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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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HATE CRIME?

Norwegian Daily Published Blood Libel Caricature of Circumcision

The Middle Ages have returned to Europe, or maybe they never left. Jews dipping matzos in blood is old hat. Now a Norwegian newspaper depicts circumcision as a violent and bloody religious custom.
The Norwegian daily Dagenblat may face a hate crime suit over its caricature of a gory circimcison

The Norwegian daily Dagenblat may face a hate crime suit over its caricature of a gory circimcison
Photo Credit: Dagenblat

The leading Norwegian daily Dagbladet published a caricature of what appeared to be Jews torturing a baby during a circumcision, and the European Jewish Congress said it may sue it for committing a hate crime.

The caricature that appeared in Tuesday’s newspaper, the country’s third largest in terms of circulation – showed police officers looking on as a bearded man wearing a black hat and black coat sticks a three-tooth pitchfork into the head of a blood-soaked baby while holding a book.

Another unseen person cuts off the baby’s foot with a bolt cutter as a woman in a long-sleeve shirt and a hat shows the officers another blood-spattered book and tells them: “Abuse? No, this tradition is central to our belief.” The police officers apologize “for interrupting.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Copper, said the cartoon was “so virulently anti-Semitic it would make Hitler and Himmler weep tears of joy.”

Manfred Gerstenfeld, a scholar of anti-Semitism and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said the caricature “cannot be viewed separately from centuries of libels in Christian circles that try to establish a link between the ritual abuse of blood and the Jewish faith.”

But in an email sent to MIFF, a Norwegian pro-Israel organization, Dagbladet cartoon artist Tomas Drefvelin said he did not mean to draw Jews in his caricature, which he meant “not as criticism of either a specific religion or a nation [but] as a general criticism of religions,” Drefvelin wrote.

He added, “I gave the people in the picture hats, and the man beard, because this gives them a more religious character … Jew-hatred is reprehensible. I would never draw to create hatred of a people, or against individuals.”

Ervin Kohn, the president of Norway’s Jewish community, told JTA that in Norway, “it is not uncommon to compare brit mila with cutting off limbs and calling it mutilation. This is a form of lying, propaganda.”

European Jewish Congress president Dr. Moshe Kantor stated, “This cartoon has crossed all lines of decency and is dripping with hate and anti-Semitism. We are now studying the possibility that this legally constitutes incitement to hatred and even a hate-crime and will require legal action if this proves to be the case.

“This obviously falls outside the boundaries of freedom of speech as no one has the freedom to incite hatred against a particular people.

“The reason we have laws against hate is because modern society understands the connection between incitement and violence.

“This is a violent cartoon which is meant to inspire hate and contempt against one particular people. This type of hate, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda, cannot be left unanswered, and it is exactly this type of incitement which is contributing to a very troubling period for minorities in Europe at this time, especially with the rise of the far-Right.”

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12 Responses to “Norwegian Daily Published Blood Libel Caricature of Circumcision”

  1. hope the sue his Ass. This is how hatred spread throughout Europe and how Hitler brainwashed

  2. please publish pictures and data on this deranged piece of filth "cartoonist".

  3. Quite disgusting, but in America we call it free speech even if we don’t agree with the drawings/article. We still have a man in prison over a short video about mohammad that had nothing to do with Benghazi.

  4. I guess obama/holder decides who gets free speech.

  5. Edward Klug says:

    Rise is anti semitism
    Sad thing

  6. Nick Thomas says:

    They should be sued. Maybe they'll think twice before.
    publishing their filth.
    And Yes, show who the "cartoonist" is. His family, etc.

  7. René Martin says:

    Would the cartoon have been acceptable if the man was more clearly depicted as a Muslim? The world had no qualms about publishing the "Muhamed Cartoons". Freedom of press, everybody yelled…

  8. 100,000 Norwegians volunteered for the Nazi army in WWII…
    Norway was Nazi Germany's little brother…it was led by the infamous Quisling. Too bad – because of its petroleum its the richest country in Europe…

  9. Rene has a point – and it grows out of the top of his head….

  10. freedom of press okay, but this picture is grossly distorted concerning circumcision.

  11. Grace Acosta says:

    Rene, my thoughts exactly. If the people had been depicted as Muslims, there would be nationwide rioting right now. Imagine the lady saying (from behind her burqa) "But officer, Mohammad says we must circumcise. Heck, I've had it done myself!"

  12. Karen Goldis says:

    Circumcision is the hate crime.

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