Sydney Morning Herald cartoon breached Press Council’s Standards of Practice

January 18, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
Read on for article

The Press Council has deemed a controversial cartoon published in the Sydney Morning Herald in July last year during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza to have “emphasised religious persuasion rather than Israeli nationality” and had breached the Council’s Standards of Practice.

The Press Council has considered whether its Standards of Practice were breached by a cartoon in the Sydney Morning Herald on 26 July 2014.

The cartoon published on July 26 last year, was associated with an opinion piece on the conflict in Gaza and depicted an elderly man with a large nose, wearing the distinctively Jewish head covering called a kippah or yarmulke, and sitting in an armchair emblazoned with the Star of David. He was pointing a TV remote control device at an exploding cityscape, implied to be Gaza.

The offending cartoon

The offending cartoon

The Council asked the publication to comment on whether the cartoon placed gratuitous emphasis on race or religion. It also asked the publication whether the cartoon could reasonably have been expected to cause offence and showed insufficient concern for balancing the sensibilities of some readers with the broader public interest.

In response, the publication agreed that the cartoon had placed gratuitous emphasis on the Jewishness of its subject and in doing so had inappropriately emphasised religious persuasion rather than Israeli nationality, thereby causing offence. It pointed out that a 650-word apology had been published about a week later.

The publication also pointed out that the newspaper’s Editor in Chief and News Director had subsequently participated in seminars facilitated by the Jewish Board of Deputies to raise awareness about imagery that could be construed as antisemitic. It said further seminars were planned and would be expanded to include the newspaper’s senior editorial staff.

The publication also said that a requirement for extra layers of approval had subsequently been introduced for all cartoons prior to publication.


The Council emphasises that cartoons are subject to its Standards of Practice. The application of those Standards however, takes account of the fact that readers can reasonably be expected to recognise that cartoons commonly use exaggeration and caricature to a considerable degree and therefore should be interpreted by them with this in mind.

In this instance, the cartoon’s linkage between the Jewish faith and the Israeli rocket attacks on Gaza was reasonably likely to cause great offence to many readers. A linkage with Israeli nationality might have been justifiable in the public interest, despite being likely to cause offence. But the same cannot be said of the implied linkage with the Jewish faith that arose from inclusion of the kippah and the Star of David. Accordingly, the Council’s Standards of Practice were breached on the ground of causing greater offence to readers’ sensibilities than was justifiable in the public interest.

The Council welcomes the prominent, extensive and closely-reasoned apology by the publication and its subsequent action to reduce the risk of repetition. The Council commends this approach to other publications.


40 Responses to “Sydney Morning Herald cartoon breached Press Council’s Standards of Practice”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Many years ago, when the late Menachem Begin z”l, was Prime Minister of Israel, The Sydney Morning Herald published an op ed (or it might have been an editorial), in which it called the Israeli Cabinet ” a menagerie,” that is, a collection of non-human animals.

    When I made polite, civilised representations about this to the then editor-in-chief, if I remember correctly, his name was Dr Osmond, he brushed the matter aside.

    So, you see, the Sydney Morning Herald is faithfully, courageously and consistently upholding the values, ethics, moral standards of its mighty Fairfax institution.

