HT: Jerry Coyne.
Honest Reporting has posted an article on what I consider to be a shocking anti-Semitic cartoon that appeared in the Sunday Times. I wrote a letter to the Times demanding an apology and ask that my readers do so also. One may disagree with and object to Israel's policies regarding the West Bank and the Palestinians without stooping to printing such graphic distortions.
UPDATE: My friend who disagrees with me and thinks the cartoon is not anti-Semitic, has sent me a link to an article in Haaretz, a daily Israeli newspaper, that supports his argument: Four Reasons Why UK Cartoon of Netanyahu Isn't Anti-Semitic in Any Way
FURTHER UPDATE: And this cartoon by the same artist would suggest that he dislikes both Hammas and Israel's leaders.
My Response to the Essay:
What I think is the defining issue is brought up in the second point of the essay:
2. It does not use Holocaust imagery: It has become generally accepted - justifiably I think - that comparing Israel's leaders and policies to those of the Third Reich is borderline, if not full-on anti-Semitism. Not only because there is no comparable genocide in human history, but because choosing it to describe the actions of the Jewish state is a nasty slur identifying Israelis as the successors of the Holocaust's victims turned into perpetrators of a second Holocaust. But there is nothing in Scarfe's cartoon that can put the Holocaust in mind.
What? A political leader building a wall with the bodies, heads, and blood of innocent civilians doesn't remind one of anything to do with the Holocaust? And the implication that by killing these people the leader is continuing his policy of peace? His final solution? Is the author serious? The very notion of de-humanizing that is built into such an image can do no other but remind us of comparable crimes against humanity, such as the Holocaust. If the author cannot admit that to himself, shouldn't we just assume that he is in denial? Certainly the actions of the villain in the cartoon are a testament to all that the Holocaust stands for. Therefore, using the author's own admission that comparing Netanyahu's actions to the Third Reich is "borderline, if not full-on anti-Semitism," we should conclude that the cartoon is borderline, if not full-on anti-Semitic.
Further thoughts: If the cartoonist had tried to maintain some semblance of even handedness, as he did in the Hamas-Netanyahu cartoon, where the actions of both Israeli and Palestinian leadership resulted in a blood-soaked wall, then I think the cartoon would have avoided anti-Semitic overtones. But the cartoonist made no such attempt. The blood of the Paltestinians is the result of a purposeful, systematic endeavor by Israel's (or at least, Netanyahu's) policies.