Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

In Australia, Hipster Hitler Gets The Heave-Ho

Following complaints by outraged members of the Jewish community among others, Melbourne online retailer Red Bubble, which sells the work of many thousands of artists from around the world, has withdrawn from sale T-shirts by a New York-based art and clothing firm, Hipster Hitler, which bear slogans such as "Death Camp for Cutie," "Eastside Westside Genocide", "Back to the Fuhrer," and “Three Reichs And You’re Out.”

Notwithstanding claims that the shirts are intended to parody the Nazi dictator, many view them as mocking instead the victims of the Holocaust, trivialising their suffering, and pandering to neo-Nazis - a well-known Melbourne law firm reportedly described them as "pro-Hitler merchandise" - and moreover the shirts are said to be popular among white supremacist and antisemitic groups such as Stormfront. http://www.redbubble.com/people/hipsterhitler and http://www.stormfront.org/forum/search.php?searchid=10888218


"[M]y grandfather was the sole survivor of his family due to Hitler’s regime and I do not apologize for my disgust of this allowable and repugnant content," was a typical online reaction regarding the controversy that dragged on for a number of weeks before the decision to withdraw the items from sale was reached following overtures by the Melbourne Anti-Defamation Commission, whose president is quoted on the J-Wire news service as saying:
"It’s not a matter of free speech or censorship. It’s a matter of sensitivity and decency...
As a Jewish organisation we have a particular sensitivity to antisemitism and this led us to get in touch with RedBubble after a number of complaints about Hipster Hitler... RedBubble has shown commercial interests don’t have to lack values and sensitivity to human experience, just as the AFL [Australian Football League] has shown it won’t tolerate racism. Jewish Australians still experience antisemitic abuse from time to time, particularly when passions run high over the Middle East. We need to know all Victorians will stand up against hate."

9 comments:

  1. The Hipster Hitler webcomic is hilarious, and invariably mocks the Nazi dictator by giving him a arrogant and narcissistic Hipster persona whilst placing it in 1920-45 context.*

    However, it's a real concern that the T-Shirts (though admittedly I would never buy one) have been adopted by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists. This, I'm sure, was not the comic creators' intent or reflective of their own beliefs.

    PS: Great job on the blog, I check it daily.

    *Hipter Hitler refuses to invade Switzerland owing to the mountainous terrain being unsuitable for his fashionable fixed-gear bike.

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  2. Thanks very much for the additional, pertinent info - and the compliment!

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  3. My pleasure!

    I've read every single edition of the strip, and it categorically does not contain any anti-Semitic elements or demonization of the Jews in the repugnant Nazi style. There's the occasional Dick Dastardly-esque outburst of "the Jews want to rule the world", but this only serves to reinforce the absurdity of the central character's antics and unfounded paranoia.

    As a proud Zionist and supporter of the Jewish people worldwide, I honestly believe that we have nothing to fear from the strip, and only from people hijacking it for nefarious reasons. Much the same could be said of other media.

    Thanks again for your efforts!

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  4. Thanks again to you - must admit that I had never heard of the brand before all this!

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  5. The webcomic is one thing and has its problems.

    The tees are another thing and sold in isolation with Neo-Nazi slogans like "Back to the Führer" or "1941 - a race odyssey". It stains Redbubble's reputation to have ever sold such t-shirts.

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  6. That sounds like a fair assessment of the situation, Anon.

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  7. I have enjoyed reading your articles. It is well written. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort in writing the blog. I am appreciating your effort. .

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  8. Thanks, ilaya. I had to manually put on your comment because it had an unwanted link to Safety Equipment, so unfortunately the link to your profile is missing.

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  9. I don't understand Redbubble. It's okay for them to sell sexist shirts as humorous, but not the Hipster Hitler ones?

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