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Carlos Latuff

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Carlos Latuff
Latuff in 2012
Born (1968-11-30) 30 November 1968 (age 55)
Known forPolitical cartoons

Carlos Latuff (born 30 November 1968) is a Brazilian political cartoonist.[1] His work deals with themes such as anti-Western sentiment, anti-capitalism, and opposition to U.S. military intervention in foreign countries. He is best-known for his images depicting the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the Arab Spring.[2]

Latuff's cartoons comparing Israel to Nazi Germany[3] have been labelled as antisemitic by a number of advocacy organizations, which have criticized Latuff's work as attempting to trivialize the atrocities of the Holocaust.[4][5][6] Latuff has dismissed the charges as "a strategy for discrediting criticism of Israel" and stated that his drawings, particularly at the 2006 International Holocaust Cartoon Competition in Tehran, were to highlight similarities between the status of Jews in German-occupied Europe and the status of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories.[7]

Early life[edit]

Latuff was born in the São Cristóvão neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,[8] and is of Lebanese descent. He has stated that his "Arab roots" are what drive him to advocate for Arab causes, including the Palestinian cause.[1]


Latuff began as a cartoonist for leftist publications in Brazil. After watching a 1997 documentary about the Zapatistas in Mexico, he sent a couple of cartoons to them, and received a positive response. He has stated that after this experience, he decided to start a website and engage in "artistic activism". Graham Fowell, ex-chairman of the Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain, has compared his work to that of Banksy, the English-based graffiti artist.[2]

In 2011, Latuff was contacted by activists in Egypt. Latuff has stated that he was encouraged when he saw some of his cartoons depicted in the January 25 Egyptian protests, a couple of days after he made them. According to Reuters, this helped him become "a hero of the tumultuous Arab Spring with rapid-fire satirical sketches".[9]

Latuff has been arrested at least three times in Brazil for his cartoons about the Brazilian police, whom he has criticized for police brutality.[2]

Published works[edit]

Latuff's works have often been self-published on Indymedia websites and private blogs. He is a weekly cartoonist for The Globe Post[10] and some of his cartoons have been featured in magazines such as the Brazilian edition of Mad, Le Monde Diplomatique and the Mondoweiss website.[11][12] In addition, a few of his works were published on Arab websites and publications such as the Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance (JAMI) magazine, the Saudi magazine Character, the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar, among others.[13] Additionally, Latuff also contributes to several Middle Eastern newspapers, including Alquds Alarabi, Huna Sotak and the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project – IRDP.[14] In 2019 a selection of his cartoons was published in the book Drawing Attention to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Political Cartoons by Carlos Latuff. His work is also published on the Chinese Twitter account Valiant Panda heavily shared by Chinese: state affiliated media, government officials, and embassies.[15]


A large number of Latuff's cartoons are related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, an issue which assumed significance for the cartoonist after a visit to the region in the late 1990s. His cartoons are highly critical of Israel.[16]

Latuff has created a series of cartoons criticizing United States president George W. Bush, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and British prime minister Tony Blair, among other politicians.[17][18][19][20][21][22][non-primary source needed]

Latuff is critical of U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. He began to publish his work on the web from the earliest stages of the invasion. Latuff says, "war is not a video game, and technofetishism is not to be celebrated, but exposed."[23]

In his comic series Tales of Iraq War (Arabic: حكايات من حرب العراق) he portrays "Juba, the Baghdad sniper",[24][25][26] an Iraqi insurgency character claimed to have shot down several dozen US soldiers, as a "superhero".[27] He has also made a caricature of US President George W. Bush laughing over US casualties.[28][non-primary source needed]

Since the end of 2010, he has been engaged in producing cartoons about the Arab Spring in which he sided with the revolutionaries. After the victory of revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya his cartoons about these countries have focused on the menace of counter-revolution or Western interference. Some of his cartoons have been displayed in mass demonstrations in Arab countries.[9][29][30]

Allegations of antisemitism[edit]

Carlos Latuff's cartoon "Holocaust Remembrance Day". It was offered as material for teachers training on a website run by the Education Ministry of the Flemish Region in Belgium. It first appeared at a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran in 2009, according to Joods Actueel, who said it was removed shortly after their article was published.[31]

The profile gained by Latuff's cartoons has led to accusations of antisemitism. Adam Levick, a writer for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, alleged that the cartoons contained antisemitism and antisemitic motifs.[4] Ian Black of The Guardian opined in 2008 that Latuff was uninhibited in his utilization of "judeophobic stereotypes in the service of the anti-globalisation movement."[32]

In 2002 the Swiss-based Holocaust survivors' organization Aktion Kinder des Holocaust sued the Indymedia of Switzerland on the charge of antisemitism for publishing Latuff's cartoon titled We are all Palestinians series in their website, which depicted a Jewish boy in the Warsaw Ghetto saying: "I am Palestinian."[5][33][34] The criminal proceedings were suspended by Swiss court.[35][citation needed]

