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article imageOp-Ed: More Western ‘cartoon’ hypocrisy

By Alexander Baron     Jan 29, 2013 in Politics
London - After a leading British Zionist organisation complained about an “anti-Semitic” cartoon, press baron Rupert Murdoch made a grovelling apology. Others are made of stronger stuff.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews sounds like an organisation that represents all Britain's Jews, and indeed that is how it styles itself, though it certainly does not represent the Torah-true Jews of Neturei Karta. It is also regarded by some on the lunatic fringe as the shadow government of Britain. At one time there was good reason for this, its leaders would shout “Jump!” and the Metropolitan Police especially would ask “How high?” During the 1990s there were numerous police raids in London and other areas including in connection with cartoons. Like this one.
In recent years though, the police and others have shown more backbone. There was also the affair in 2005 of the Danish cartoons that guyed Islam's holiest figure. It wasn't only Moslems who saw through the hypocrisy of those who attack free speech on the one hand while defending extreme blasphemy on the other.
Cartoons of living people, especially politicians and others involved in politics, are something different. The former especially are expected to have thick skins. The exception - according to the Board of Deputies - appears to be Israeli politicians, or even Jewish ones in general. Gerald Scarfe is one of Britain's leading political cartoonists, and on January 27 a Scarfe cartoon of Binjamin Netanyahu was published by the Sunday Times.
The Board of Deputies fired off a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, thirty years ago they'd probably have written to the Attorney General as well. The cartoon has of course already been widely republished, including here. The reader may judge for hmself if it is anti-Semitic, in bad taste or simply telling an unpleasant truth, but although renegade saxophonist Gilad Atzmon has yet to comment on it publicly, media mogul Rupert Murdoch has already apologised.
The Board of Deputies claimed the cartoon was "shockingly reminiscent of the blood libel imagery more usually found in parts of the virulently antisemitic Arab press." But is this the case?
Does or does not Netanyahu have innocent Palestinian blood on his hands? Similar cartoons of Tony Blair can be found with a few keystrokes; there is now even a dedicated Tony Blair War Criminal website.
Netanyahu has something else in common with Blair; he too has been branded a war criminal, by a Nobel laureate. Of course, at this present time there is considerable conflict in the Islamic world that has little or nothing to do with Netanyahu, Zionism, Tony Blair or Western Imperialism, but if the Western press would stop apologising for trivialities - like cartoons depicting murderers with blood on their hands - and focus on real injustices, like our support for Zionism and the CIA's homicidal drone programme, we might actually make some real progress in this area, instead of allowing ourselves to be sucked into yet another no-win conflict, as appears to be happening now with Mali.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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