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‘Economist’ pulls cartoon showing Obama shackled to Congress bearing Star of David

Israel/Palestine
on 76 Comments

 

Economist cartoon, since removed

Economist cartoon, since removed

 

This cartoon was published by the Economist to accompany an article about threats to the Iran deal. The cartoon unleashed criticism. (Per the JTA and the Times of Israel). 

And the Economist now has this afterword to the story:

“The print edition of this story had a cartoon which inadvertently caused offense to some readers, so we have replaced it with a photograph.”

The Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman called on the Economist to issue a “full-throated apology” for publishing the cartoon.

The Economist cannot repair the damage of publishing an anti-Semitic image with only half-measures. …

This was nothing less than a visual representation of the age-old anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control. And it conjures up yet another classic anti-Semitic myth — the accusation that Jews have “dual loyalty” and will act only on behalf of Israel to the detriment of their own country.  This is the stuff of the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” recycled for a modern-day audience with a wink and a nod to Professors Mearsheimer and Walt and Jimmy Carter.

The Economist already has a credibility problem when it comes to Israel. The fact that this cartoon passed editorial muster without raising red flags raises serious questions about its editorial judgment and the possibility of a more deeply ingrained bias against the Jewish State.

I got this pin from AIPAC. Is it anti-Semitic?

AIPAC lapel pin

AIPAC lapel pin

Foxman smeared political scientists Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer and former president Jimmy Carter for talking about the Israel lobby.

While he’s at it, why doesn’t he land on Jon Stewart for being anti-Semitic? As The Washington Post explains Stewart’s sketch last week:

He asks, reasonably: Why are 59 senators pushing for a sanctions bill that most observers seem to think will actually set back the bill’s goal? He argues that this is explained by the nefarious behind-the-scenes lobbying of pro-Israel groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Lesson: You’re not allowed to debate this political issue with any of the tools you bring to other debates (criticism, anger, satire, contempt, exaggeration). And you’re not allowed to talk about the Israel lobby if you’re not Jewish.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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76 Responses

  1. Krauss
    Krauss
    January 21, 2014, 12:31 pm

    Disappointed that the Economist whimped out under pressure.

    The Star of David imagary is tricky, though. If it was a Star of David on Obama’s every move, all domestic and all foreign, it would be anti-Semitic(as well as absurd, as if Jews controlled US policy towards China or Obama’s education policy).

    But in this context, when it comes to Iran, it’s simply true that the Israel lobby(or Jewish lobby as they say in Israel) is behind the pressure. There is no other constituency.

    To deny this is completely ridiculous and the Economist should have stood by their cartoonist and explained this.
    Because Foxman can’t argue on the facts, of course it’s (organized) Jewish pressure bearing on Obama.

    He’s just outraged that people like him are being called on it.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      January 21, 2014, 12:35 pm

      And while the Economist should have stood by their cartoon and explained in no uncertain terms why it is factually accurate, they should have also asked Foxman how representative of Jews he is.

      The Forward did an investigation into this matter, where they looked at most of these machers. What they found was that they were overpaid and not completely undemocratically elected. The people who elect guys like Foxman are his little donor network, there are no ballots and no democracy.

      Notice again how everything revolves around money for these guys. They don’t believe in democracy and free speech for the goys and neither do they for the Jews.
      And their positions on the settlements or Israeli policy is far to the right of most of the grassroots of American Jews. Why isn’t Foxman getting asked these quesitons? Let him scream he’s the victim of an anti-Semitic conspiracy all he wants. He should be put under pressure because he’s been treated with kids gloves for far too long.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      January 21, 2014, 12:44 pm

      ”The Star of David imagary is tricky, though. If it was a Star of David on Obama’s every move, all domestic and all foreign, it would be anti-Semitic”

      Why? The founders of the state of Israel chose to put the Star of David in a prominent position on their national flag. That’s not anyone else’s fault. Would a similar cartoon featuring a sword on a green background as a way of illustrating Saudi influence in Washington also be pulled because it’s ‘anti-Islamic’?

