Letters the Editor


In regards to The Koala Volume 58, Issue 2, page 7: I am Jewish. I hold no official position in the Jewish community or represent a Jewish organization.

The Koala’s character of a Jew is anti-Semitic and racist. The creature is disgraceful. Wearing a wide-rimmed hat with long, curly sideburns as if he is an Orthodox Jew inappropriately juxtaposes a great tradition. This juvenile part of the cartoon is little compared to the perversion of the Menorah and the Magen David (Star of David). Priests used the menorah in temple worship in ancient Israel. In modern times, it is common in synagogues and used in observance of Chanukah. Depicting this symbol as an instrument of violence shows a complete lack of respect of the Jewish people, and even if not intended, anti-Semitism.

The Star of David has taken several meanings and connotations in Judaism. During World War II and the Holocaust, Jews were forced to wear badges with the Star of David so that the Nazis could identify and isolate Jews from the rest of society. The Zionist movement adopted it in 1897; and now it is on the Israeli flag. The Star of David functions to simplify the image of the beast as Jewish because the symbol is commonly identifiable.

The cartoon depicts Jews as beast-like, and consequently subhuman. The fundamental element of racism is the belief that one human is less human than another is. I would like to believe that this is not the intention of The Koala.

I would like to believe that propaganda would stop by tapping my feet. But I am not in Kansas anymore, and I don’t have a pair of ruby slippers to get me out. What I do have is 4,000 years of history telling me that perversion of sacred symbols and racist cartoons depicting me as subhuman cannot be ignored.

— Joseph Sherman Villafane

Junior, Warren College,

ethnic studies major