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The hater in the sky / By Eli Valley

Eli Valley, Artist in Residence at The Jewish Daily Forward, is a writer and artist whose work has been published in New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Gawker, Saveur, Haaretz and elsewhere. Eli is currently finishing his first novel. His website is www.EVComics.com and he tweets at @elivalley.

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    1. Anonymous


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    2. Charles

      I subscribe to the Forward because of Eli Valley. Note to editors: not sure I like the absence of links to the Forward….

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    3. Jeff

      Yeah, that sounds about right. When he disagrees with them about Israel, he’s a racist Kenyan Muslim socialist antisemite. When he agrees with them, “He doesn’t really mean it!” There’s no winning.

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    4. Natan Brill

      Great satire. However, just one question to the editors: Just a few weeks ago you ran a number of articles explaining how use of the rape motif was totally beyond the pale, why is this case different?

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    5. @NATAN BRILL op-eds present the views of their authors (as long as they are within our guidelines and editorial policies). The link you have posted is a comment by Solidarity movement that was passed to +972.

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    6. @Noam Sheizaf

      I posted that link because it provides an overview and links to the actual articles. It also, however, show that you accept as an outlet some editorial responsibility. This is especially salient when the author of an op-ed is “anonymous”.

      Therefore, I believe it’s a legitimate question to ask whether you consider the rape motif legitimate in political communications or not.

      Please explain the differences between this case and the one previously slammed on 972.

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    7. Natan Brill

      Oh and BTW, are part of your editorial policies suspension of commenting rights once uncomfortable questions are asked?

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    8. Natan Brill

      My question, again, in the hope you don’t censor it: Is the rape motif acceptable within the editorial guidelines of 972? Would you have run the poster linked to above? If not, what’s the difference?

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    9. Natan Brill

      Sorry about the censorship comments. I realize it was my mistake.

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    10. @NATAN BRILL we don’t censor questions. we have a small stuff, and moderation of comments sometimes takes time. if everything was automatically posted, you wouldn’t have believed the amount of hate-talk that was going on.

      to the point: the post you referred to was by “anonymous” due to the discussion of a sexual harassment the author experienced. naturally, we know the identity of the author. That post reflected the position of its (anonymous) author. The satire above is based on the views of a different author. I find both legitimate, that’s all. As for our editorial policy, you can find it on the first paragraph of the About page:

      We are committed to human rights and freedom of information, and we oppose the occupation.

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    11. Natan Brill

      (1) Since the author was anonymous, could you please refer the question to her/him?
      (2) My assumption is that in the frame of “human rights’ came criticism of the rape motif. As an editor, do you consider the rape motif legitimate? It seems you do in this case, since you ran it. Would you also have run the Migron poster theme? If not, why not and what’s the difference in this case.
      (3) I’m not asking to bait you, rather for guidance. Navigating political correctness is difficult today, even if you have the best intentions. 972 is something of a cultural standard. Please help me as a reader understand your thinking.

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    12. Danny

      Poor Obama – getting eaten and f*&ked by Bibi, while the Israel Firster crowd still doubts his “sincerity”. Damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t. When is he going to realize that when it comes to Israel, he should stop listening to the likes of Dennis Ross and just do the right thing??

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    13. @NATAN BRILL: I will keep my thoughts on what’s a good metaphor for another time. The position of the editor is to rule out what’s unacceptable. As you have noted yourself, our decisions reflects our beliefs.

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    14. I loved this one by Eli Valley in the Forward:
      As you can see if you click on the expanded version, Eli Valley himself translated the second maxim as “It is permissible to kill somebody who will one day become evil,” but Yuval Saar in Haaretz more accurately translated ‘goy’ as ‘a Gentile.’

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    15. Carmine Miranda


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    16. Natan Brill

      How convenient. Can you at least relay the inquiry to the author of the op-ed (I presume you verified him/her exists)? Or don’t you think the question is legitimate?

