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Anti-circumcision comic anti-Semitic?

SAN FRANCISCO, June 7 (UPI) -- An activist trying to ban circumcision in San Francisco has been accused of anti-Semitism for an online comic pitting a blond hero against a Monster Mohel.

In Matthew Hess' comic, the hero, Foreskin Man, is trying to save a baby from circumcision, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday. A mohel is trained to perform the ritual of circumcision on 8-day-old boys, and Mohel Man is dark, has a beard and is dressed like an Orthodox Jew.

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"The imagery that we see here, it taps into classic stereotypes of Jews in ways that are really consistent with anti-Semitism," Fred Astren, a professor of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State, told the Chronicle. "It is pretty clear that where the imagery goes, I would have to say it is anti-Semitic."

Hess is trying to get a measure on the ballot that would ban circumcision for anyone under 18 in San Francisco. He denies any anti-Semitic intent, pointing out that in his first comic the villain was Dr. Mutilation, who advocated circumcision for medical reasons.

"Nobody came out and complained about doctor bias," he said.

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