Cartoon on Sharon raises ire The Sun has finally...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 30, 2002

Cartoon on Sharon raises ire

The Sun has finally crossed the line. As one who has vehemently defended your newspaper in the past against those who call it a "liberal, biased rag," I cannot tolerate such disgusting contempt for Israeli life as was displayed by your publication of KAL's cartoon on March 28. The cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a snarling dog, frothing at the mouth as it refuses to obey the commands of Uncle Sam.

Have you no shame? Just hours after at least 20 Jews were murdered and 120 wounded as they celebrated Passover, The Sun somehow thought it appropriate to publish a comic depicting the leader of a nation in mourning as a rabid dog, a beast bent on devouring a scrawny, helpless Palestinian dog.

I invite all Sun readers to imagine the dog's nametag to read "Bush" instead of "Sharon" and to replace the Israeli flag with an American one. Would it have been proper to publish such a comic on Sept. 12, 2001? For most newspapers, certainly not. But then The Sun would have us think that Israelis are not victims when they are blown apart by Palestinian bombers, but rather vicious dogs to be exterminated for disobeying their "master" Uncle Sam.

As Jews across Baltimore read the line "In every generation they rise up against us to destroy us" as a part of their Passover seders, perhaps some will think of The Sun's despicable sense of timing.

Brett D. Rogers, Baltimore

We wish to enter our objection to the ill-timed and ugly representation of Israel as the mad dog. We realize that was supposed to be Ariel Sharon's face, but we are horrified that after the Passover massacre such a depiction should be drawn.

KAL probably drew it before the massacre, but it could have been withdrawn in time before publication. The United States is not trying to rein in an aggressive Israel, they are reining in a country that wants to stop terrorism just as we are doing in Afghanistan. KAL's feelings in this matter are pretty obvious. We are most disappointed in him, free speech or not.

Joy and Norman Shillman, Baltimore

The editorial cartoon March 28 was infuriating. I could not believe in light of Wednesday's massacre in Netanya and on the first day of Passover that The Sun would have the incredibly bad taste to print such a vulgar cartoon. My impulse was to terminate my subscription to the paper immediately.

Let me be clear. I have no argument with the paper's right to the opinion expressed in the drawing, however wrongheaded. My objection is to the horrendous timing of this. The insensitivity The Sun has shown to the Jewish community will not soon be forgotten.

David Kross, Columbia

The KAL cartoon of March 28 is as anti-Semitic as you can get. How can you in good conscience depict Mr. Sharon as the aggressor when Hamas avows to carry on its terrorist activities even when there is a possible chance for peace?

Samuel L. Ruddies, Baltimore

The KAL cartoon published March 28, which coincided with the Jewish holiday of Passover and the bombing of a hotel full of worshippers in which at least 20 were slaughtered, portrays an unreal picture of the situation and is insulting.

Because Israel is the only side that truly seeks peace and will listen to any reason, the United States does appeal to Prime Minister Sharon to do whatever possible to reduce the hostilities. Mr. Arafat does not want peace, despite his statements to the contrary. Israel has made real offers for peace and Mr. Arafat has responded with terrorist attacks on civilians.

I would expect nothing less than a full apology from The Sun.

Jack de Lowe Raanana, Israel

This cartoon is heinous, and so is The Sun for publishing it.

And what perfect timing for KAL's cartoon, during Passover. I can hardly wait to see what you have in store for Catholics during Easter. Shalom.

Victoria Harrison, Joppa

I am not Jewish, but I respect the Jewish religion as well as any others' right to practice their faith. I also support the state of Israel to defend its land and its people's right to live in peace surrounded by hostile Arab countries.

At this solemn and sacred season of Easter and Passover, I was sickened at the "cartoon" in today's Sun depicting Ariel Sharon as an attack dog on a leash with Uncle Sam attempting to restrain him from attacking Yasser Arafat.

I'm sure that KAL produces his so-called cartoons well in advance, but after Wednesday's carnage, which killed at least 20 people at their seder, he could have substituted another "cartoon."

Frank Fahey, Baltimore

Talk about pouring salt on an open wound! The Sun could not conceal its feelings of hate, stupidity and ignorance concerning the Middle East. To publish such a tasteless "cartoon" on the first day of Passover and after such horror.

I guess it doesn't matter what you say or do as long as you get attention and sell papers.

Adele Marcus, Reisterstown

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