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    17. To digress a bit from the point of the cartoon to the wider question posed by NATAN BRILL – that of the use of the rape motif.
      As a man I found that when last the subject was brought up, I had little to say. Women/feminists argued (quite successfully) that the rape motif must never be used in a light manner. Were I to interject and say it’s just a harmless joke – I would have rightly been accused of not understanding what rape truly means.
      In general, women have a (justified and almost innate) fear of sexual assault which men (again, in general) simply lack. That, at least, has been my experience of the subject.

      I’ll caveat and say that on a personal level I’m not truly bothered by humorous depictions of rape. Nor by depictions of other forms of violence. Though I understand those that are bothered by it and accept the arguments that say rape shouldn’t be made light of. Perhaps precisely because I’m not bothered by it personally. I’ve not walked in a woman’s shoes and cannot truly know their POV. I can only listen to their woes and offer solidarity in their righteous struggle. I can only educate and censor myself accordingly.

      So is Valley’s depiction of rape OK because it’s two heterosexual men?
      Would our reaction be different if this were a depiction of a woman being raped? (I feel it would)
      Is any humorous depiction of violence beyond the pale?
      Is any humorous depiction of violence against women beyond the pale (be it rape or otherwise)?

      This question is not directed at the editors of 972, but as an open topic for discussion. This seems as good a place as any.
      I’d like to know what women/women-feminists have to say about this.

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    18. The question is not, is the depiction of a rape moral or immoral in itself? but rather, is the cartoonist justified by his or her moral outrage about the real object of the cartoon (in this case, the totalitarian thought control techniques used by the US zionist pressure groups) in using it as a metaphor?

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    19. Mik

      @rowan, I think people can decide their own questions. Arnon raised an important point- I would also love to hear some of the voices from the last conversation regarding the previous poster here.

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    20. @Rowan:
      I wasn’t asking whether the depiction of rape is moral or immoral. Rather whether it should be socially acceptable – even as a metaphor for something else. Many feminists/women have said that it shouldn’t. My question is for them (and regardless of the Obama/Bibi Zionist/US question).

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    21. Very well, Arnon, but I doubt if you will get any very useful or intelligible answers to it. And I really don’t think that Eli’s cartoon is intended to be “humorous” at all.

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    22. Woody


      Why the incessant question-asking and clarification seeking? Most people in talk-backs just make their own arguments. So, what do you think about the use of the rape motif in this graphic? How does that compare with the criticism offered by the anonymous opinionist? You’re already here, whereas we don’t know the author of that anonymous opinion piece. Do you have an opinion about the legitimacy of running the Migron poster on a website?

      It’s cute that you openly say “I’m not trying to bait you”, yet your comments are full of snide distaste for the editors and, it seems, the site. I hope you get your much sought after answers. However, reality is much more complex than you think.

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    23. […] cartoon, “The Hater in the Sky,” published by the progressive Israeli magazine +972, depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin […]

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    24. Barry Rosen

      This looks like something that would have been printed in Der Stumer.
      The fact that 972mag prints this cartoon shows what radical loonies they are.

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    25. Barry Rosen

      ISRAEL which is defending itself against Pan-Arabism, Arab imperialism and Arabization of the Middle East – that is the “problem you dont like.

      The real problem is global Arab/Moslem insistence to spread hate, violence, wars, terrorism, lies, false accusations against Jews and reducing Jews to subhumans or second class citizens – slaves or servants – without any human rights.

      When you have Palestinian leaders teaching their people, If their are 10 Jews and you kill 6 of them, how many Jews are Left?
      When you have these same wicked leaders telling their people that Jews are the sons of Pigs and Apes.
      When you have Palestinian Mufti’s teaching in Mosques that all Jews must be exterminated, are we shocked when Palestinians celebrate butchering Jews.

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    26. Arnon

      I wonder if you would have accepted the cartoon if it had Obama raping another man and not being raped?

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    27. Barry Rosen

      Opposing Arab colonialism and Muslim theocracy, oppression of women and non-Muslims, and supporting the free and democratic state of Israel are progressive positions.
      Arabs CANNOT make peace with Israel. Without Israel to blame for all the death, poverty, destruction, misery and oppression across Islam, who will the Islamic people blame?
      Wait, they’ll blame the Mossad Shark,
      Mossad Vulture, the 4000 Jews who didn’t show up at the World Trade Center, and the new crazy Arab theory that Bugs Bunny doesn’t like Muslims.

