London Sunday Times cartoonist Gerald Scarfe was quick to deny anti-Semitic
undertones in his recent depiction of a monstrous Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu cementing the security barrier with the blood of victimized
Palestinians, whose arms flail in agony and whose tortured faces are seen
screaming among the red-streaked bricks. This cartoon was published on
International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Here it must be interjected that
most anti-Semites nowadays are remarkably practiced in accompanying their
invective with such instant disclaimers – by now an expected part of the
It is politically incorrect to even hint at their thinly
disguised anti-Semitism. That immediately turns them into the muzzled good guys
and the protesters into loathsome Jews seeking to silence yet more righteous
critics of Israel with their doomsday weapon – charges of
Moreover, any remote reference to the Holocaust is sure to
elicit howls of derision.
This diabolical yet prevalent deformation of
perceptions confers on all anti-Semites the freedom to slander, while denying
Jews the right to speak the truth.
It is a foolproof arrangement.
Jew-revulsion now masquerades behind inflammatory anti-Israel and pro-Arab
propaganda, whose disseminators inevitably deny anti- Semitism. Their favorite
ploy is to present Israel-bashing as just deserts for the Jewish state’s
Post-Holocaust circumspection has bred cleverly camouflaged
anti-Semitism – not less dangerous or less in-your-face but more cunning and
Scarfe is only one of many. The British establishment, which
defends him on the grounds of “freedom of expression,” would have been
scandalized had anything similar smeared Muslims or indeed anyone of Asian or
African ancestry. In their case it would have been incitement to
There is an eerily comparable British precedent for Scarfe’s vulgar
defamation, published exactly 10 years ago.
It targeted then-prime
minister Ariel Sharon, no less gruesomely.
A naked Sharon is shown
devouring a Palestinian baby, with a “Vote Likud” ribbon functioning as his fig
leaf. Not only was Dave Brown’s obscenity in The Independent not denounced, but
it gallingly went on to win the Cartoon of the Year prize at the British
Political Cartoon Society’s annual competition.
At the time of its
publication, Israel’s embassy in London issued the following statement: “As
Britain commemorates Holocaust Day, it is shocking that The Independent has
chosen to evoke an ancient Jewish stereotype which would not have looked out of
place in Der Stürmer, and which can unfortunately still be found in many Arabic
“The blood-thirsty imagery not only misrepresents the real
reason for the IDF’s operations in Gaza, but also feeds the hostility toward
Israel and the Jewish people which lies at the very core of the Arab-Israeli
conflict... One must be extremely careful to draw the line between legitimate
criticism and the anti-Semitism that often parades as such.”
statement could have been made today, and was indeed closely echoed this week.
The only difference is the pretext for what can only be seen as a latter-day
revival of the medieval blood-libel (which incidentally originated circa 1144 in
The IDF’s anti-terror offensive of 2002 was replaced
by the anti-terror barrier that has drastically reduced Arab terror outrages on
Israeli civilians in the heart of Israel. The cold-blooded slaughter of innocent
Israelis, which necessitated the fence (that only in few segments looms as a
wall), has somehow never elicited the indignation of British opinion-molders.
Neither has the use of Arab children as explosives-smugglers or as human
Scarfe’s distasteful cartoon is not a justifiable response to
Israeli policy because it miserably fails Jewish Agency chairman Natan
Sharansky’s “3-D test.” Judeophobia must be suspected when purported criticism
slips into demonization, delegitimization and double-standards. Scarfe resorted
to crude demonization, had delegitimized the Jewish state’s right to even
passive self-defense (the fence) and evinces gross double-standards in ignoring
the genocidal atrocities perpetrated by Israel’s enemies.
CEO of News Corp which owns The Sunday Times, has apologized for a cartoon he
described as “grotesque,” “offensive” and unrepresentative of the newspaper’s
opinions. Regretfully, though, the paper itself stood by Scarfe’s spurious
spin-off of a malicious calumny that for centuries cost untold numbers of Jewish