this cartoon by Latuff, published at indymedia-switzerland, anti-Semitic?
cartoon by Latuff is shown here for documentation purposes as
it was published at the Indymedia-Switzerland site. ...link
cartoon evokes a clear association of a WWII ghetto in Poland.
The figure shown is obviously based on the image from the
infamous photograph of the little boy who is threatened by
an SS-man armed with a gun. Hardly any other picture from
any ghetto has the same symbolic and emotional impact.
Further associations are stirred up. A Jewish community, living
in Poland for centuries, is brutally violenced and detained
to a Ghetto for one single reason: Because they are Jews.
There is no political or strategic military goal behind this
"ghettoization", only the thorough extermination
of the Jewish population. The ghettos in Eastern Europe are
part of the holocaust; they are the waiting room for the extermination
caption in the bubble "I am Palestinian" picks up the
figure of the devastated Jewish child and transforms it into a
different one. Now the Palestinians are the ghetto-child whose
fate is in the hands of oppressors who clearly intend his extinction.
But the oppressors, too, are in the picture. Through the sentence
"I am Palestinian" it is made clear that the ghetto
wardens of today are not the Nazis anymore, but the Israelis.
The picture conveys the clear association that the Jews themselves
do nowexactly the same what the Nazis did to them in the Thirties
and Forties of the last century. From a psychological point of
view this means that the Jews suffer from an obsessive-compulsive
urge to re-stage the ghetto trauma again and again to be able
to face it at all and thus may have the trace of a chance to free
themselves from it. For this purpose all means seem justifiable
to the Jews = Israelis. The "Jews" are the "Germans"
of the Middle East, the murderous invaders who attack as well
- and foremost - children. Their only goal is the total extermination
of the Palestinian people.
Enough said about the heavy symbolism of the picture's antagonism
between the "people", symbolized by a child, and the
"black wall" (execution wall at Auschwitz?). It is part
of the above explanation.
Jews are reduced to a symbol here and the holocaust thus intrumentalized
as a clever catchphrase to insinuate that the holocaust a) was
not a singular experience and b) that the Israelis do exactly
the same, i.e. follow a comprehensive genocidal agenda. Jews are
"allotted" just victim-status, which they have to live
by. If they don't, they are automatically labelled with the "global
conspiracy" stereotype, which portrays them as aspiring tyrant
rulers of the world.
The emblematic set-up of the Israelis = Nazis symbol has become
a much-used topos within the Arab world since the foundation of
Israel 1948. It is published regularly in Arab newspapers, although
in a much more direct way (Moshe Dayan meets Hitler and gets a
compliment as his (Hitler's) "best disciple"). In the
picture we are discussing here this is done much more subtly,
but not any less anti-Semitic.
icon of the "global Jewish plotter" who poses as a victim,
yet is a perpetrator, is a figure frequently used in the 19th
and early 20th century. Depending on the point of view of the
critic, Jews were either revolutionaries threatening law and order
or cannibal exploitative abusers. Both of those images imply that
"the Jews" are following an agenda of taking over global
The relativation of the holocaust and the denial of its singularity
is a further anti-Semitic symbol, which allows to intrumentalize
the extremely emotional topic of the holocaust in a populist and
polemic fashion for other purposes and which implies invariably
elements of excuse for German society as well.
The cartoon abuses, polemically, sensationally and luridly, the
suffering of the Jewish people in the holocaust to cast the Jews
as the evil incarnated in the Middle East. This is no cartoonist,
legitimate larger-than-life illustration to make a point, this
puts an end to any dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis.
No communication is possible between the mutely murderous black
wall and the helpless child. The only solution is a demolition
of the wall and as the wall stands for Israel = Jewry, when all
is said and done, the cartoon stands for the extermination of
the Jewish people and the state of Israel.