    • January 21, 2014, 5:43 pm

      i’m peripherally a graphic artist of sorts and being told beforehand of the star of david i had to search a long time before i saw it hidden amidst the american stars.
      if i would’ve designed it i would’ve taken out the red and blue shield and in its stead then put the david star thing.
      and how, my god, is that star of david thing so contemptably hideous and ugly!

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 21, 2014, 10:04 pm

        thetruthhurts- I’ve heard Mel Brooks explain the triumph of Christianity over Judaism by reason of the simplicity of making the motions to symbolize a cross (on top of one’s upper body) before going into battle compared to the complications of making a star of david (over one’s upper body), thus while the Jew is still making a symbol the christian is ready to kill.

        But I never heard the Start of David called contemptibly hideous and ugly. I find the shape of the Star of David, its geometric term is hexagram, to be quite intriguing. Are there any other geometric shapes that you find hideous and ugly?

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 22, 2014, 10:08 am

        @Jonah – The svastika was some mystical peace symbol in old times. No more.
        The same is happening to the star of David.

  2. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    January 21, 2014, 12:31 pm

    I’ve never had much time for ‘The Economist’ and now I have even less. They should not have self-censored, certainly not at the behest of the odious professional offenderato Abe Foxmann. People do not have a right not to be ‘offended’. I have no doubt that if it were Muslims or Palestinians who were ‘offended’, we’d hear the usual schtick about the sacredness of ‘freedom of speech’ and how Muslims need to learn how ‘we in the West’ respect freedom of expression above all else.

    Some groups’ convenient ‘sensitivities’ are more precious than others.

  3. American
    American
    January 21, 2014, 12:37 pm

    I had to look real hard to find the Star of David on the US seal. Would not have noticed it without bewing told to look for it.
    Shows you how obsessed I-First is with scannning and examining every possible thing in public view.

    The two flags pin isnt anti semitic, its anti American in its message that Israel is part of the US. No politicians wear a pin with the Star and Stripes and the Flag of France or England or Saudi on their lapels.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 21, 2014, 12:50 pm

      @ American
      That’s a good point. Where do we see lapel pins with double, equally aligned flags other than US-Israel flags? We don’t even do this with England.

  4. annie
    annie
    January 21, 2014, 12:40 pm

    This was nothing less than a visual representation of the age-old anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control.

    that’s just not true. there are at least 2 other/5-pointed stars on that congress seal also. so it’s up to the viewer to determine the 6 pointed star is controlling the others, but the graphic doesn’t say that. it does say obama is bound by congress and for sure the intent of aipac is to impact congress, so what’s the beef?

    the economist shouldn’t have folded. and if foxman is so concerned about an ” age-old anti-Semitic canard ” then he should be lecturing aipac&friends to get their noses out of our legislation. but to act the way they do (lobbiest) and then moan about the response of regular people being pissed lobbiest have more pull on congress than regular citizens (and that is the point of lobbiests) is hypocritical. enough w/this BS, call a spade a spade.

    • just
      just
      January 21, 2014, 12:48 pm

      “call a spade a spade”

      Or a bulldozer.

      As for the artist:

      “According to John Walsh, “Schrank displays a Euro-Gothic approach to drawing, full of drama, spikiness and darkness”: “He is superb at conveying secrecy, guilt, and Kafka-esque atmospheres of threat.” Asked in 2003 how he dealt with a recurring story – such as the relationship between Tony Blair and George Bush – Schrank said that “the more you look at it the more intricacies you find”: “It’s like the blues – there may be only three chords, but there are endless variations. It’s the weeks when no story dominates that can be tricky.””

      http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/artists/peterschrank/biography

    • American
      American
      January 21, 2014, 1:03 pm

      ”enough w/this BS, call a spade a spade. ”…annie

      Agree.
      The Zionist are doing in the US, in particular, what that canard accused Jews of.
      I’ve commented before on the hypocrisy of the Zionist doing right before our eyes exactly what Jews were accused of before and then ranting about how afraid of anti semtism they are—doesnt compute.
      If we dont call a spade a spade they get away with it.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 21, 2014, 7:59 pm

        Absolutely right, American.

