South Korean Comic Labeled Anti-Semitic

Van Jensen

Van Jensen is a former crime reporter turned comic book writer. In addition to ComicMix, he contributes to Publishers Weekly and Comic Book Resources. He lives in Atlanta, and his blog can be found at

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12 Responses

  1. John Tebbel says:

    "Also, I had no idea that the State Department's duties include keeping tabs on anti-Semitism."It's a new thing, see…for the whole report.Or to the point I quote from page 11:"In response to rising anti-Semitism worldwide, including in some of the strongest democracies, the U.S. Congress passed the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004. On October 16, 2004, President George W. Bush signed the legislation into law (Public Law 108-332)."The Act requires the U.S. Department of State to document and combat acts of anti-Semitism globally. To advance these goals, the Act mandated a one-time report on anti-Semitic acts, which the U.S. Department of State submitted to the U.S. Congress in January 2005."The Act also established within the U.S. Department of State an Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. On May 22, 2006, Gregg Rickman was sworn in by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the first Special Envoy."The document in question was released this month (Mar 08).

  2. John Tebbel says:

    Better headline: Anti-Semitic Comic Stopped

  3. Mike Gold says:

    That South Korea was the source of this attack should come as no surprise. Anti-Semitism (actually, anti-Jewism, as "anti-semitism" would incorporate all semitic cultures such as Arabs and Assyrians) has always been on the international Top 5 of Hate — be it in England, Russia, Japan, or any other nation with country clubs.

  4. Van Jensen says:

    John and Mike, thanks for the insights.

  5. Russ Rogers says:

    What other racial or ethnic groups have Special Envoys of the U.S. Department of State? Is there a Special Envoy for Native Americans, Italians, Poles, Latinos or Blacks? What about women? Is there a Special Envoy of the U.S. Department of State to Monitor and Combat Misogyny?If Jewish people are the only group that has a Special Envoy in the U.S. Department of State, is that because Anti-Jewish sentiment is more dangerous than hatred directed at other groups?

    • Anonymous says:

      "If Jewish people are the only group that has a Special Envoy in the U.S. Department of State, is that because Anti-Jewish sentiment is more dangerous than hatred directed at other groups?"In a way, yes — it's more dangerous simply because it's more prevelant, and therefore much more likely to be ignored. Racism is generally localized and targeted, i.e. specific groups are at war with other specific groups for specific reasons over a specific period of time. But anti-Semitism is so old and ingrained that it crosses nearly every geographic, cultural, and religious boundary. As Tom Leher said, "everyone hate the Jews."I agree that a similar report should be produced to combat misogyny, but because it would raise too many un-PC questions about "culture" and "religious expression," I doubt it will ever be done.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        I would have to see some kind of statistics before I accept as fact that Anti-Jewish sentiment is more prevalent, more likely to be ignored and thus it is more dangerous. There is a LOT of really stupid and dangerous racist and sexist and homophobic and xenophobic and phobaphobic crap in this world. And I don't think that we can just shuck off fighting misogyny as wishful thinking, too unrealistic to be achieved. Misogyny is a danger to us all and a harbinger of greater evil. If people can claim that denying women equal opportunities, in short equal rights is a form of cultural or religious expression, why can't people use the same excuses to hide their hatred of gays or Jews. Oh wait, they do!

        • Mike Gold says:

          I appreciate your points, Russ. My problem is, it doesn't matter if more people hate Jews or blacks or gays or women or Mexicans or Catholics or… well, you get the point. There's nothing to come out of "well, my atrocity is worse than yours" other than a sense of hopelessness and defeat.We have got to stop defining ourselves by the current trends in public discrimination and seek a more encompassing and global approach. That's why I've found the immigration debate disgusting.

    • Martha Thomases says:

      While I certainly don't know anything about how the Bush Administration runs their State Department, it may be that tracking anti-Semitism is related to the broader Middle East policy. In other words, by keeping track of this kind of hate speech, they can keep track of the so-called Islamo-fascists.(Note: Nothing in this comment should be interpreted to be in any way an endorsement of the Bush presidency, nor of the term "Islamo-fascist."

      • Russ Rogers says:

        You could be right. But South Korea is a LONG way from the Middle East. There is a Jewish Anti Defamation League. I wouldn't mind them coming forward to boycott or put some other kind of public pressure on the publishers of this comic to cancel publication. That's not censorship, that would be the free market at work. But this is a government agency working to quash ideas with governmental pressures. That makes me a bit uneasy. I wonder how the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund would view this case.

    • John Tebbel says:

      Perhaps you mis-read my comment. It cites a "special envoy to combat anti-semitism," not to represent this or that group. Anti-semitism is a danger to us all, and a harbinger of greater evil.It's dollars to donuts State has people looking at the rights of women around the world, as many of the enemies of democracy and an open society (needed to write and read comics) are very hard on women, too.These are ways to keep track of world events and trends that could be counter to American interests, interests shared by you and me, now or in the future. They try to keep up on a lot of varieties of this sort of thing. You've got to keep the d*vil way down in the hole. I invite you to click through to the linked report; it directly addresses some of your questions.

  6. Russ Rogers says:

    For more about this topic, see: