Der Sturmer in the UK?

This week, as Israel continued to root out terror cells and destroy munitions factories in Gaza, much of the world media cynically portrayed Israel’s actions as a campaign stunt by Ariel Sharon to bolster his reputation for effective security measures.

For example, see this January 27 report in The Independent (UK):

“Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian cabinet minister, said the Gaza raid was driven by Israeli politics. ‘We believe he [Sharon] wanted to end the election campaign on this note with more Palestinian blood and destruction,’ he said.”
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=373108

The worst media offense was a political cartoon published in The Independent, which depicts Ariel Sharon biting into the flesh of a Palestinian baby. The background shows Apache attack helicopters firing missiles, and blaring the message “Vote Likud.”

The cartoon not only misrepresents the real reason for the IDF operations — to stop the incessant missile attacks on Jewish communities, but the imagery is akin to something out of the Nazi “Der Sturmer” or the current Syrian press. That the mainstream British media could publish such a vile depiction of the Israeli leader speaks volumes about the anti-Israel climate sweeping Europe today.

Interestingly, the cartoon is modeled after a painting by Spanish artist Francisco Jose de Goya (1746-1828) entitled “Saturn Devouring His Children.” See it online (caution: may be offensive): http://www.usc.edu/schools/annenberg/asc/projects/comm544/library/images/165.html

The Independent has followed up with an entire series devoted to debating whether the cartoon was satire or anti-Semitic. The series includes: MP Gerald Kaufman in defense of the cartoon; Ned Tomke, editor of ‘The Jewish Chronicle’, for the prosecution; Philip Hensher discusses the cartoon’s relationship to Goya’s painting; and cartoonist Dave Brown describes his creation.

Read it all online at:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=374143

UPDATE: Brown’s cartoon was adopted by radical Islamic groups in India this summer as part of their vicious anti-America and anti-Israel campaign:

And now, the UK’s Political Cartoon Society has given the Brown cartoon first prize in its annual “Cartoon of the Year” competition, choosing it over 34 other entries.

Comments to:
newseditor@independent.co.uk

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