Steve Bell defends Scarfe cartoon on BBC
By Jonathan Hoffman
January 29, 2013
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?
As Harrys Place says, Bell has 'form' ...
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:
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.
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