A bitterer gelechter

This short century has already seen its fair share of cartoon controversy. Remember the 12 editorial sketches in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published in September, 2005?

February 20, 2019 21:23
A bitterer gelechter

An old cover of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm: A Fairy Story,’ first published in England in 1945. (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)


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When something was funny and yet not, my mother used to say in Yiddish, “A bitterer gelechter!” A bitter laugh. That’s the optimum response a political cartoonist aims to elicit – a wry, this-would-be-funny-if-it-weren’t-so-sad kind of smile. And the closer to the bone it cuts, the bitterer the gelechter.

On August 6, 2018, cartoonist Avi Katz took aim at MK Oren Hazan’s triumphant selfie, shot ecstatically moments after the controversial Nation-State Law was passed in the Knesset. Hazan, who had previously jumped out of an official welcoming line to snap a selfie with a bewildered President Donald Trump, was celebrating a law that, inter alia, declares “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it,” and downgrades Arabic as a national language.


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