A group of Israeli artists have embarked on a mission to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Their weapon of choice? Caricatures.
The Israeli Cartoon Project (TICP) aims to promote Israel in a positive light and use humour and sarcasm to highlight the hypocrisy of the BDS movement.
TICP says it is doing this to help people who “encounter complex advocacy challenges in the face of global Anti-Israeli Campaigns, TICP was created as a result of the need for a creative new approach to those issues.”
“One of our main challenges is creating as much ‘buzz’ as the other side in light of the fact that we are heavily outnumbered. We strive to increase the reach of Israeli advocacy and its ability to captivate and engage different target audience groups, giving Israel a chance for a fair fight in that arena.”
The veteran caricaturist Yaacov Kirschen explains the strategy to YNet News: “Today people do not have time to read. Those who receive a caricature will look at it for a few seconds and will immediately get the message. If you use humor, the reader also laughs, and when someone laughs, he accepts the truth, then he is on my side. We are at war, and we have to fight. This is a caricature war.”
llustrator Vladik Sandler considers his participation in the project a true mission. “I listen to the international media and and am in shock at the falsifications about us,” he said. “Caricatures are a way to fight against it creatively. Caricatures attract people, and if it’s done in a smart and elegant way, you can create a new atmosphere that leads to dialogue.”
Yossi Klar, who runs the Facebook page, also believes in the power of illustration to bring about a change of consciousness: “One caricature can change the opinion of someone who does not know anything about the conflict. We strive to make them understand our right to live in our country without them trying to kill us.”
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