February 23, 2018
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

Abraham Wonka and the Anti-Defamation Factory

In the current  controversy over the proposed Muslim Center near the World Trade Center site we seem to have slipped from condemning radical Islam to Islam in general. This, in spite of the immense sacrifices our troops are making in the cause of moderate Islam overseas. Now this proposed Center, the model of moderation, with Christians and Jews on its board, is being opposed for reasons that seem only to have a basis in feelings.  Or prejudice.  A leading voice against the Center is Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.  This organization, devoted to opposing bigotry, says in the NY Times, ““Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational,” he said. Referring to the loved ones of Sept. 11 victims, he said, “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.”

It is my observation that all groups with problems, including the German nation in the 1930’s, view themselves as victims. And so according to Mr. Foxman’s construction, all get a pass. So if we’re not so Anti-Defamation now, maybe we should change the name to the Occasional Defamation League. Because it’s okay now that we have the Golden Ticket.

BTW: After drawing Abe I opened the paper and there was an article about special animals. And I saw this blobfish. I know a person is not responsible for how beautiful he looks.  To a caricaturist Abe is a thing of beauty.  And now I see him everywhere:


  1. Uland says:

    Do you think the city council would have approved the same structure if it were to house a “Christian Identity” chapel? If not, we have to ask what distinctions are being made, by whom, and to what ends, when it comes to the mosque. I don’t think it’s a simple matter of bigotry, nor do I think it is irrational to oppose the construction of a mosque— any mosque, really. I don’t understand this conception of liberalism that has excised common public sentiment from a discourse about a structure that is meant to effect common public sentiment.

  2. Steve says:

    “Sentiment” should never impinge on anyone’s rights. That’s why we have laws, a Constitution. Sentiments and prejudice are kissin’ cousins. We are a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist etc. etc. nation. Keep religion out of the public square and in church. And give everyone the same rights to build their church. And when they break the law, nail ’em.

  3. Chip says:

    given that there appear to be no local land-use or other restrictions on the construction of the mosque, the government cannot, on the basis of religion or ideology, prevent the developers from proceeding. nonetheless, one does not have to blind oneself to the motives and sympathies of many of those behind “cordoba house.” and, as for foxman*, he is not wrong to say that if the goal of the developers were truly reconciliation, they would be well-advised to find another site. they have a right to build on the site near ground zero. the fact that they have determined to do so is a good indication that their objectives have nothing to do with reconciliation.

    *sb cannot help himself. having recognized what most kids realize by the time they leave middle school, i.e. people are not responsible for their appearance; beauty is about more than the way one’s nose or eyes are arranged, he dives to the bottom, well below the blob fish, to attack someone for his appearance. of all the people who have raised questions about the mosque, why does sb chose foxman to hound? is he the most outspoken? the most hateful? the most intolerant? the most unwilling to concede the right of the developers?

  4. Steve says:

    I don’t get you. How is the existence of a mosque reconciliation or not? Can it just be a judgment-free location of worship and religious study? I personally think all orthodoxy is suspect. But that’s my own take. So far we have a Constitution, unless it gets amended (and it seems vulnerable these days to people who call themselves “originalists”) worship is a complete freedom. If the Muslim Center is an outreach by New Yorkers to other New Yorkers it might be just the thing we need, by Muslims, Jews, Christian, Buddhists etc all over town. All over the country. And to the question of picking on Foxy. He needs to be nailed and bad. Not personally, but for what he represents: the healing of the world, stepping back from prejudice. He exhibits a 180 reversal of that and then justifies it with an argument that says you can be a bigot if you are a victim. How do you say hypocrisy in Hebrew? I just looked it up: צביעות

  5. Chip says:

    sb, a few points:
    1] the developers and other proponents of the project justified it on the basis of the purported effort at reconciliation. I did not produce the argument. and, as I said, while I think that there is ample reason to question the motives and sympathies of the developers and other proponents[and one should not be surprised if it becomes a forum for hateful, pro-sharia, anti-American agitation], they have a right to build the mosque.
    2] don’t look now sb, but your orthodoxy might be showing: it seems to be articulated by the constitution. this is not at all a bad orthodoxy, in fact, it seems to me one of the best, but it is an orthodoxy, nonetheless.
    3] Foxy does not need to be nailed. and, you, sb, made it personal, didn’t you? one cannot get much more personal than your depiction of Foxy, right? if you read, as I think that you must have, Foxman’s statements on the mosque issue, you must appreciate that his tone was moderate and he acknowledged the right of the developers to proceed with the project. he set forth his reasons for opposing the project but did not advocate, so far as I know, governmental action to stop it. you might disagree with him, but his position, as he articulated it, is not the product of hate or prejudice and it does not make him a hypocrite.

  6. Steve says:

    I appreciate the comment. To your points:
    1. Whatever they preach, they are entitled to their opinions. The model here is moderate Islam, the thing our soldiers are making huge sacrifices for. It is for institutions like this that we (you included) are spending their blood as well as $200 million a day in Afghanistan. You have a problem with that? I don’t hear anything. If you are worried about this Muslim Center, check the yellow pages, there are quite a few in Manhattan and the Greater NY area. Near children, homes, hospitals. Worried? You have your work cut out for you. As Joseph Welch said, do not rest. Do something before the sun comes up. Also check out the porn shops around Ground Zero. Got a problem with them? Get cracking.
    2. The Constitution is law here. It is not orthodoxy supporting the law of the land. That really doesn’t count as a belief system.
    3. Foxy did something worse than bomb throwing, he gave a calm, considered nod to bigotry. Read his statement again. This is the kind of reasoning (emotional non-reasoning) that we have laws to protect against.

  7. Steve says:

    This is an amazing test of what we are. Not getting an A. Alas.

  8. Lisa says:


    This post kicks ass. Thank you for voicing what many of us are feeling. Discrimination is discrimination. I’m a New Yorker, and I couldn’t give a rat’s ass where anyone builds a mosque, because Muslims are not responsible for 9/11. It seems that those Americans who oppose the plan just don’t want to call themselves bigots. What else is new?

  9. Steve says:

    Thanks Lisa. A rat’s ass? Let me work on that as a metaphor! Let’s all do the thing the haters hate. Tell the truth regularly. Drives them nuts!