        “This was nothing less than a visual representation of the age-old anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control.”

        The whole point of AIPAC is to exert Jewish control over American policy, and the whole point of ADL is to exert Jewish control over what we say, show, see, and hear.

        “And it conjures up yet another classic anti-Semitic myth — the accusation that Jews have “dual loyalty” and will act only on behalf of Israel to the detriment of their own country.”

        And that seems to be exactly what AIPAC and the ADL are doing.

      • American
        American
        January 21, 2014, 9:04 pm

        Take a gander at this craziness from Foxman:

        http://www.jta.org/2013/05/30/news-opinion/world/adl-receives-7-5-million-grant-to-poll-anti-semitic-attitudes

        75 Million Grant for Survey on Anti Semitism

        “The Global Anti-Semitism Index will give us the ability not only to better understand the magnitude of the problem around the world, but to assess where it is most problematic, how pervasive it is in certain regions, and exactly which anti-Jewish beliefs are the most seriously entrenched,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director.

        “We will be able to share that information with governments to use it as a lever to promote education and legislation against anti-Semitism.

        We will be able to present countries and international bodies with hard data on the actual level of attitudinal biases toward Jews around the world. And we will be able to pinpoint which countries are the most deeply infected with one of the world’s oldest hatreds.”

        So …..er…what do they think they are going to ‘lever’ governments into doing with their data?

    • David Doppler
      David Doppler
      January 21, 2014, 3:56 pm

      Abe Foxman is talking himself out. He says the same over-dramatic B/S over and over, and at some point, people stop listening, understand he’s part of the Lobby.

  5. DaveS
    DaveS
    January 21, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Israel chooses to have as its flag the Star of David. The most obvious way for a cartoonist to signify a connection to Israel is to use its flag symbol. If the cartoon had pictured a menorah, Foxman might have had more justification for this silly outburst. Then the cartoonist might be suggesting that Congress is mostly Jewish or at least shackled by American Jews as opposed to Israel supporters. But Israel is pushing hard against any Iran deal, AIPAC is pushing hard against it on behalf of Israel, and Congress is responding to this pressure, not near-unanimously as is often the case, but to a great extent. The cartoonist is portraying that accurately and fairly.

    Moreover, the cartoon portrays Rouhani being restrained by “hard-liners” who are burning the U.S. flag. Should we censure the cartoonist because no one in the Iranian government actually burns flags? Cartoons necessarily exaggerate, but the Obama side of the cartoon is more accurate and less distorted than the Rouhani side.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      January 21, 2014, 1:14 pm

      I agree. If anything, the Iranians would have much more reason to be ‘offended’ by this cartoon than Jews. Israel is represented only by a barely visible star on the US seal, whereas on the other side, we have every Iranian cliche vividly depicted – swarthy guys with beards and turbans burning American flags. But as I said above, some people’s sensitivities are more sacred than others.

    • just
      just
      January 21, 2014, 4:07 pm

      Totally agree with both of you.

      It’s pathetic in the extreme. Foxman and his nasty compadres are trained to see antisemitism here, there and everywhere, even when none exists. Does the Star of David represent all Jewish people, or Israel?

      They don’t do nuance or honesty…at all.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        January 21, 2014, 4:34 pm

        Ditto.

    • tokyobk
      tokyobk
      January 21, 2014, 7:36 pm

      The Menorah is also a Jewish symbol co-opted by the GOI so if it were used (as it has been in the past) people would write it off as referring to Israel and not Jews.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 21, 2014, 1:04 pm

    RE: “You’re not allowed to debate this political issue with any of the tools you bring to other debates (criticism, anger, satire, contempt, exaggeration). And you’re not allowed to talk about the Israel lobby if you’re not Jewish.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Most Jews are not allowed to talk about the Israel lobby* (at least, not in public). Jon Stewart seems get away with it because he is too well liked for the ADL to publicly go after him.

