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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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How One British Paper Commemorated Int’l Holocaust Memorial Day

Spare us your Holocaust pieties and consider honoring Jews who are still among the living.
LONDON-CARTOON red

In my 2010 report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs about antisemitic cartoons, I noted that political cartoons often have more of an immediate impact in reinforcing negative stereotypes than a lengthy essay.  They express ideas which are easy to understand, and thus represent an efficient way to transmit hate and prejudices, including antisemitism.

While the largest output of antisemitic cartoons nowadays comes from the Arab and Muslim world, some “respectable” European papers have published graphic depictions of Jews evoking classic Judeophobic stereotypes.

Some of the core motifs of antisemitic cartoons are Jews as absolute evil; imagery equating Israel with Nazi Germany; Jewish conspiracies; Zionists controlling the world; and variations of the blood libel.

While mainstream Western papers avoid explicitly promoting the blood libel, variations of this theme – suggesting in cartoon and in prose that bloodthirsty Israeli Jews intentionally kill innocently Palestinians (often children) – have been published at popular sites.  For instance, one of the most popular news sites in the Anglo world, The Huffington Post, posted a cartoon in 2012 by notorious antisemitic cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, which clearly conveyed the idea that the Israeli Prime Minister was murdering Palestinian babies to gain votes in the upcoming election, suggesting that baby killing was supported by the Israeli public.

A similar motif of infanticide appeared in a 2003 cartoon by Dave Brown in the progressive British daily The Independent. The cartoon shows Sharon eating the head of a Palestinian baby and saying, “What’s wrong? Have you never seen a politician kissing a baby? It won Britain’s 2003 Political Cartoon of the Year Award.

The following cartoon was published at The Sunday Times (the largest-selling ‘serious’ British national Sunday newspaper) today, Jan. 27, International Holocaust Memorial Day.

content_photo-2 In case you didn’t notice, the text reads ‘Will Cementing Peace Continue?’, an apparent allusion to Israeli construction across the green line.

However, the Sunday Times cartoonist decided to depict such building as not only injurious to peace, but (as the bloody, mangled bodies being buried over with cement, laid by the bloody trowel of a sinister Israeli Prime Minister) as a sadistic act of violence against innocents in order to gain votes in the Israeli election.

In light of the Sunday Times’ decision to publish a cartoon on International Holocaust Memorial Day depicting a blood-lusting Jewish leader, as well as recent comments by British MP David Ward suggesting that, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Jews should learn to stop “inflicting atrocities on Palestinians,” as well as other routine debasements of Holocaust memory, here’s a simple, if counter-intuitive request to those who believe that the Holocaust means anything at all:

Spare us your Holocaust pieties, your monuments, your memorials, museums and days of remembrance, and consider that, instead of honoring Jews murdered over 65 years ago, you may want to begin, instead, to honor Jews who are still among us.

There are many ways to show reverence for a tiny minority which has somehow survived despite the best efforts, past and present, of practitioners of homicidal antisemitism. However, the especially morally righteous among you may wish to gain a basic understanding of the precise manner in which Jews have been caricatured, vilified, demonized and dehumanized prior to pogroms, massacres and genocides, studiously avoid advancing narratives or creating graphic depictions which evoke such antisemitic imagery, and righteously condemn those who do so.

You cannot undo the horrors inflicted upon six million souls, but you can live your life with a steely determination to never again allow lethal, racist narratives about living Jews to go unchallenged, and to assiduously fight efforts to reintroduce such toxic calumnies into the “respectable” public discourse.

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About the Author: Adam Levick serves as Managing Editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and is a member of the Online Antisemitism Working Group for the Global Forum to Combat Antisemitism. Adam made Aliyah from Philadelphia in 2009 and lives with his wife in Modi'in.


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5 Responses to “How One British Paper Commemorated Int’l Holocaust Memorial Day”

  1. Rabbi Chaim Vital wrote in the 16th Century, "At the End of Days, Israel is destined to experience the Ishmaelite exile. This fifth and last exile will be the most difficult of all. It is the exile of Ishmael, who is called 'pe're adam,' a wild man." Be strong, cling to your faith and we will see Moshiach wipe all this away. As we sing in Shir Hamaahlot (Psalm 126), we were like dreamers, meaning before our redemption, now in the end times.

  2. On January 27, 1945 the death camp Auschwitz, where 1,000,000 Jews were exterminated, was liberated by the Allies.

    Remember and Never Forget the Holocaust must be summed in two simple words:

    Support Israel!

    The Jewish nation redemption and vindication will only come through a larger and more powerful Jewish state.

    A safe, impregnable Israel, in its present borders, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, is the only true memorial to the genocide-Holocaust, where one of every three Jews in the world was exterminated.

    All the rest is commentary and bad theatre. rabbi dr. bernhard rosenberg

  3. Keith David Reitman says:

    Would that our morals would allow us to borrow from the Hajji Islamofascists' playbook and Kill those whose cartoons upset us. It might temper some liars.

  4. Kraig Richard says:

    "….never again allow lethal, racist narratives about living Jews to go unchallenged,?" what about lethal action in the strips' Club Med ghettos? One would think Polish and their descendents amongst Israelis would be less tolerant to her actions.

  5. Kraig Richard says:

    "….never again allow lethal, racist narratives about living Jews to go unchallenged,?" what about lethal action in the strips' Club Med ghettos? One would think Polish and their descendents amongst Israelis would be less tolerant to her actions.

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