      If only the Arab could put himself in the 21st century.
      Even the 19th century would be an improvement.

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    28. query

      Seems that depravity is the norm for a cartoonist with no moral center.

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    29. arnon

      Many good points, Barry Rosen.

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    30. Natan Brill

      Woody, please elaborate on “reality is much more complex than you think”. Understanding this complexity is exactly what I’m interested in. Why is everybody beating around the bush? What’s the elephant in the room? Can someone answer a simple question: Why did one depiction of sexual violence become a scandal, while another is applauded? Why is that such a difficult question? WYF is going on here?

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    31. Natan Brill

      Oh and I just @NoamSheizaf on Twitter telling someone with a similar question “I’ll explain over coffee”. Seriously, what’s the big secret that it can’t be revealed to us plebs?

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    32. Barry Rosen:
      “ISRAEL which is defending itself against Pan-Arabism, Arab imperialism and Arabization of the Middle East”
      Arabization of the Middle East? Really?
      In what way is the Middle East being Arabized?

      They’re ARABS!
      They COME from the Middle East.
      Next we’ll be talking about the Europization of Europe.

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    33. Michael

      Barry Rosen sez: “Opposing Arab colonialism and Muslim theocracy, oppression of women and non-Muslims, and supporting the free and democratic state of Israel are progressive positions.”
      I’ll tell ya Barry I like most of what I read but this kind of irks me. I am sick and tired of the libofascists making words mean whatever they like. I coined “libofascist” because what was once a classic liberal is nothing like those who claim the term today. The term has degenerated as much as the word “gay”. And I try to avoid perpetuating the whole “left VS right” myth that has zero to do with actual political spectrum and contradicts the plain facts of history.
      (Some links for the doubters:
      http://fwd4.me/0zPH & http://fwd4.me/0zPH
      http://fwd4.me/0zPK )

      Either you are lying or blissfully unaware that the VAST majority of the REAL progressives have exactly NO problem with anything you list EXCEPT the “free & democratic state [of anywhere]).
      Those who are at the helm of this movement now,(Piven, Jones, et al) as well as those whose scaled backs they stand upon have ALWAYS been just fine with every muslim aberration as long as it was focused on those of us who desire real freedom. From well before they renamed Persia to IRAN (which means Aryan) the progressive/socialist/marxist/fascists have all gotten along swimmingly with the muslim wing nuts. Oh sure there has been a few instances of muslims biting their natural allies but not near as often as they bite each other. They all share most beliefs; the muslims blame it on ‘allah’ and the others(you pick the name) call it variously “science, or “reason”, or “evolution” and usually some combination of these. The pure marxists don’t care a bit if you believe in allah as long as you do “WHATEVER IT TAKES”….and that , my friend, is the key to it all. All of them share this primary operating principle; “Whatever we do is justified by our lofty goals” (aka, The ends ALWAYS justify the means). And what neither can abide is anyone driven by the Jewish/Christian ethic that insists that real fixed morality must exists or we are nothing more than animals. That regardless of the goal there are things that decent people just don’t do. And what they know (and an incredible number on our side don’t really get) is that if there is any fixed truth, any immutable morality, any natural law, then there is no justification for most of what their leadership desires, and certainly not their methods.
      They who scream at everyone for “hating” are in fact they haters. I challenge any who is actually open minded (and if you are not that makes you a pseudo-intellectual regardless of your IQ)…I challenge you to research LexisNexis or any other library of news resources. Do a search of every news story in the US for the last 50m to 70 yrs having to do with political violence. Count everything from campaign sign vandalism, to verbal threats, to actual gunfire. You will see that 80 to 90 percent were done TO the conservatives *and/or* BY the so called “liberals”.
      Read Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas and compare the so called “liberals’ actions today to the behavior of the Nazi’s as they gained power and sought to stop all criticism. Look who has been behind every effort to curtail free speech in campaigns, radio, TV, and the web.