In their 2003 Annual Report, the Stephen Roth Institute compared Latuff's cartoons of Ariel Sharon to "the antisemitic caricatures of Philipp Rupprecht in Julius Streicher's Der Stürmer."[36] The SRI also complained over a cartoon showing Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara in a Palestinian keffiyeh.[37]

In December 2006, Latuff gained the joint-second prize for his cartoon comparing the West Bank barrier with the Nazi concentration camps at the Iranian International Holocaust Cartoon Competition showing an Arab male as an inmate.[6][38] Latuff's entry was described as "Holocaust inversion," a "motif" of antisemitism, by Manfred Gerstenfeld.[39]

Joel Kotek, a professor at Belgium's Free University of Brussels, in his book Cartoons and Extremism[40] calls Latuff "the contemporary Drumont of the internet."[16] Journalist Édouard Drumont was the founder of the Antisemitic League of France. Eddy Portnoy, in The Forward, reviewing the book in 2008, wrote that Latuff's material is "often terribly obnoxious... but it is a stretch to categorize his cartoons as antisemitic."[16]

British author Dave Rich has described Latuff's cartoons as regularly using antisemitic imagery. In 2015, the Middle East Monitor (MEMO) campaign group used one of Latuff's cartoons comparing Israel to Nazi Germany which also made use of a Jewish or Zionist octopus, an anti-semitic trope.[41]

Latuff's response[edit]

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff criticizing the flour massacre

Latuff, in an interview with the Jewish-American weekly newspaper The Forward in December 2008, responded to charges of antisemitism and the comparisons made between his cartoons and those published in Der Stürmer in Nazi Germany:[7]

My cartoons have no focus on the Jews or on Judaism. My focus is Israel as a political entity, as a government, their armed forces being a satellite of U.S. interests in the Middle East, and especially Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. It happens to be Israeli Jews that are the oppressors of Palestinians... My detractors say that the use of the Magen David in my Israel-related cartoons is irrefutable proof of antisemitism; however, it’s not my fault if Israel chose sacred religious motifs as national symbols, such as the Knesset Menorah or the Star of David in killing-machines like F-16 jets.

Latuff also stated that antisemitism is real, that antisemites like European neo-Nazis, "hijack" the Palestinian cause to bash Israel. However, to assert that anti-Zionism is antisemitic is, in his view, "a well-known tactic of intellectual dishonesty." He said that political cartoonists work by metaphors, and that similarities can be found between the IDF treatment of Palestinians and what Jews experienced under the Nazis. Such comparisons are not created by cartoonists, he said, but can be made by the viewer. He instanced the fact that a Holocaust survivor like Tommy Lapid reacted to the image of a Palestinian woman foraging in the rubble by thinking of his grandmother who was murdered in Auschwitz. The use of cartoons insulting Muslims by depicting Muhammad as a bomber is defended as "freedom of speech", while using the Holocaust in drawings is deplored as "hatred against the Jews".[7]

Latuff was included in Simon Wiesenthal Center's 2012 Top Ten Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic Slurs list being placed third[12][42] for depicting Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu squeezing votes out of a dead Arab child.[43] Latuff told Brazil's Opera Mundi newspaper that he considered the award "a joke worthy of a Woody Allen movie". He also said that Zionist lobbying groups try to associate him with well-known extremists and racists in order to disqualify his criticism of the Israeli government. He also said figures such as José Saramago, Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter were also accused of being antisemitic, saying that he was "in good company".[44]