    * FROM NORMAN POLLACK (1/10/14):

    [EXCERPT] . . . Israel is determined not to have a settlement. Its characteristic mindset is obviously the militarization of Zionism and, to that end, making Judaism a State Religion. This is very different from the spirit immediately following World War II, when the socialist kibbutz was affirmed as the nation’s model. Judaism does not need Israel. It is a world religion with fundamental moral-ethical principles, all which Israel violates on a daily basis. When the oppressed become the oppressors, we have a profoundly sick psychoanalytic condition, the introjection of the crimes committed against it, now turned outward. That, I submit, has happened. Israel has left Judaism far behind, in its quest for power, superiority, expansion.

    American Jewry, once the fountainhead of liberalism and radicalism, reaching a high point in the New Deal, and manifested not only in politics, but culture, and a saving remnant existing into the ’60s, incorporating true humanism and inclusiveness as part of the civil rights struggle (Schwerner-Goodman-Cheney), has degenerated into NeoCon warmongering, reactionary politics and social policy, superpatriotism, in sum, the forfeiture of all that made me proud of my heritage. To criticize now is to be pilloried as a self-hating Jew, whether said criticism is directed to Israel or US global policy–Joe McCarthy with a yarmulke, functional red-baiting by e.g. AIPAC under a different label. I shall continue to affirm my Judaism, wholly separable from Israel. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/10/diverse-signs-of-american-decay-and-decline/

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 21, 2014, 1:13 pm

      Jon Stewart gets away with it because he’s a comic and not direct in terms of what he is against, at least as far as Israel is concerned, and its conduct. In short, he’s a safe critic from the hasbara POV.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      Tuyzentfloot
      January 21, 2014, 3:23 pm

      [EXCERPT] . . . Israel is determined not to have a settlement.

      .. but to have many.

  7. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    January 21, 2014, 1:09 pm

    AIPAC [1] complains about a suggestion that it has power [2] publicly [3] effectively [4] thereby showing that it has power.

    Gotta love the power of the false antisemitism sword which mostly only cuts one way.

  8. pipistro
    pipistro
    January 21, 2014, 1:12 pm

    One should be offended by the foolishness of Foxman’s remarks, insofar as “the age-old anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control” should be necessarily approached by talking of the blatant, long-standing Jewish control in the US. As for the “dual loyalty”, I can’t see any Jews whose guilty conscience is to be blamed in this cartoon. Maybe Foxman has some clue.

  9. Mike_Konrad
    Mike_Konrad
    January 21, 2014, 1:29 pm

    The seal of the United State does have a Star of David

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/Great_Seal_of_the_United_States_(obverse).svg/600px-Great_Seal_of_the_United_States_(obverse).svg.png

    The 13 stars form a Star of David.

    I do consider the cartoon tasteless.
    ================================

    BTW: Why aren’t my posts archived like the rest

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      January 21, 2014, 3:27 pm

      Since you consider this cartoon ‘tasteless’, could you post examples of what you consider to be ‘tasteful’ political cartoons?

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      January 21, 2014, 4:07 pm

      “BTW: Why aren’t my posts archived like the rest”

      Quality control as well as health and safety

      • just
        just
        January 21, 2014, 4:21 pm

        LOLOLOL!

      • Mike_Konrad
        Mike_Konrad
        January 21, 2014, 8:06 pm

        Hahaha!

        Even if that was directed against me …. IT WAS FUNNY!

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      January 21, 2014, 4:25 pm

      you have asked this question repeatedly, and you have been told repeatedly that the underscore in your name is the problem. see other commenters who also use the underscore and have no archived comments. so now you’ve told again.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 21, 2014, 5:11 pm

        MARCB- “you have asked this question repeatedly, and you have been told repeatedly that the underscore in your name is the problem.”

        Would it be too fanciful to suggest that he specifically uses the underscore to prevent a record of his comments for future reference and to be able to claim that he is being discriminated against? I for one was unaware that an underscore would cause a problem, hence, his claim would seem to have some validity until explained, and who is going to keep doing that? Perhaps Mondoweiss should not allow underscores in a name?

