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Criticism of Conrad

May 12, 1988

I am a 16-year-old observant Jew, and like many my age, I am hurt by the situation in Israel. I try to understand both sides of the deadly argument, and I welcome any expression of opinion, regardless of what it may be. I was shocked to read letters from fellow Jews criticizing Conrad as vicious, anti-Semitic, biased against Israel, and destructive. Freedom of expression has been very important to Jews for hundreds--thousands--of years, and I am saddened to see that when Israel happens to be the victim of the pen, we forget our heritage. By the logic of the authors of these letters, Conrad should draw nothing that would offend any special-interest group--in short, he should draw nothing.

The job of a political cartoonist is to jab at what he or she perceives as an iniquity. I am indeed wounded, and I am ashamed at Israel's actions. Yet I do not call Conrad anti-Semitic. A political cartoon is a caricature, purposefully exaggerated. Conrad's cartoon clearly hit a raw nerve in some Jews, but their hypersensitive responses have hit me harder.

JONATHAN SHAWN

LANDRES

Santa Monica

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