A French senator has apologized for any misunderstandings connected to her praise for a campaign featuring fake pictures of Israeli leaders murdering Disney cartoon characters, bit she insists that the images were not anti-Semitic.
Nathalie Goulet of the Union of Democrats and Independents party made the endorsement on Twitter earlier this week, Europe1.fr reported, in posting on her account the images of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bludgeoning a dying Pinocchio. Other pictures showed Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni stabbing Cinderella and former Israeli President Shimon Peres choking Peter Pan.
“Very powerful campaign against children mass murder,” Goulet wrote about the pictures.
Mehdi Thomas Allal, who heads the anti-discrimination department of the human rights group Terra Nova, accused Goulet of “presenting Jews as killers of children, echoing many such caricatures in the period before World War II” in an Op-Ed he wrote for the online edition of the Le Nouvel Observateur weekly. Allal wrote that Goulet should be prosecuted for her action, which he qualified as “a slip toward anti-Semitism.”
Amid more criticism, Goulet apologized on Twitter.
“This tweet has been misunderstood and I’m absolutely sorry for that,” she wrote, “but I persist in saying that what’s happening in Gaza is a scandal. I revolt at the sight of dead children, and at the international community’s silence. The tweet may have been inappropriate.”
But before her apology, Goulet defended her actions, writing on Twitter that she had Jewish roots and adding, “I am not a self-hating Jew, but that’s nobody’s business.”
She also wrote: “Anti-Semitism is what they come up with when they have nothing better to say,” and “I find it astonishing that the community is less shocked by images of dead children than by Disney characters. This is proof the campaign is working!”
She did not say which community she meant.