In the eyes of the beholder

April 13, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
Read on for article

A poster in which the eye may be tricked into believing that New Zealand’s Prime Minister is a Nazi  posing in front of a flag in which the swastika has been replaced by a dollar sign is being distributed in Wellington and offered for sale on the internet.

The poster

The poster

Key was born in Auckland. His mother was a Jewish migrant from Austria

According to media reports, the poster has not been photoshopped but is original artwork and easily deceives the eye into portraying the Prime Minister as a uniformed German in the Nazi era.

The website on which the poster is available states…

“Toothfish is a fictional environmental activist cum street artist who uses posters to raise awareness of environmental/political issues which affect you.

In the lead-up to the country’s 20 September 2014 election Toothfish has produced a poster in honor of the leader of the National Party (as well as current Prime Minister) – the Rt. Hon. John Key.

You are welcome to download a free PDF of the poster or a sheet of stickers(See below) or you can make a $50 donation (plus $15P &P) and get one of the 100 A1 copies on 250gsm satin paper signed by Toothfish itself. (See Posters for details). Any funds raised  will go back into putting up more  posters on the street.”

Media reports state: “The work of an anonymous, environmentally-driven political collective calling itself “Toothfish”, the poster’s purpose is set forth on the outfit’s website: “Let’s be clear – the poster is talking about capitalism, control and the increasing privatisation of government.

“The image suggests that the naked pursuit of money is akin to an extremist doctrine; one in which human lives and the environment are being sacrificed on the altar of expediency for the profit of our ruling elites.

“The poster is NOT saying John Key is a Nazi.”

The artist is anonymous.

Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council told J-Wire:  “While unpleasant it is not as objectionable as it might be.  It would very much depend on the context in which it was used.”

J-Wire asked that, given that the Prime Minister’s mother was Jewish from Austria, if the poster of him in what appears to be a German uniform with a flag with a red white and black dollar sign may be offensive? The responded: Yes – it might be construed as being offensive..”

J-Wire has asked the Prime Minister’s office to comment.




2 Responses to “In the eyes of the beholder”
  1. Excellent pickup.

  2. Gordon Buchalter says:

    I don’t like this at all. It is a step in the wrong direction. I don’t believe this requires any explanation or discussion at all. It is what it is.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.