based on his conscience, his roots, and his culture.
"The Jewish People has very terrible memories of anti-Semitic cartoons published in the Nazi press during the World War II. And not only in Germany! Today, the Internet has made cartoons even stronger than they used to be: every single cartoon gets and international audience within a few seconds.
"Cartoons can hurt. Sometimes badly. But words can kill.
Texts like Hitler's Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are the best-settlers in too many Muslim countries. Let us not make ourselves naive. In the heart of Islam outrage and Islam violent reactions, lays the clash of civilizations. I believe the moderates belong to the majority. But it's a silent majority.
"As cartoonists, our duty is to react freely. But our cartoons also generate reactions. Cartooning is not just a privilege and a duty. It is also a responsibility."
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