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        January 21, 2014, 8:29 pm

        Keith, I’m no computer expert, and the only reason I know that is the problem is a prior response to his complaints, and a little testing. Every commenter with an underscore in his/her name has no coment archive. (I think a commenter by the name of little shi tzu, with underscores between the words, was the last I looked at.) I like your ‘victim’ theory as to why he does this.

      • Mike_Konrad
        Mike_Konrad
        January 21, 2014, 8:03 pm

        That is the first time I heard about the underscore.

        Can I have my name changed to MikeKonrad then?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 21, 2014, 4:45 pm

      @ Mike_Konrad

      if you notice the arrangement of the 13 stars in the right-hand circle you will see that they are arranged as a Star of David. This was ordered by George Washington who, when he asked Hayim Solomon, a wealthy Philadelphia Jew, what he would like as a personal reward for his services to the Continental Army, Solomon said he wanted nothing for himself but that he would like something for his people. The Star of David was the result. Few people know that it was Solomon who saved the Army through his financial contributions but died a pauper.
      Hayim Solomon (whose name is also rendered as Haym Salomon) was a real person, a Polish-born Jew who immigrated to the American colonies in the 1770s, joined the New York branch of the Sons of Liberty, and performed many services on behalf of the American independence movement, most notably helping to provide funding for the colonial war effort during the American Revolution. However, the claim that George Washington ordered the Great Seal of the United States to incorporate a Star of David element as a token of thanks to Solomon is apocryphal: Washington had no input into the design of the Great Seal, and the original design specification for the Great Seal included no instructions about how the constellation of 13 stars on the obverse side should be arranged. The reason why artist Robert Scot chose to arrange that constellation of 13 stars into the shape of a hexagram when engraving the first die of the Great Seal in 1782 (a design feature that has been reproduced in all subsequent dies of the Great Seal) is unknown, but the best guess is that he was emulating the arrangement of stars on the first American flag.

      Benjamin Goldberg wrote of the Solomon myth in Schmooze magazine that:
      Unfortunately for lovers of National Treasure-style conspiracy theories, there is no evidence that this story occurred. While the stars are in fact arranged in a hexagram (the geometric name of the Star of David), the official State Department document describing the history of the seal makes no mention of any Jewish symbolism. Darlene Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which manufactures paper money, says there is no intentional Jewish symbolism on the dollar bill.

      So why has this myth captured the imagination of American Jews? Dr. Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun professor of American Jewish History and Life at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., says it has helped American Jews proudly connect themselves to their country’s formative era.

      “Since very few Jews actually have Revolutionary roots in the U.S., the story of Haym Salomon helped to legitimize Jews in this country; it proved that they too had played a ‘major’ role in America’s founding,” he says. “At a time when Jews were reviled as immigrants and latecomers to America, this was very important.” Beth Wenger, Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the forthcoming book History Lessons: The Invention of American Jewish Heritage, agrees. “The Haym Salomon myth has persisted because it provides a way for Jews to demonstrate their patriotism and, in particular, it places a Jew in a pivotal role during the moment the nation was created,” she explains. “In other words, the Haym Salomon myth establishes Jews as part of the organic fabric of the country, and offers ‘proof’ of their long-standing loyalty.”

      Read more at http://www.snopes.com/business/money/solomon.asp#kVZbo66FFJTQ2I8l.99

      • American
        American
        January 21, 2014, 11:47 pm

        Here’s a quick rundown on Jews in America from the US Historical Ancestry Records. ( I am quoting from memory on figures,don’t have the book in front of me but numbers will be pretty accurate. But I think I posted the whole history on this a while back.

        The first Jew in America was actually brought to the James Town settlement in Va. in 1650. He was an Italian Jew who had been sent to teach colonist how to grow grapes and make wine for export back to England. Cant remember his name but I have been to the vineyards he is said to have started in Elizabeth City NC.