  2. Carole Powell says:

    such hypocrisy in what is considered offensive when it is considered acceptable to lampoon people of all other religions and that that U.S. Freedom of speech. What I consider offensive is that people in the town near yo the Gaza Strip pulled up chairs on the hill side and watched the merciless obliteration of people including over 2,000 children. What is offensive is Israel continues to expand its illegal settlements through out Palestine. What I find offensive is that Israel continues to occupy and brutalise Palestinian people day in day out for nearly 50 years. What I find offensive is that the Israeli government continues to call for the obliteration of Palestinians and this Australian government supports it.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      What is blatantly offensive is that people with gangrenous antisemitic tumours between their ears venture into the forbetwo sites and spew some of the most vile incongruities imaginable.
      Carole, love, if you bothered to pick ingest in-between copious glasses of Chard some common-sense you’d end out to your amazement that your Hamas loves march day and night under such official slogan as to the complete destruction of Israel and, just in case you run into some “obnoxious” Yidds in your daily shopping sprees, all existing Jews, wherever they happen to reside. So, as a vocal reminder of your claim to a pristine , Jew free suburb of yours , yes, those horrible Israelis had the gaul to watch from a safe distance how their army is kicking arse for a change. Terribly sort, love, that those bloody Jews have the audacity to defend themselves. Also sorry that your Hamas beloved oppressed criminals reckon that murdering the Zionist is much more important than protecting their own kind, children included, when they wage war from places which inevitably will suffer UNWANTED by the Israelis, victims.
      And , by the way, how do you know about the conflict as such, did you watch the suff on your TV screen while sipping YOUR cuppa !!! What, in your distorted mind is the diff between watching on a wide TV screen and doing the same more or less in situ. To your select and not quite expansive field of comprehension , is watching a conflict some kind of a crime !!!
      What was offensive in the stupid cartoon is that it portrays a “typical” Jewish ( as per Goebels cannons ) directing the war from the “comforts” of an open air lounge room.
      Israel is defending herself against a mob of criminals and we, here in Aussie land are doing the same against twisted minds quite incapable to fathom the causistics of complex conflicts.
      Incidentally, if you reckon that your absurdities will have ANY effect on Israel’s determination to repeat the same operation in order to protect itself….. keep drinkin’, love and rave on…

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Carole, you have written lots of fiction / propaganda.
      What is your motivation?

    • Mick Rogers says:


      Apart from Carole’s last point, what she has written is reflective of what has been widely reported in reputable media. Not “propaganda”. Not fiction.

      Not one of you has directed reasoned argument against any point she made. As an example, Otto, the difference between Carole watching the conflict on the TV and those watching from the hillside, is that Carole (I can only assume) did not cheer the deaths of the few dozen(?) Israelis, while those on the hillside did (reportedly) cheer the deaths of a couple of thousand Palestinians – most of them children. Assuming Carole wasn’t cheering the deaths of Israeli innocents, then that is quite a stark difference.

      This conflict, with its painfully complex origins, with fault on both sides, will not be solved by default positions of “you criticise the actions of Israel/Hamas, therefore you’re anti-semitic/anti-Palestine”. It requires reasoned argument, adherence to international law and acceptance of responsibility for past and current wrongs.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        As far as international law is concerned, the legal basis of Israel’s status is the 1922 League of Nations-endorsed “Mandate for ‘Palestine.'”
        That Mandate acknowledged the right of the Jewish nation to “reconstitute its national home” in its traditional homeland.
        It recognised and endorsed Jewish NATIONAL rights, and “civil and religious rights” to all other inhabitants of the Land, the land area of which was an infinitesimal fraction of the Middle East.
        At the same time it recognised and endorsed the NATIONAL rights of “the Arab nation” in the remainder of the Middle East.

        The United Nations, upon its inception, reaffirmed those provisions.

        The Mandated territory for the evolving state which eventually was named Israel, extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
        However, Israel was robbed of its legal entitlement by the Arab Kingdom of Jordan which in the 1947-49 war invaded the heartland of the projected Jewish state, occupied it illegally ( the U.N’s words) and gave it the name, “the West Bank.”
        In the south, Egypt perpetrated a parallel outrage in the Gaza Strip.]
        Jordan, in the process of its aggression, killed all the Jewish residents of “the West Bank,”and illegally occupied Old Jerusalem, imprisoning the Jews of the Old City.

        In 1967 Israel responded to Jordanian shelling and threats of genocide, and recaptured “the West Bank,” including Old Jerusalem.
        It did, however, attempt to reach an accommodation with the Arab world, whereby an autonomous “Palestinian”political entity would be established as an interim measure at least.
        Israel’s offer was rejected; at that time the Arab world could not bring itself even to utter the word, “Israel”, instead, referring to “the Zionist entity.”

        Given these realities, it is incorrect or disingenuous or worse to call “the settlements” “illegal.”
        They are disputed, sure, but not “illegal.” The word “illegal” is used as a diplomatic / propaganda bludgeon, not because the users believe its validity.

        As for the Israelis on the hilltop: has it occurred to you or Carole that, if they were indeed there, they might have been cheering (if they did indeed cheer), the destruction of firing sites and combatants who had been making life impossible for them for years?
        Has it occurred to you or Carole that they might have been cheering the fact that Israel, which had been futilely appealing to the “international community”for years to stop Arabs from firing thousands of mortars and rockets onto them, was at long last beginning to eliminate the sources of aggression?

        You mentioned media reportage: do you have unbounded faith in their reporting of anything let alone the conflict where Jews are involved?
        How does Carole know that most casualties were children?
        How can she explain the discrepancy between that claim and the fact that Israeli doctors and hospitals treated the close relatives of the leader of the genocidal Hamas?
        How does Carole’s outrage square with the fact that Israel has over the years given medical / hospital treatment to thousands of people from Arab states that are at war with Israel, including Syria?
        How does Carole square her propaganda with the fact that Israel employs and trains a multitude of “Palestinian” doctors and nurses?
        It is understandable that screen images affect emotions, but people who assume that they are rational need to look beyond the TV screen.

        You seem to be open to facts, so I’ll recommend, as a starting point, Sir Martin Gilbert’s annotated “Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.”
        It’s concise, loaded with maps (of course) and the format is easy to read and follow.
        You might also consider Barry Rubin’s collection of primary and secondary sources on the history of the conflict.

        You might mean well, but clearly more work needs to be done.
        If you think that is condescending, relax, I myself need to do more work, too.

        Cheers, Mick.

        • Mick Rogers says:


          I have ordered the recommended Sir Martin Gilbert book, and look forward to reading it. Thanks. Do you have a specific title to recommended from the works of Barry Rubin? (my self-enlightenment budget does not run to purchase of the entirety of his output.

          You may have read it already, but if not, then in like spirit to your recommendation, I offer “The Great War for Civilisation…” by Robert Fisk.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        It’s interesting that you assume to know what it was that the alleged Israelis were allegedly cheering.
        It’s interesting that Carole and you seem to think that those Israelis could, from a distance, clearly identify what had been hit by the Israeli fire.
        It’s instructive that Carole and you have not considered other plausible reasons for the alleged cheering:
        after years of futile appeals to “the international community” to put a stop to Arab fire from Gaza; after years of Israeli restraint, finally Israel was beginning to act against those Arabs who had been making life impossible for Israelis, Arabs, foreign workers and Bedouin living in southern Israel.
        It’s interesting that the genocidal rulers of Gaza seem to be invisible, mythical entities in all this.
        Oh, yes; that can’t be right, for Mr Kevin Rudd, former PM and Foreign Minister, had previously protested vigorously against Israel’s efforts to prevent Hamas from smuggling war materials into Gaza.
        That’s because he was very interested in peace.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        If we’re going to talk about “watching, “spectating” and suchlike, let’s consider this:

        for years before the war, Arabs had been making life unsustainable in the long term for Israelis in the south of the country. They achieved this by indiscriminately and continually launching rockets and mortars into Israel.

