The Forward lets cartoonist Eli Valley get away with a lot in his monthly comic, but the paper’s editor killed his latest contribution, which Gawker instead published yesterday afternoon. It’s got a lot of chutzpah: in its universe, Israelis are portrayed as chimpanzees whose lexicons are limited to “voonga!” and who pick fights with neighboring chimp tribes. The American Jews here are homo sapiens, but the young are taught by their elders that “chimpanzees are your more highly evolved brothers,” that “you should always consider whether your thoughts and words reflect well on the nation of chimpanzees,” and that “the neighboring tribe is chimpanzees who eat brains! Our chimpanzees don’t eat brains!” In the last panel, which takes place “several generations” in the future, American Jewish youth have become chimpanzees themselves.
“If you look at my comics outside the context of what they’re making fun of they might seem even more outrageous, but if you’re familiar with the Jewish community and what I’m making fun of, it’s actually not that great a leap,” Valley told Tablet. He declined to comment on why the Forward killed the comic; Forward editor-in-chief Jane Eisner said she had no time to speak because of the paper’s impending deadline. So, for now, the answer to why a Jewish newspaper refused to run a comic in which Israelis are depicted as non-brain-eating primates must remain a mystery.