Sunday Times blood libel cartoon, on Holocaust Memorial Day no less
Why can't cartoonists seem to criticise Israel without the use of big noses and blood libels? And why do the mainstream papers still publish this stuff?
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. Traditionally, and in line with common decency, it is a day to remember the atrocities of the Second World War, particularly the six million Jewish people slaughtered at the hands of Hitler.
For some, however, Holocaust Memorial Day is transfiguring into a day that ‘the Jews’ or ‘Israel’ (for they will use these terms interchangeably), are to be attacked or set up, completely leaving behind the idea that the country came into existence in the wake of the greatest single crime in history.
Last week, it was Member of Parliament David Ward MP, the case of whom highlights an ever growing contingent of anti-Israel sentiment within the British government. These are the fools who would have you believe that Israel’s security barrier is 100 percent concrete, 100 feet tall, and built from the blood of Palestinians.
And who could possibly blame them for having this ill-informed idea, when their fellow MPs invite them to one-sided trips to the West Bank while at the same time referring to Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’ (more on this tomorrow).
But more to the point, who can blame them when some of the country’s smartest media outlets present Israel and its leaders in this particular light: the large-nosed Jew, hunched over a wall, building with the blood of Palestinians as they writhe in pain within it.
For this is exactly what the Sunday Times has today done; not simply treading the fine line between criticism and blood libel, but indeed spitting all over it, leaving it for dust, and careering head first into anti-Semitismsville.
“Will cementing peace continue?” reads the caption beneath the image of a Quasimodo-like Netanyahu. As if this half-hearted attempt at a pun would help masquerade the overt racism within the image. No.
In conversation with a friend of ours we were asked, “Do you think in 200 years time, people will have forgotten the Holocaust, or believe that it was a myth?” The naive response, “No. [we] believe there are enough good people in the world to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
At the time, one would never have thought the editors of the Sunday Times were in amongst those who would seek, in true Der Sturmer fashion, to use Holocaust Memorial Day to publish a blood libel, and knowingly undermine the memory of one of the worst genocides ever.
We guess we were wrong on that count. Sure hope we're not wrong on the other.
This article was lead-authored by Commentator editor and owner, Robin Shepherd in collaboration with a freelancer
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