  • Drawing attention to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Political Cartoons by Carlos Latuff, 2019, ISBN 9780993186646.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hosn, Dina Aboul (January 18, 2009). "Brazilian artist lives up to his promise". Gulf News. UAE. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Shenker, Jack (22 August 2011). "Carlos Latuff: The voice of Tripoli – live from Rio". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  3. ^ Simons, Andy (2019). Drawing Attention to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Hungry Eye Books. ISBN 9780993186646.
  4. ^ a b Levick, Adam (September 2, 2010). "Anti-Semitic Cartoons on Progressive Blogs". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved September 3, 2020. a staggering portfolio of political cartoons, many of which openly express anti-Semitic themes.
  5. ^ a b "Is this cartoon by Latuff, published at indymedia-switzerland, anti-Semitic? An analysis". Aktion Kinder des Holocaust. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Gerstenfeld, Manfred; Hansen, Hildegunn (February 1, 2007). "Ahmadinejad, Iran, and Holocaust Manipulation: Methods, Aims, and Reactions". Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Portnoy, Eddy; Latuff, Carlos (December 18, 2008). "Latuff: Cartoonist in Conversation". The Forward. Archived from the original on February 23, 2011.
  8. ^ Trigo, Luciano. "‘Imagens podem ser apropriadas por qualquer um’, diz Carlos Latuff." G1 (O Globo). 25 January 2013. Retrieved on June 18, 2014. "nascido no subúrbio carioca de São Cristóvão:" (Carioca means from Rio de Janeiro)
  9. ^ a b Grudgings, Stuart (29 August 2011). "Rio cartoonist inspires Arab rebellions from afar". Reuters.com. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  10. ^ Carlos Latuff Cartoons, retrieved 25 August 2017
  11. ^ Lumish, Michael (20 August 2019). "The anti-Zionist 'Dynamic Duo' and the Brazilian Toxic Cartoonist". Jewish Press. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b Marquardt-Bigman, Petra (December 30, 2012). "The SS-headache of Carlos Latuff". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  13. ^ Interview for JAMI magazine
    My cartoons in Saudi Arabia magazine
    Article about my art in the Lebanese newspaper "Al Akhbar"
    Cartoon reproduced in Iraqi magazine
  14. ^ Latuff, Carlos (2016). "Sur: International Journal on Human Rights". Sur: International Journal on Human Rights: 127–129.
  15. ^ Beijing Weaponizes Political Cartoons to Reach Western Audiences with Anti-U.S. Propaganda., 2023-11-22, retrieved 2023-11-22
  16. ^ a b c Portnoy, Eddy (18 December 2008). "Simple, Offensive and Out There". The Forward. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  17. ^ — Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin (1995-01-23). "The Cartoons of Carlos Latuff". Infoshop.org. Archived from the original on 2021-04-11. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  18. ^ [1] Archived June 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ [2] Archived June 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 June 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ Najjar, Orayb (2014). "The American media and the Iraq war at its tenth anniversary: Lessons for the coverage of future wars". International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies. 8: 15–34. doi:10.1386/ijcis.8.1.15_1.
  24. ^ Carlos Latuff (17 February 2007). "TALES OF IRAQ WAR by LATUFF". tales-of-iraq-war.blogspot.com.
  25. ^ Carlos Latuff (7 February 2007). "TALES OF IRAQ WAR by LATUFF". tales-of-iraq-war.blogspot.com.
  26. ^ Carlos Latuff (7 February 2007). "TALES OF IRAQ WAR by LATUFF". tales-of-iraq-war.blogspot.com.
  27. ^ "Interview with Carlos Latuff". Latuff2.deviantart.com. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  28. ^ http://www.infoshop.org/graphics/Latuff3/Anti-America/Laughs.gif.html[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Latuff's cartoon displayed in Tahrir Square". Twicsy.com. 1 August 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  30. ^ "Stop military tribunals". Arabawy.org. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  31. ^ "Belgian education ministry website publishes vicious cartoon". The Times of Israel. September 18, 2013.
  32. ^ Black, Ian (19 December 2008). "Cartoon symbols of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  33. ^ Alex Schärer: Linke und Antisemitismus: Der Indymedia-Streit – Aufpassen, was im Kübel landet, Die Wochenzeitung, April 4, 2002
  34. ^ Junge Welt: Ärger im Internet: Wegen antisemitischer Beiträge hat Indymedia Schweiz den Betrieb gestoppt, February 25, 2002
  35. ^ Hamadeh, Anis (August 2002). "Jewish peace activists and Israeli violence". Archived from the original on August 16, 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  36. ^ "General Analysis: Overview". Annual Report. Stephen Roth Institute. 2003. Archived from the original on October 25, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  37. ^ "Brazil 2003–2004". Country Reports. Stephen Roth Institute. 2003. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  38. ^ "Iranian minister lauds Holocaust contest". The Jerusalem Post. November 2, 2006. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  39. ^ Manfred Gerstenfeld: "Ahmadinejad, Iran, and Holocaust manipulation: methods, aims, and reactions", Scholars For Peace in the Middle East, February 1, 2007
  40. ^ Cartoons and Extremism: Israel and the Jews in Arab and Western Media By Joel Kotek Vallentine Mitchell, 201 pages
  41. ^ Rich, Dave (8 July 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism: questions to answer". Community Security Trust. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  42. ^ "2012 Top Ten Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic Slurs" (PDF). Simon Wiesenthal Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  43. ^ Liphshiz, Cnaan (4 January 2013). "Brazilian cartoonist hits back at Simon Wiesenthal Center". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  44. ^ Mattar, Marina. "Cartunista brasileiro está no ranking dos "dez mais antissemitas" do mundo" (in Portuguese). Opera Mundi. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  45. ^ "Ahmadinejad, Iran, and Holocaust Manipulation: Methods, Aims, and Reactions". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2012.

External links[edit]