In the tradition of Honore Daumier and Francisco Goya, Sokol uses printmaking as a means of reflection and comment on a new and emerging anti-Semitism.
American Jews find themselves in a difficult place: On the one hand, years of dialogue, cooperation, and cultural exchange have produced an America where overt anti-Semitism is publicly intolerable and Jews enjoy a great deal of freedom and acceptance. On the other hand, as David Sokol writes in the introduction to his book, A Jew who speaks out loudly against anti-Semitism walks a narrow line between offense and defense. In the past, Jews who have stood up to anti-Semitism, or Dhimmitude, have been smacked down to a hard defeat.
The new anti-Semitism is not personal. It s not about the company of Jews. It s cultural and political. People can honestly say some of their best friends are Jewish or claim Jewish identity, while the same time engage in a political rhetoric that perpetuates anti-Semitism. Surprisingly, this new anti-Semitism is coming from the left side of the political spectrum. It is coming from the very people who engaged Jews in a cultural dialogue, who walked side-by-side with Jews during the Civil Rights struggle, and who, in the past, welcomed Jews into the fabric of America. Friends, separated by politics. Invisible emotions, allegiances, responsibilities...walls, Sokol writes, is the fruit of this new anti-Semitism.
In words and images, Sokol reflects upon social, political, and cultural phenomena that objectify the new anti-Semitism. From Farfour the Martyr Mouse to Jimmy Carter's relationship with Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, Sokol uses satire and caricature, humor, sadness, and irony to nudge the reader into thinking about these complex issues.
The Golem of Church Street contains twenty-four prints and accompanying text. The sixty-page book is printed in full color.