This is what Palestinian incitement has come to: Fatah, the PA’s ruling party and Israel’s nominal peace partner posted another incendiary cartoon (hat tip Palestinian Media Watch). It features plenty of classic anti-Semitic tropes: A large-nosed Jew wearing a skullcap, holding a remote control switch watches a massive explosion ripping through Gaza from the comfort of a cozy chair emblazoned with a Jewish star.
You can even see a slight smirk on the man’s face.
What makes this cartoon especially interesting is that the cartoon was originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald during the 2014 Gaza war, to illustrate an equally vicious column by Mike Carlton. (The columnist ultimately quit in a disagreement with his editors over abusive comments he made to responding readers.)
Cartoonist Glen LeLievre tried to explain away his illustration’s anti-Semitism:
Drawing's a comment about these folks turning human suffering into a spectator sport. -As if they're in their living rooms taking in a show.
— Glen Le Lievre (@GlenLeLievre) July 27, 2014
But the SMH apologized and removed the cartoon, explaining:
The Herald deeply regretted the upset the image had caused, but felt – not least because the cartoonist lacked any intent and that actual photographs influenced the setting and physical depiction of the character in the cartoon – that no racial vilification had occurred.
However, this newspaper accepts that this position was too simplistic and ignored the use of religious symbols.
The Herald now appreciates that, in using the Star of David and the kippah in the cartoon, the newspaper invoked an inappropriate element of religion, rather than nationhood, and made a serious error of judgment.
It was wrong to publish the cartoon in its original form.
Fatah, it seems, prefers LeLievre’s explanation.
Anti-Semitic images like this have long lives on the internet, usually in the darker corners of the world wide web. That’s why mainstream editors have a special responsibility not to give such anti-Semitic illustrations legitimacy or legs.
LeLievre and the SMH blew it during Operation Protective Edge. Fatah just proved it.
Before you comment on this article, please remind yourself of our Comments Policy. Any comments deemed to be in breach of the policy will be removed at the editor’s discretion.