      Barry, don’t be suckered in to using their words with your own “softer” meaning. Face the truth of what those pulling the strings mean because that’s the end result regardless of what we’d like to believe. All we do when we accept their “newspeak” is to help them to their goal of sharia law, be it secular of muslim, it’s all totalitarianism.

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    34. Matan Kaminer

      Natan, it’s just complicated, that’s all. No big secret. Maybe Noam doesn’t have a very solid opinion himself and doesn’t want to commit in writing. Why get paranoid about it? Can’t you understand his position?

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    35. Natan Brill

      No I can’t, Matan. I’m trying to take the discourse here seriously. This is a public forum. First, depictions of sexual violence are slammed as leftist hypocrisy and crimes against women and homosexuals, then they are published approvingly. This is genuinely confusing (and dangerous). And the only answer anyone can give me is “it’s complicated”? What does that mean?

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    36. Daniel Teeboom

      For peace to prevail there must be a desire in both parties to live in peace. Clearly the Palestinians do not harbor such desires.

      How do I know? Well, if they really wanted peace, the start of the peace process would not have been the beginning of the terror wars.

      Nooo say the leftists like Eli Valley. The Palestinians were blowing themselves up in Israeli buses and firing missiles at Israeli cities out of frustration that the peace process, for which they had been dying and killing only a few years earlier in an attempt to prevent it from succeeding, had indeed failed.


      Well, that’s pretty insane, but to be honest not much more insane than approving depictions of sexual violence after recently condemning them.

      Which also makes it less of a surprise as why the author feels sympathy with the Palestinians: They share the same craziness.

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    37. @NATAN BRILL: Natan, I feel that you don’t understand (or don’t share my views regarding) the difference between my position as an editor and my own views. As an editor, the main question I need to answer is “what’s unacceptable on this publication.” I found both this comics and the articles you referred to acceptable and interesting enough to publish.

      When I wish to discuss my own personal opinions on this issue I will do it, as always, on my blog.

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    38. Greyrooster

      I wish Israel well. However, I wish America could be left out of the problems in the middle east. We have our own problems. I really don’t have a dog in this fight. I do feel that we are being drawn in a fight that isn’t our business.

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    39. Natan Brill


      I do understand, therefore, I ask of you, as an editor, would you have run the rape motif in the Migron poster? If not, how is it different from the sexual violence motif in this comic?

      Second, since you know the identity of the author of the op-ed and we don’t, could you please ask for his/her reaction to the sexual violence depicted in this comic?


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    40. Barry Rosen

      Daniel Teeboom, the only peace the Palestinians want is Israel is pieces.
      But why Noam doesn’t get this, is mind boggling.
      Last November Saeb Erekat confirmed Olmert had offered a final peace settlement that would include territorial concession equivalent to the entire West Bank and the division of Jerusalem.
      The Palestinians also control 100% of Gaza.
      The Europeans also showed Saeb Erekat maps that showed Jews only live on 1.5% of the West Bank.
      To see this article, go to any search engine and look up, Erekat: Olmert offered Palestinians territorial equivalent of West Bank

      The problem is Palestinian Rejectionism.
      So why did the Palestinians not respond to Olmert’s offer?
      All you have to do is go to Palmediawatch and see the Palestinians genocidal media against Israel.
      Why dont Noam see how the Palestinians glorify terrorists who massacre Israeli civilians, names streets after these terrorists and talk how Israel will be eliminated.
      I guess talking about that dont fit Sheizaf’s radical lies.

      Find me one Palestinian leader who talks about 2 states for 2 people? You cant do it.
      The Palestinians want a state free of Jews and to flood Israel with millions of Arabs for the 2nd Pal state.
      Even the crazies who run Sudan agreed to a 2 state solution with South Sudan.
      Imagine North Sudan telling South Sudan you have to take in millions of Arabs.
      South Sudan would have laughed at them.
      99% of South Sudanese voted to be free from the Arabs.

