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Wednesday, April 29, 1998 Published at 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK

Drawing on the past and present

Jakob Farkasz says his style of drawing is not aggressive

It is a difficult time for Jakob Farkasz, a political cartoonist in Israel. On one hand, he believes Israel is an ideal place for someone of his profession. "We have so many problems that I never have to think about what I will do today, or that I may not have a subject for my cartoons," he says

Watch Farkasz tell his story
On the other hand, as a caricaturist, Farkasz finds today's central character of many of his drawings, Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu, difficult to portray. "He's terrible, he's not, let's say, ugly enough", he remarks.

[ image: Farkasz has been sketching for decades]
Farkasz has been sketching for decades
Born in Hungary in 1923, Farkasz lived most of the Second World War as a prisoner in concentration camps in Buchenwald and Dachau. He and his eldest brother were the only surviving members of their close family.

Shortly after the war, Farkasz was convinced by a friend, who had joined a Zionist group, to come to Israel with him. More than 40 years later, he still lives in Israel: "I feel myself in Israel. I also was in the army in Israel during the war of independence and I feel at home here 100%."

Farkasz draws under the pen name Ze'ev, which in Hebrew means wolf, and despite what the name suggests, his style rejects force.

"I am often told by my friends that a political cartoonist must be very aggressive and should punch everybody in the nose and so on. But I think that many times a small smile may be more effective than a hit on the head with a big club," Farkasz says.

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Drawing on the past and present

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