South Korean Comic Labeled Anti-Semitic
The international comics scene is always interesting to keep an eye on, with bizarre stories cropping up every now and again. In that vein comes the news that the U.S. State Department made a report criticizing a South Korean comic book for being anti-Semitic.
According to the report, which was later presented to Congress, the book is the American volume of the Far Country, Neighbor Country series, according to this story in the Chosun newspaper. The series is intended for South Korean children, and it gives brief histories in comic book form of various countries around the world.
In the article, the anti-Semitic passages are listed as explaining the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks being caused by Muslims who hate the United States because "Jews use money and public discussion as weapons to make WASPs do what they want."
Here’s a few panels:
The article continued:
The series, written by Rhie Won-bok, a professor at Duksung Women’s University, was designed to teach youngsters the history and culture of other countries in comic book format. The "best-selling" children’s book series sold more than 10 million Korean-language copies, according to the report.
The report cited two examples of anti-Semitism in the book. One comic strip shows a newspaper, a magazine, a television, and a radio, each with a Star of David, and is captioned, "In a word, American public debate belongs to the Jews, and it’s no exaggeration to say that [U.S. media] are the voices of the Jews."
Another strip shows a man climbing a hill and then facing a brick wall inscribed with a Star of David and a STOP sign. The caption reads, "The final obstacle [to success] is always a fortress called Jews."
The author later acknowledged his mistake and pledged to write "in a more responsible way," the report said. In March 2007, the book’s publisher agreed to pull the controversial book from stores, the report added.
Like I said, lots of strange stuff here. For instance, it strikes me as strange to see anti-Semitism appear somewhere like South Korea. Also, I had no idea that the State Department’s duties include keeping tabs on anti-Semitism.