Gaza: Bring on the Antisemitic Caricatures

This is a guest post by Ben Cohen of Z Word

This cartoon is from the respected Spanish daily El Pais. Given the grotesque Jewish caricature above, a translation may be superfluous, but my co-writer Eamonn McDonagh has provided one nonetheless.

“For starters, Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not the Israelis, the Hebrew myths are false, and abusing the weak is disgusting,” says the earnest figure in a red coat.

“We are the people chosen by the God we invented ourselves,” answers the Jew.

Clearly, cartoonist Romeu is holding nothing back. His cartoon combines two forms of totalitarian antisemitism: a Nazi visual caricature of the Jew and a Soviet ideological caricature of Zionism and Israel as creatures of a vengeful, racist Jewish theology of chosenness.

The Soviet theme, in particular, has been echoed more recently by European literary figures like Jose Saramago (“We can better understand their biblical god when we know his followers. Jehovah or Yaweh or whatever he is called, is a fierce and spiteful god, whom the Israelis always live up to”) and Jostein Gaarder (“To act as God’s chosen people is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.”)

Still, why use mere words when you can deploy the image of the perfidious, hook-nosed Jew to make that point?

Expect much more of this.