        The ones who were “watching” and “spectating” then were the members of “the international community.”They performed brilliantly in that role.
        Israel exercised incredible restraint.
        Finally, however, it acted. That’s what made many in the “international community” so unhappy.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        Your reference to “reputable media” betrays a degree of naivete.
        The following personal experience epitomises the kind of treatment which “reputable media” mete out to Israel and Jews in general.
        Over the decades a copious accumulation of similar instances justifies a generalistion:

        I was employed by an Australian taxpayer- funded media organisation for a period as a journalist and broadcaster.
        On one occasion I submitted to my editor a news item wherein the Israeli Prime Minister of the time, Yitzhak Shamir, had said that when the Arab world had been constantly threatening to “throw the Jews into the sea,” “the world” was sympathetic to Israel; but when the Arab world acquired more public relations sophistication, and began to utilise a different approach, the sympathy evaporated.
        The editor vetoed that item, rationalising her decision by arguing that the item was “emotive.”
        HOWEVER she INSISTED on the inclusion of an item in the news bulletin quoting a soldier serving in the U.N. observer force in Lebanon, who had reportedly said that Israeli soldiers behaved like Nazis. In her mind (genuinely or disingenuously) that was not emotive.

        Fascinating, eh?

        The website of the organisation, HONEST REPORTING, has documented a myriad comparable instances over many years.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        Mick, your reference to international law reminded me of the work of a giant in the field of jurisprudence and international law, the late Australian Professor Julius Stone. He demonstrated that what was being done to Israel was, in his words, “an assault on the law of nations,” which is also the title of his book on that matter.

        The following examples demonstrate that assault: according to the instrument of international law, which is known as The Montevideo Convention on the Recognition of States, the Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians” do not meet any of the criteria for recognition of statehood.
        That did not stop Australia’s former Foreign Minister, his political party or most regimes in the world from flouting that particular law.
        International law forbade Egypt from denying Israeli ships, or ships chartered by Israel, passage through the Suez Canal, but for decades Egypt flouted that law with impunity.
        The Oslo Accords of 1994-5, that were underwritten by the world powers, explicitly forbade any unilateral action by the “Palestinians” to alter the state of affairs which was granted to them by Israel, namely autonomy, pending negotiations leading to a definitive settlement.
        From day one, the “Palestinians” flouted those accords with impunity.
        Even the Australian Labour Party supports the flouting of those Accords.

        That’s how much “the international community” respects its own laws.

        How much does Turkey’s actual illegal occupation of northern Cyprus since 1974, exercise the concern of “the international community?”
        How much of China’s illegal occupation of Tibet, its forced transfer of populations in both directions, its wholesale killing of Tibetans and attempt to obliterate their unique culture, exercise the conscience of the world?
        “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” sure, but why the differential treatment?

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        Even if we assume the worst case scenario about the alleged cheering, why conclude that it is representative of Israelis in general?

        How many people would generalise from the behaviour of Australia’s former foreign minister, who declared that Jews in Australia exert ” an unhealthy influence” on Australia’s foreign policy——-why? Because they exercise their presumed right as presumed Australian citizens, to make their voices heard.

        So, you see, Mick, this sort of thing is not restricted to “the reputable media.”

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        Mick, you said that Carol’s post is not propaganda.
        The definition of “Propaganda” includes the sense of one-sidedness;
        where in Carol’s presentation do you detect any Israeli side?

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        Under the pretentious/false/ridiculous guise of infusing”reason’ into the discussion, a certain Mr. Rogers sustains with the same ridiculous/false intellectual aplomb that a certain carole makes sense by digressing the issue of ostensive antisemitism in the Australian media to the non-subsequent issue of Israelis enjoying a) murdering ANY children in their Zionist quest and b) encouraging the spirit of the same by “reportedly” cheering the said process.
        Using any pretext for spewing on select media venues irrational prejudice we casually call antisemitism, social media mobsters such as carole and Rogers imagine that repeated incongruities, distortions , totally fabricated long distance “arguments” about what, indeed, is a complex issue will serve some imaginary cause for justice involving a people – your darling palestinians – so obviously dedicated strictly to conflict, destruction, the kind of destruction that starts with their own kind and extended to what they have declared as the perennial “worthy” enemy, the Jew.
        We know your kind and, to be honest, try to figure out what kind of base, rationale-devoid motivation urges you to cut into a necessary discourse for REAL reason and pepper what should be constructive with unwanted residues of ignorance mixed with poisoned prejudice.
        Before you launch again into some moralistic trash , please warn me so I can take a vommitive…
        Otherwise ,I let worthy Leon to take care of the rest.

