Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jewish cartoonist among victims of massacre at French newspaper

From The Times of Israel:

Georges Wolinski gunned down with his editor and 10 others in assault on satirical publication that had caricatured Prophet Mohammed

By JTA and Times of Israel Staff January 7, 2015

Jewish caricaturist Georges Wolinski was among the 12 victims of an attack Wednesday on the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.

The assailants cried out “Allah is the greatest” in Arabic and that their attack was to “avenge the prophet,” the French daily Le Monde reported. They reportedly fled in a hijacked car, running over a pedestrian and shooting at officers.
Charlie Hebdo, which regularly runs articles and caricatures critical of religion, has published a series of satirical cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

The editor-in-chief of the paper, Stephane Charbonnier, was killed in the attack, the daily Le Figaro reported.

Two of the reported fatalities were police officers, according to Le Monde.

Wolinski, 80, a Tunisia native who moved to France as a teenager, also was a cartoonist at the magazine and was known for his cynical and at times vulgar style. After entering journalism in the 1960s, he went on to work at leading French publications such as L’Humanite, Le Nouvel Observateur and Paris Match.

One of Wolinski’s cartoons, published in a 2002 compilation of his works, shows a Muslim girl walking with her mother down a war-ravaged street in the Middle East. The daughter asks what it means to be a free woman. The mother replies by presenting her daughter with a copy of a book titled “Hello Sadness.”

“It’s clear that this was a planned attack against Wolinski and the other cartoon artists,” said Richard Kenigsman, a well-known Jewish caricaturist and painter from Brussels. He cited an attack and multiple threats against Charlie Hebdo since 2006 for publishing caricatures deemed offensive to Islam.

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