The ADC slams Leunig cartoon

November 21, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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ADC chairperson Dr Dvir Abramovich today slammed Age cartoonist Michael Leunig’s recent cartoon on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.“In his ugly, simplistic cartoon in today’s Age (copied below) Michael Leunig has once again crossed the line and used antisemitic words and themes.

The offending cartoon

What makes this cartoon antisemitic?
“First they came…” introduces a celebrated statement attributed to German pastor Martin Niemoller about the apathy of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and their gradual elimination of certain groups. “They” of course referred to the Nazis. In Leunig’s cartoon, however, it is the Israelis who are the Nazis.
In Leunig’s world there is no nuance, no ability to see that perhaps, just perhaps, the Palestinians bear some responsibility for their situation and their fate. In Leunig’s world   there are no Israeli victims, no blood spilt on the Israeli side of the border, no traumatised children or lives derailed. There are only Israelis who are jackbooted Nazis determined to wipe them off the face of the earth.
And Leunig’s second antisemitic theme? That anyone who supports the Palestinians will immediately be besieged by the all powerful Jewish lobby, similarly jackbooted, treading on all who oppose them, closing doors in their faces, spiteful, hateful and bitter. In Leunig’s black and white world, Palestinian/Arab/Muslim lobby groups are muzzled and The Age would never dare to publish an article (or cartoon) critical of Israel.
What Leunig chooses to not understand is that there is a conflict going on between Israel and the Palestinians.  What he also doesn’t understand is that in a democracy, advocacy groups have a legitimate and necessary place and that all sides deserve the opportunity and the right to get their viewpoints heard.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of Leunig’s alternate universe is its stark contrasts, one side all good, the other all bad.  This allows no room to go forward; it is virulent hate speech because it demonises and vilifies Israelis and Jews and does not allow space for the existence of the other. This is the kind of hateful rhetoric you would expect on antisemitic websites, not The Age.”


3 Responses to “The ADC slams Leunig cartoon”
  1. Adrian says:

    The Age newspaper has rejected the ADC criticism saying the cartoon is just part of free speech. The new, Beersheba born, ADC leader is off to a whimpering start.

  2. Adrian says:

    Gee J-Wire like using the word “slams” a lot; wouldn’t disagree or criticized be better? I note that after 6 days no one has made a comment about The Age cartoonist so the ADC put in a link to J-Wire today hoping to stir up support I assume..

    The ADC chairman is a new Australian born in Beersheba in Western Asia and probably does not understand how our democracy works in Australia. If the good Dr Dvir wants to see some really bad cartoons he should look at some of the archive copies of the AJN were Arabs and Palestinians were portrayed in a similar manner to how the Jews were in Germany in the 1930’s

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    You are absolutely right, Dvir. Leunig’s cartoon is extraordinary for its simplistic and extreme stance, and it is insidiously anti-Semitic. However, with the many articles The Age continues to publish filed by their Middle East reporter, Ruth Pollard, I don’t find it surprising that they decided to run with this cartoon. Pollard is more a spokesperson for the Palestinians than a professional journalist reporting on the area, and when you add Leunig’s poisonous thoughts to her biassed, melodramatic and emotionally charged articles, The Age is certainly not looking good.

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