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    41. Barry Rosen

      Israel has 1.5 million Arab citizens, they can vote, hold jobs and run for public office. The laws are not Koran-based, but Muslims are free to pray and worship as they wish.
      Israel will not let in millions of Palestinians, because they know what would happen next. If you think the killings are bad now, wait till the Arabs don’t have to cross a border, or get through a checkpoint to find a Jew to murder. Wait till they live right among the Jews and they can kill a Jew just by walking across the street and shoving a knife in his gut. Does the word “Kibbutz Metzer” mean anything to you?
      Go google Kibbutz Metzer 2002

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    42. Michael, your links encapsulate the uniquely USAian pulp right-wing belief that all government is totalitarian and that therefore it should be abolished by private enterprise vigilantes and society should be owned and run by big business. I think this sentence should win some sort of +972 award for compressed gibberish, if there is one: “From well before they renamed Persia to IRAN (which means Aryan) the progressive/socialist/marxist/fascists have all gotten along swimmingly with the muslim wing nuts.”

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    43. Natan Brill

      972’s refusal to address the double standard regarding depictions of sexual violence is intellectually dishonest, cowardly and shameful.

      The refusal to relay a question to an anonymous author raises serious questions about the blog’s credibility.

      It is behavior of this sort which provides ammunition for the right-wing when it claims that the left uses human rights issues to further idiosyncratic agendas.

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    44. JDE

      @Natan Brill: “972′s refusal to address the double standard regarding depictions of sexual violence is intellectually dishonest, cowardly and shameful.”

      Or perhaps they simply don’t have the time or the inclination to indulge your obsession. Their lives don’t revolve around you.

      “The refusal to relay a question to an anonymous author raises serious questions about the blog’s credibility.”

      The only serious question here pertains to your mental stability.

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    45. James

      @NoamSheizaf – I have to say I see a bit of hypocrisy from 972 here not only due to the depiction of rape but also just in general. I understand that the cartoon is meant to be satire, but imagine if say, Latma did a skit where Barak Obama was threatening to eat Bibi’s limbs or rape him, would 972 think that was ok? funny? worth posting? No, you would scream bloody murder and you know it.

      If this cartoon was printed in Arabic in the Egyptian or Syrian press and drawn by an Arab man it would be seen as classic anti-Semitism, instead it’s ok because Eli Valley is Jewish. I like Eli, I think he’s a nice guy and a talented artist, but there’s a limit to satire and this was just tasteless and offensive and the fact that it was made by a Jew doesn’t make it ok.

      Note: I am no fan of Bibi whatsoever, but that makes no difference here. If 972 has certain standards (about rape imagery, about right-wing satire like Latma) then you need to have it across the board, otherwise you look like hypocrites.

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    46. jalal

      Exact same thing could be said about Bibi-Abbas relationship.

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    47. Freddy V

      Hang on? What’s all this ‘rape’ stuff?

      The whole point of the cartoon is that Obama can’t say no.

      If Bibbi wants a ray gun, Barry will give him it and even fly into space to install it.

      He’ll even let Bibbi eat his legs and bust him in the arse and Barry will let him.

      At every turn, Barry gives it up rather than face criticism. Isn’t that the whole point of this cartoon.

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    48. I think I wrote a pretty non-inflammatory comment about the use of the rape motif, above.
      It was not directly targeted at 972 and their policy of comment/non-comment.
      a. too bad hardly anyone picked it up to start an honest (and I believe important) discussion about social norms.
      b. the absurd focus on 972 policy – ie. we can sort of guess what it is, simply by what no one will say explicitly – makes me think perhaps that’s a bigger issue, after all.

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    49. Adam

      Jewish leader eating and raping non-Jewish leader… that’s antisemitic, I think. If not, what is antisemitic in the view of 976?

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    50. I don’t know what “the view of 976” is, or for that matter what the view of +972 Magazine is, but fairly obviously, you can define any disagreement with any policy pursued by anyone Jewish anywhere, whether or not it reflects any authentic Jewish interest, as “antisemitic” if you want to. The cartoon, as I said, is about “the totalitarian thought control techniques used by the US zionist pressure groups.” I don’t see anything zionist about these groups except the rhetoric they use, myself; I see them as offering Israel and its inhabitants up on the altar of perpetual US war for oil, arms sales, and global domination in general.

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