        • Mick Rogers says:


          Perhaps you should re-read my post.

          I did not seek to defend the Palestinian wrongs.

          I did not say, or imply, that the people cheering strikes in Gaza knew that children were being killed – although it seems that about a quarter of all casualties were children, so perhaps they should have known.


          Why do you consider it “pretentious” for another to air their view?

          Why do you refer to a person making statements of opinion, as “mobsters”?

          How do you presume to know my “kind”?

          I am disappointed in the standard of your debate, and wonder that you cannot see the hypocrisy in your chosen modus operandi.

          Nevertheless, at this time I cannot deny the effectiveness of your strategy, for I have grown weary, and will not be responding to you further, if you continue thus.

          • Otto Waldmann says:

            Mick, learn to debate by learning first the meaning of words;
            “Pretentious” is not the exercise of asserting one’s views, but THE MANNER in which it is done.
            The only thing I agree with you is in you desisting to rave on matters you know bugger all about because having the visceral disposition to get stuck into the Jews for the “fun” of it cannot replace reason, let’s call it the intellectual baggage to carry on rational dialectics
            I suggest you resume that cozy place on the park bench and continue to feed and talk to the birds. Here you’re whislin’ in a wind blowing into your face, unless you really enjoy being my rhetorical punch bag, which, to be honest, me doesn’t mind at all.

            • Mick Rogers says:


              Thank you for the (unnecessary) definition of “pretentious”, that being the entirety of your post.

              Seeya! 😉

              • Otto Waldmann says:

                Hey Mick, mate, as you attempt to infuse “academic detachment” in your innocent comments in regards to what constitutes graphic representations seemingly devoid of any unwanted derogatory inference ( see the failed foray into a cleansing of well known traditional antisemitic “aestetic” expressions) I wish to inform you that, unlike what seems to be your “cultural” requisite, I, for instance and surely lots more on this site, are fully aware of what such publications as “Der Sturm” thrived in its hey day when portraying the very SAME Jew in EXACTLY the same manner as your cool and jovial SMH. This is lesson #1. Lesson # 2, we now traverse to a completely distinct geopolitical zone, Soviet Union to the tireless “Kukrynitsky” output of the “Krokodil” fame, another funny shmate dedicated soon after 1948 in ridiculing, actually attacking in exactly the same graphic detail this time the “criminal Zionists”.
                Same with your jocular try at defining “conflicts” and “intentional tactics of inflicting genocidal crimes by Israel’. Nice try, but not even a banana for a genuine slippery monkey grip on the topic.
                As a nice bloke I am giving you these lessons for gurnischt, free as we say in Yddish , ’cause I am still worried about you having enough dough to buy that bread to feed those birds in the park, a worthwhile pursuit I would not wish to interfere with, so maybe you ignore other activities, such as commenting on serious matters in far too transparently prejudicious a fashion.
                Your “subtle” provocations/ approach of ” let’s talk at length principles from that “neutral”, objective angle” is a tactic I have seen and ridiculed for so long…..seriously now, mate, yorse stuff is no original crap, I have it brushed regularly out me dinner table with the rest of the unwanted crumbs. But I’ll grantya, you is polite !!!Yours, is, sorry to say, a stale, pedestrian , however stubborn intrusion into matters well beyond your intellectual station ( see the unacceptable confusion between substance and form in lexical terms, as directed by me previously ) motivated by obvious visceral unrest dedicated to irritating a certain target best known as Jews. Yes, we, Jews, are known for being smart and you cannot help NEEDING to demonstrate that you are not a lesser “contender”. Certain dialectical dexterities, cultivated in who knows what kincd of polemic fraternities cannot cut the ice if ONLY vanity needs to be satisfied. We, the same smart Jews, require good , solid content/handling of relevant deatils and, once again, BETTER contentious abilities and, sorry mate, you is not makin’ the grade . Want to know why !!I’ll tellya; these, Jewish topics, is OUR specialised field, something we inherit and develop as a matter of existential necessity , so any outsider wishing to better us at OUR game can only reap ridicule ad instant dialectical dismissal, or, at best becoming the target of derision, something we are also pretty good at.

