Abdollah Derkaoui of Morocco this week inherited the mantle of the foremost racist in the art world (a title officially vacated since the days when Adolph Hitler used to paint walls in Munich) after he was awarded first prize in Iran's Holocaust art festival - Moroccan wins first place in Iran Holocaust cartoon contest.
The winner would have had some stiff opposition from a vile Michael Leunig cartoon originally entered as a practical joke by a member of the ABC's satirical Chaser programme. When the artist was informed of this, he apparently threw a fit and promptly had his cartoon withdrawn. He later thanked the nice Iranians for their kind consideration in removing his piece from the exhibition.
Leunig's picture was a cheap and nasty attempt to draw equivalence between the deaths in combat of 52 Palestinians, the vast majority terrorists involved in the suicide bomb making industry of Jenin in 2002, and the slaughter of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis. The then Age editor, Michael Gawenda, saw the Leunig cartoon for what it was and refused to publish. This, in turn, upset Leunig's mates on Media Watch who thought the message it imparted was worthy of an airing.
It's a bit of a shame that the Iranians let Leunig off the hook so easily.
I'm by no means an expert on cartoons, but in my view it would have been one of the favourites. Indeed, I'll go further and state that Mr. Derkaoui stole the idea for his work from Leunig himself. The winning cartoon depicts Israel's security barrier as a mirror reflecting the image of Aushwitz which is interesting in itself given that the sponsors of the competition reckon that the Holocaust was a myth!
Perhaps Leunig, who seems to get on so famously with the Iranians, could redeem himself by paying his mate Ahmadinejad a visit with a request that he stops his anti Semitic ranting and puts an end to his nuclear weapons programme.
And then perhaps pigs might fly too!