        The second Jew (cant remember his name either) was a Jewish merchant who ran afoul of the Puritans for some reason and they gave him enough money to buy his passage back to Holland.

        The first actual ‘group’ of Jews were 32 Jews headed for the Northern colonies –said to come by way of Brazil–but got lost at sea and hit the mid Atlantic coast instead in 1659—they were the beginning of the Jewish community in Charleston. Charleston was the largest group of Jews in the colonies for a long time numbering about 600 in 1816.

        Jews weren numerous in the colonies and were only between 1000 to 2000 by the time of American Revolution in a total colonial population of about 2.5 million.

        But by 1880 Jewish immigrants accounted for 250,000 and most of those were German.

        Then from 1880 to 1920 the US got a large influx of Jews from eastern Europe…Poland, Ukraine, etc.

        Quotas and restrictions on immigration during WWII curtailed Jewish and all other immigration but resumed after 1945.

        Jewish population went from about 2 million in 1920 to whatever it is today – somewhere around 5.5 million.

        That’s Jewish immigration to America in a nutshell.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 22, 2014, 8:03 pm

        ” Jewish merchant who ran afoul of the Puritans for some reason and they gave him enough money to buy his passage back to Holland.”

        They didn’t burn him at the stake? They didn’t drive him out into the forests? What were they thinking?

        “Quotas and restrictions on immigration during WWII curtailed Jewish and all other immigration but resumed after 1945.”

        Whoa! All other immigration? So it wasn’t just a ban on Jews?

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        January 22, 2014, 4:55 am

        Greetings Citizen,
        Much thanks.
        Memet conquers Constantinoble in 1453.
        Turkish Kindergarden teachers teach their children
        that Bishop Saint Nickolas of the 3rdC was a Turk!
        ziusudra

  10. chet
    chet
    January 21, 2014, 1:47 pm

    Abe hits a four-bagger in his anti-anti-AIPAC diatribe –

    1. …age-old anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control.

    2. … yet another classic anti-Semitic myth — the accusation that Jews have “dual loyalty”

    3.This is the stuff of the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,”

    4. … Professors Mearsheimer and Walt and Jimmy Carter.

  11. Marco
    Marco
    January 21, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Foxman called the cartoon an “anti-Semitic canard”.

    Why is the word canard always used in connection with anti-Semitism?

    To tell the truth, I can’t even remember the last time someone used the word canard outside of debates on the Israel lobby and Zionism.

    My suspicion is that the intention is to make certain stock phrases so familiar that they become common sense. As in – anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism = a canard, i.e. an unfounded rumor or belief.

  12. Les
    Les
    January 21, 2014, 2:19 pm

    As President, Jimmy Carter killed efforts to investigate how US nuclear material was smuggled into Israel. Why is he not given credit for that?

  13. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    January 21, 2014, 2:55 pm

    No israeli lobbying behind it lol?!
    Shame on you Economist for censoring!

  14. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    January 21, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Lol exactly and Economist censorship: Nothing to do with israeli lobby like ADL?!

    Are these people ironic or in fact slow?

  15. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    January 21, 2014, 3:50 pm

    But the cartoon is far more offensive than even Foxman is aware. Look at the depiction of our president’s face, another iteration of the old trope about African-Americans having darker features than Swedes. And the Persian with the burning flag? Still propagating the old canard that Iranians are angry with an exceptional America. Racist, Racist, Racist.

  16. Scott
    Scott
    January 21, 2014, 4:55 pm

    At least no apology was given, just a tired “some people offended” whatever. And Foxman has managed to draw more attention to the issue than it might have received.

  17. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    January 21, 2014, 5:09 pm

    Political cartoons by their very nature are not subject to nuance, but to over the top critiques and skewering of people and situation. I feel a visceral anger towards the cartoonist- that is my first reaction.

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      January 21, 2014, 6:04 pm

      Then feel visceral anger for the Jewish State embroidering it’s nationalism with Judaism.