  3. Mick Rogers says:

    OK, seems to be a consensus among those commenting so far – general agreement that the Press Council was right, and the SMH was anti-Semitic.

    Well. Just how would one draw an Israeli, such that they would be recognisable as such? Perhaps the character could be holding an Israeli flag? Oops – there’s that Star of David again – association of implied negative commentary (the cartoon) with the Jewish faith = anti-Semitism again! A big nose? Roman, perhaps? No, almost certainly Israeli – but now it is a racial stereotype – oops, vilification on the basis of common racial characteristics…

    Must we consider the possibility that the actual problem was that the cartoon called attention to the overwhelmingly one-sided nature of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict then in progress? Can’t be having that now, can we?

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Mick, don’t worry. The Press Council does not have the power to erase a 2,000 year-old attitude that is deeply embedded in many people’s psyche and is continuing to be culturally transmitted.
      The Press Council will not change the minds of Carlton, the Sydney Morning Herald staff, you, Carole or any like-minded virtuous people.

      • Mick Rogers says:


        My attitude is that people/peoples are individually/collectively responsible for their actions/the actions of their governments.

        That cartoon made a strong political comment, and in substance was no different to a few thousand words describing the facts of what occurred on hillsides on the border, Eg:

        The motifs employed by the artist to represent Israel or the Israeli people are reflective of commonly understood racial characteristics and religious associations. Like many stereotypes, they are of course not universally representative. I am sure that many people within the Israeli community do not appreciate application of those motifs, but I cannot see anything in them, per se, which vilifies the Israeli people, or the Jewish religion.

        I welcome argument, but it seems somewhat reckless to presume to know my mind on the basis of the few words above 😉

        • Leon Poddebsky says:


          You’ve cited “The Guardian” as “a reputable” media source.
          That’s a matter of opinion, and its reliability varies according to its subject.

          Let me give you my perspective on “The Guardian.”
          Some background first: one of the indicators of the Jews’ attachment to the ancestral homeland, The Land of Israel, the claim to which they have never yielded even over two millennia of exile, is the many references to The Land in the voluminous Jewish literature, both religious and secular, including the liturgy.
          One of the Jewish prayers, which has been recited from time immemorial, both within Israel and outside, is the prayer for rain. That practice has been preserved in the exilic communities.

          “The Guardian”, a while ago, published the following riddle: “What is the definition of a loyal British citizen?
          Answer: a Jew who prays for rain to fall in Israel at a time of drought in Britain.”

          That is illustrative of this “reputable media source.”
          Never mind that these same Jews pray constantly in their houses of worship for the well-being of the Queen the royal family, the government.
          Never mind that many of them have relatives who died for Britain in wars.
          Never mind that many of these Jews have contributed enormously to British medicine, science, the arts, sport, commerce etc etc
          To “The Guardian” that’s worth zero.
          Europe destroyed 6 million Jews and in their place imported people of a different ethno-religious background.
          “The Guardian” is happy.

          • Mick Rogers says:


            My understanding of the intent of your statements above is as follows:

            1) The Guardian reports as linked in my post above is false, or very likely to be false. This is because the Guardian published a riddle which I assume (from the context of your text) is somehow defamatory of he Jewish faith/people. [Here I must admit that I simply couldn’t understand the riddle – what you have posted is perhaps not a direct quote? If so, that may explain why I couldn’t find it via Google.]

