Friday, June 3, 2011

'Grotesque Anti-Semitic Imagery' — Literature for Circumcision Ban in San Francisco Features 'Monster Mohel'

Here's the press release from the Anti-Defamation League: "ADL Says Anti-Circumcision Comic Book Offends With 'Grotesque' Anti-Semitic Imagery."

San Francisco Chronicle has the backgound: "Literature for SF's anti-circumcision measure stars "monster" rabbis and blonde superheroes."

And at Los Angeles Times, "Jewish activists call circumcision ban superhero anti-Semitic":
A ballot measure to ban circumcision in San Francisco has taken a strange twist with the publication, by the measure’s sponsors, of a comic book in which an anti-circumcision superhero -– blond, buff and handsome -– battles evil Jewish characters who recall the stereotypical images of classic anti-Semitism.

"Foreskin Man" was written and created by Matthew Hess, one of the leaders behind the initiative to ban circumcision, the ritual cutting of foreskin on a baby's penis that, in the Jewish religion, is considered central to the covenant between the Jewish people and God. Opponents consider it painful and barbaric, akin to female circumcision rites in Africa that have attracted international condemnation.

The measure will be on the ballot in San Francisco in November. Hess is with a San Diego group, MGM Bill, which is also seeking signatures to put a similar measure on the ballot in Santa Monica.
From the rather crude comment thread at Joe. My. God.:
A guy whose last name is Hess probably should think about immediate perceptions that his work might be antisemitic.

Also, Zombie at Pajamas, "Proof that S.F.’s circumcision ban Is anti-Semitic" (via Memeorandum). And Atlas Shrugs, "NAZI LEGISLATION FOR A "JUDENREIN" (JEWFREE) CALIFORNIA: BANNING JUDAISM," and Bookworm, "The circumcision ban on the San Francisco ballot is driven by blatant antisemitism."

I blogged previously on the proposed circumcision ban in Santa Monica. Reports at the time didn't raise the issue of anti-Semitism, but something's really off with these proposals. See the Jerusaleum Post, 'No to a ‘brit mila’ ban."