Steve Bell defends Scarfe cartoon on BBC


By Jonathan Hoffman
January 29, 2013
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21241711

He's debating today with JC Editor Stephen Pollard .. who starts by acknowledging Rupert Murdoch's apology ...

Bell: "Apologising for this cartoon - for once it wasn't a bad cartoon - I think Stephen Pollard invokes terms like "the blood libel" and kind of "genocidal hate rage".... he's attributing this to a cartoon which is actually ... it's sort of like a mirror image of the cartoon Scarfe did the week before ... President Assad clutching the head of a baby ... not a squeak about that ...

"The problem with the State of Israel and the Zionist Lobby is that they never acknowledge the crime of ethnic cleansing upon which the State was founded .. if you use the term 'blood libel' as loosely and ridiculously as that"

Stephen Pollard points out that the blood libel is used at least weekly in the Middle East Press ..

Bell goes on:

"Extraneous notions like 'blood libel' are dropped in and sensitivities are talked up .. the very word 'antisemitic' becomes devalued .. 'they' throw it around with such abandon, if there really is antisemitism it's actually getting ignored..."

I must have missed the programme when Steve Bell defended the Mohammed cartoons... Did anyone else hear it?

http://hurryupharry.org/2013/01/29/steve-bell-and-original-sin/

As Harrys Place says, Bell has 'form' ...

UPDATE:

Some people are suggesting the cartoon is not antisemitic. They need to read the EUMC Definition. "Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews" is antisemitic. It doesn't have to be "Jews" plural. To make a stereotypical (eg blood libel) allegation about a single Jew violates the Definition -- in particular if that "single Jew" is the Prime Minister of the world's only Jewish State.

UPDATE 2: So true - from blogger Brian of London in Israel:

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/anyone-want-to-kill-a-cartoonist/

So after this enraging cartoon let us review what Jews didn’t do:

* The cartoonist was not forced into hiding by numerous credible and widely publicised death threats from recognised religious leaders of any Jewish communities let alone all of them.
* Anybody defending the artist or republishing his work did not scurry off to an undisclosed but taxpayer funded safe house with an armed security detail (no gun control for protecting celebrities of course).
* The UK government was not directly called upon to punish the cartoonist and newspaper, preferably with harsh sentences like death or horrible death.
* Nobody broke into the cartoonist’s home with an axe.
* The office of the publisher and the newspaper were not threatened, picketed, blown up, fire bombed or sent mail bombs.
* Angry mobs of incensed Jews and Israelis did not gather outside or storm and occupy UK embassies or burn effigies of Rupert Murdoch or Gerald Scarfe.
* No diplomats were murdered, abducted or forced to eat more Ferrero Rocher chocolates than they wished.
* Israel did not respond by summoning the UK’s ambassador to answer for the actions of an independent newspaper in the UK.

COMMENTS

Jon.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 14:13

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Well there was this one, where Steve Bell drew Mohammed as a camel....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/stevebell/0,,1701293,00.html


Rich Armbach

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 14:16

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Stephen Pollard was mangled. He has spent the whole morning on twitter looking for reassurance.


happygoldfish

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 14:17

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joemillis1959

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 15:14

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Dreadful cartoon, and very typically gore-filled from Scarfe as any one who has seen his other caricatures will know. It's his stock in trade. But Blood libel? Really? Is he portraying all Jews as having a hand in the building of the wall/fence/barrier? All Israelis even? No it's Netanyahu - and it's offensive and unfair.

We're lucky, of course, that he didn't give Netanyahu one of those hugely exaggerated Jim Hacker/Sir Humphrey noses from the opening titles of Yes Minister/Prime Minister. Then some people would have blown a gasket.

So, are there going to be calls to boycott News International media as well as the Guardian/Observer?


happygoldfish

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 15:18

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joemillis1959: Is he portraying all Jews as having a hand in the building of the wall/fence/barrier? All Israelis even?

(it's not the security wall/fence/barrier, it's the wall of a settlement house)

no, scarfe is portraying all Jews (or israelis) as having a hand in killing palestinians

surely even you can see that that's describable as a blood libel?


Rich Armbach

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 15:24

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no, scarfe is portraying all Jews (or israelis) as having a hand in killing palestinians …

How ? Where ?


joemillis1959

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 15:25

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No, Mr/Ms Goldfish, all I see in the cartoon is an offensive and unfair portrayal of Netanyahu. I don't see any portrayal of all Jews. Is Netanyahu all Jews? Are all Jews Netanyahu?

There's blood, but there's no blood libel. Unless, of course, you are tying all Jews to Israel's policies - even if it's an incorrect depcition of such - which, ironically, is against the principles of the working definition of antisemitism


J.Clifford

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 15:51

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Is Netanyahu all Jews? Are all Jews Netanyahu? At this time following the elections in Israel the answer is probably yes. As for blood libel I think that is a rather mild description of the cartoon with a grotesque Netanyahu with a "Jewish" nose and ugly features, applying mortar made with blood bricking up poor Palestinians. Ethnic cleansing!! Jews from Arab lands were ethnically cleansed. Well I think it was anti-Semitic straight out of Der Sturmer and I think it was thoroughly offensive. Seems like Rupert Murdoch did too which makes him more of mensch to me than Bell and Scarfe will ever be with or without hacking.


joemillis1959

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 16:43

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Janet, while I understand and appreciate where you are coming from, those who subscribe to the EUMC working definition of antisemitism would tell you that holding all Jews responsible for Israel's actions could be antisemitism. In fact, some would say it is antisemitism.

Scarfe's cartoon is offensive and unfair, but it doesn't depict all Jews, or even all Israelis (it goes without saying that it doesn't depict the 25% of non Jewish Israelis). But that's cartoons for you; they aim to cause offence. It's up to us, as individuals, to decide whether we take offence or whether we just turn the page and move on.


Mary in Brighton

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 17:31

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Poor Jonathan seems to have completely lost it.


Rich Armbach

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 17:50

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Yes it is deffo time for him to move on to his next abject failure. Keep em rolling I say.


JC Webmaster

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 18:08

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