            2) There is a connection, implying design, between “Europe” killing ~6 million Jews (among others meeting hateful criteria for persecution/extermination) and “importation” of another people?

            Is that correct? A direct response to the specific question would be appreciated.

      • Eleonora Mostert says:

        Say what? Carole or any like minded virtuous people. Good heavens do you even know what the word virtuous means? We often see footage of Muslims wailing, usually the same footage of one incident over and over again. I have seen one father carry the same injured child over three years, perhaps Carole should watch the footage of mothers and fathers binding bombs around their children to remotely detonate them and watch the devastation it causes. Why isn’t Carole and her mates up in arms about the murder of 2000000 or more in Syria, or in Iraq, or Iran, or the deaths in Pakistan, Africa, Egypt, India, Yemen. Why don’t they cry out for the Christians (Arab etc.) in these countries who are being slaughtered, decapitated, burned alive, buried alive, little girls 2 years old being raped by these peace loving Muslims. If you make any comment against a Muslim in this country (even when it is fact) it will be on the news for days on end and you are considered a bigot or racist. I do not consider myself racist.. however I do have a problem with the Muslim religion. At the same time I do not hold all Muslims responsible or tar them all with the same brush. Israel has the right to defend herself. Solution???…. should we take a leaf out of the Muslims strategy and get rid of all Muslims? 2 Wrongs don’t make a right. Question Carole… would you sit and watch your family be slaughtered??? Perhaps you should study a little more and get your facts straight. Who is the aggressor. There is a joke that goes around… The Muslims give thanks to Allah … making the Jews their enemies, Perhaps you could read Otto Waldmann’s comments again for some enlightment.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      By the way, Mick, traditional military doctrine advocates that each belligerent make conflict as one-sided as possible in order to maximise chances of victory and to minimise casualties on its own side.

      Warfare is not a game of cricket (though the recent cricket tragedy in Australia shows that even cricket has its hazards, though it does not make life impossible as Arab rockets used to do for the people of Israel.)

      Those people would gladly swap the dangers which they face for the dangers of cricket which the people of faraway tranquil Australia face.

      • Mick Rogers says:

        Fair comment Leon, and a fact of which I am well aware. International law, (I stand ready to be corrected) mandates restricting hostilities to combatants.

        • Leon Poddebsky says:

          International law states that targeting civilians is a crime.
          International law, however, does not decree a blanket prohibition on the killing of civilians, for the simple reason that it is an impossible ideal to achieve.

          The Israel Defence Forces give Arab civilians advance information of the locations of their intended strikes; they do this by means of millions of leaflets, telephone contact with individuals, and dummy hits on intended targets. Those warnings disadvantage Israel’s military, and have been the cause of many Israeli casualties. Such warnings are not mandated by international law.
          Human error can occur; Israel has experienced even “friendly fire” incidents, where its own soldiers have been killed.

          Israel’s Arab enemy uses civilian dwellings, schools ,hospitals, United Nations facilities etc as military launching sites and weapons storage facilities.
          International law defines such “multi-purpose” entities as “legitimate targets”and defines such abuse of civilian facilities as war crimes.
          Israel’s Arab enemy fires rockets and mortars indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians, both Jews and Arabs.
          Apart form Israel’s humanitarian concern for innocent Arabs, it has no interest in perpetrating acts that could give the enemy propaganda fuel.
          The “Palestinian” Arab leadership, PLO/PA/Hamas/Fatah, as well as the majority of rank and file opinion in their society, are not prepared to countenance the existence of a sovereign Jewish nation-state; Hamas, additionally, explicitly calls for genocide of Jews in its charter.
          These are all crimes.

          Neither the Jews nor Israel invented warfare; warfare is not the preferred choice of action of either the Jews or Israel.
          It is the preferred option of its mortal aggressor enemies.
          Israelis would rather spend more time and other resources on what they already do superbly in all areas of peaceful human endeavour for the benefit of mankind.

