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Gaza cartoonist says US consul canceled training invite

June 18, 2011 12:09 P.M. (Updated: June 18, 2011 6:51 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian cartoonist says the US consulate in Jerusalem canceled his invitation to join a training course because officials thought his artwork was antisemitic.

Majed Badra, from the Gaza Strip, said he received a phone call from the consulate saying he would not be able to participate in a political cartoonist program in the US because of the "anti-Semitic nature" of his drawings.

In a letter published on the Desert Peace website, Badra said he was not anti-Semitic, and that he respected all religions.

"I just wanted [to] express that I'm against the Israeli occupation, settlements, killing, siege and injustice, and how much we want democracy, human rights, freedom and two states solution," he wrote.

Badra had been invited to participate in the International Visitors' Leadership Program, organized by the US State Department.

He said he had received his visa, booked his flights and canceled work to join the course, before the US consulate withdrew his invitation.

A spokeperson at the US consulate could not be reached for comment.
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