Reenvisioning Israel through Political Cartoons: Visual Discourses During the 2018–2021 Electoral Crisis examines the ways in which the work of Israeli political cartoonists broadens conversations about contemporary challenges in the country. Matt Reingold shows how 21 cartoonists across 10 different Israeli newspapers produced cartoons in response to the country’s social and political crises between December 2018–June 2021, a period where the country was mired in four national elections. Each chapter is structured around an issue that emerged during this period, with examples drawn from multiple cartoonists. This allows for fertile cross-cartoonist discussion and analysis, offering an opportunity to understand the different ways that an issue affects national discourse and what commentaries have been offered about it. By focusing on this difficult period in contemporary Israeli society, the volume highlights the ways that artists have responded to these national challenges and how they have fashioned creative reimaginings of their country.
Matt Reingold holds a PhD in Jewish education and teaches Jewish history and Jewish thought at TanenbaumCHAT, a community Jewish high school.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Srulik, Ice Cream, Pickles, and Campaign Slogans: Parsing Uniquely Israeli Visual Symbols
Chapter Two: Cartooning from the Right: Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel Hayom
Chapter Three: Deconstructing Homophobes and Envisioning an Inclusive Society: Israeli LGBTQ Cartoons
Chapter Four: Skewering the Other: Caricatures Produced by Ultra-Orthodox haredim and Secular Israelis
Chapter Five: Cartooning in Support of Victims of Sexual Violence: Responding to Ayia Napa
Chapter Six: Corona Exegesis: Celebrating Jewish Holidays During a Pandemic
Thoughtfully focusing on a particularly tempestuous period of instability and political uncertainty, Reingold’s incisive study brilliantly illuminates a vibrant selection of bold artistic responses to many of the cultural, political and religious contradictions and controversies seething within Israel’s complex society and fragile democracy. A lively and insightful exploration of the provocations and risks taken by political cartoonists that rewards readers with gripping visual exemplars and compelling analysis. This superb book sets a high standard, an invaluable resource for scholars of contemporary Israeli society and political cartoons alike.
Reingold’s timely study of recent Israeli political cartoons is searching and compelling. Addressing challenging subjects with sharp insight, he fleshes out the complexities of Israeli society. He demonstrates how Israel's political cartoonists operate as editorialists, bravely commenting on their own country and calling for political and cultural change. His work expands our understanding of Israel during a period of tumultuous politics and of the nature of political cartooning as a distinct field of visual media.