          PS I guess that many people, especially such as inhabit “The Sydney Morning Herald,” The Sydney University Peace Centre,” the ABC and so on, would argue that I’m wrong; they would argue that what the Jews do best is to make money, unlike other peoples of the world.

          Cheers, Mick.

          • Mick Rogers says:


            Your points from “The Israel Defense…” to “genocide of Jews in its charter” are well taken.

  4. Ian Worby says:

    Good to see the press council admit the cartoon was in breach of the standards, and the apology ( of sorts) was published.

    One small point of clarity, the Cartoon and accompanying article July 26, 2014 in response to ” Operation protective Edge” rather than ” Operation cast lead” as stated in the opening paragraph.

    Best regards

    Ian Worby

  5. Liat Nagar says:

    I think there would have been a difference depicting an Israeli in the cartoon rather than the stereotypical graphically drawn Jew that has been handed down through the ages. I fully agree with Leon Poddebsky’s comments in this regard. Also, I don’t think the SMH article or the cartoon had anything to do with attempted appeasement of the Muslim community, rather it is blatantly anti-Semitic.
    I read the SMH apology (?) – weak and ineffectual. What a joke to mention Ruth Pollard as some sort of plus for reporting the ongoing news from the area.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      The Herald’s support for Ruth Pollard brand of “reporting” strengthens the case of that publication’s critics.

  6. David Schulberg says:

    For completeness JWire readers might like to refer to the 650 word apology that emanated from the desk of the SMH – go to

  7. Paul Winter says:

    How wonderful that, for once, the Press Council agreed with the obvious.

    It is so reassuring that the paper printed a 650 word apology and that the newspaper’s editor in chief and news director had attended NSWJBD seminars, like a community service sentence, but less effective.

    The SMH failed to publish letters pointing countering Slezak disinformation screed published after a letter by Alhadeff and a letter in reply to Irfan Yusuf pointing out that Egypt’s President called on Islamic scholars to change their thinking on Islam.

    The unFairfax press is Islamophilic and adopts the attitude of antisemites pretending to be merely anti-Israel, who simultaneously declare the Holocaust to be a hoax and revile Hitler for not finishing the job.

    The SMH like the ABC and SBS employ journalists trained at universities where freedom of thought now means freedom to indoctrinate, who select facts or invent them to support their stories and where all narratives are equal, but some narratives are more equal than others.

  8. Michael Kay says:

    Depicting Jewish or Israeli, it’s Irrelevant.
    Apology or not, the Sydney Morning Herald is showing it’s real face, Anti-Semitic. (The Editor should not have allowed such cartoon to be published)

  9. Andrew Barak says:

    So if the cartoon had a distinctive Israeli sitting in the chair instead of a stereotypical Jew, then the cartoon would have been less offensive?

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      The issue at hand is that we have evidence of what must be accepted as Israelis watching from some safe distance some of the IDF interventions in Gaza. Theere is no issue with the FACT that Islaeris, same as Jews, were doing it. The fact itself, of WATCHING has NOTHING objectionable about it. Those who made it objectionable as such, are wrong, tendentious and casting antisemitic inferences in relation to the event as suc. That Jews/Israeli watch a certain event is NOT at all a crime, there is nothing unethical etc. about it. Also that a Jew is wearing a kippa while watching the same is not offensive. What is offensive is the intentional distorted image which is in the same graphical class as the most distinctive antisemitic graphic representations of which media entities ought to be fully aware and desist fro using.

  10. Leon Poddebsky says:

    The Press Council does not have the power to eradicate the imprint of a 2,000 year-old
    theological-turned-cultural transmission of the kind of predisposition of which the cartoon is a product.

    That predisposition is shared by the cartoonist and his employer.

  11. Raymond Phillips says:

    Another not so fine example of the media appeasing the islamic community. If it were the other way round nothing would be said.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.