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Conrad on the Mideast Conflict

January 30, 1988

We wish to express our outrage at cartoonist Paul Conrad's use of the Star of David in his continuing attacks on various aspects of Israel's policies and actions (Jan. 5). Even though Israel uses the Star of David as an emblem of the state, it is also and independently a religious symbol, identified with many Jewish houses of worship in this country and throughout the world. In addition, a recent cartoon showed a bearded, black coated figure standing on the back of a kneeling Arab, representing the Jewish people and/or Israel (Dec. 20). Such a portrayal is straight out of the vicious anti-Semitism of Nazi and Communist propaganda which was specifically designed to incite hostility and hatred toward Jews.

Conrad may claim that he is exercising a cartoonist's right to express objections to Israel's policies by using the symbol most closely associated with Israel in the public's mind. But he, and the Los Angeles Times, must recognize that what these cartoons do is to incite negative feelings not only towards Israel, as a state, but toward Jews as a group and as individuals.

RABBI GILBERT KOLLIN

President, Western States Region

Rabbinical Assembly

Los Angeles

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