      Feel visceral anger at the IDF goons who carved a Star of David on Gazan farmland during Cast Lead.

      Stop being so utterly dishonest.

      You don’t care unless the symbolism is used AGAINST Zionism.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 21, 2014, 6:30 pm

        cliff, i was expressing my emotions and you accuse me of dishonesty. you are a great addition to the conversation. not.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        January 21, 2014, 6:59 pm

        As I said – you did not cry your heart out or express ‘visceral anger’ at the sight of a Star of David carved into Gazan farmland by the IDF during Cast Lead.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        January 21, 2014, 7:35 pm

        Yes you are right about not being a hypocrite, but how does that make the image not appear, whatever the intentions, as inferring the Jews run congress and hobble Obama (who Jews support in the majority) rather than Israel has undue influence on the President’s foreign policy.

      • Djinn
        Djinn
        January 22, 2014, 3:02 am

        The Star of David is a symbol of Israel. Blame them for conflating the religion and the state. Would you have the same issues with a depiction of a nation’s flag that incorporated the crescent? Would a depiction of that flag when someone is being critical of that nation’s stance instantly be Islamophobic to you? If not what’s the difference?

    • talknic
      talknic
      January 21, 2014, 10:08 pm

      @ yonah fredman “I feel a visceral anger towards the cartoonist- that is my first reaction”

      Of course you do. It’s a normal guilty reaction.

  18. Keith
    Keith
    January 21, 2014, 5:30 pm

    THANK YOU, ABE FOXMAN! I’m serious! The original cartoon was disgustingly anti-Iran, greatly distorting the past relationship and current history involving the US and Iran. The picture showing both Obama and Iranian President Rouhani is much more respectful of Iran and conducive to a more honest appraisal of the negotiations. Of course, a balanced photo is still inherently biased insofar as it hides America’s shameful record in regards to Iran. Better that than the original crude cartoon caricature of crazed Mullahs.

  19. tokyobk
    tokyobk
    January 21, 2014, 6:30 pm

    The Star of David is probably meant to represent Israel and not all Jews.

    But it does also appear as a kind of classic anti-Semitism.

    You may not care, or feel the Jews brought it on themselves or that since Israel uses the Star its fair game but just google anti-semitic propaganda and you can see this exact image going back a century.

    The lapel pin is a specious comparison. Go to any embassy or chamber of commerce event anywhere in the world and you will be handed a lapel pin with the two relevant country’s flags side-by-side. I have a shelf full of them in various combinations.

    Lastly, its good that the Economist rethought this just as Alec Baldwin was forced to rethink his use of a classically gay slur even if he thought it was specific to one individual. Not out of censorship or political correctness but moral correctness. The Russian editor who was photographed sitting on a chair shaped like a black woman will have to apologize too. She can say, well there are white versions too, well I did not mean to be offensive, etc… but fortunately for now there is a mainstream consensus that is sensitive to racist lineages.

    Lastly, I cannot figure out why, since there has been so much progress, Jews who are pro-Palestinian rights don’t start claiming the moral center of Judaism. There seems to be some pleasure in letting the mainstream Jewish organizations claim to be the official representatives of all Jews. Why cede that ground?

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      January 21, 2014, 6:34 pm

      The SoD in the cartoon was not meant to symbolize JEWS.

      It was meant to symbolize ISRAEL.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        January 21, 2014, 9:36 pm

        Yup, intention well acknowledged. The question is the image as it appears. Three strokes of the pen and you have an Israeli flag, no ambiguity and no complaint from me or comparison to earlier images it evokes.

        Similar requests have been reasonably made about drawing president Obama or not comparing him, like his predecessor to a monkey.

        All which appeal correctly to a past lineage with demonstrable consequences.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        January 22, 2014, 10:01 am

        What is the point of art if you take all the symbolism away?

        The meaning was understood. This attack on the cartoon is absurd.

        The only reason it is occurring is because the message in-question is subversive.

        When mainstream articles and/or the Jewish press (ohhhh is it antisemitic to say ‘Jewish press’) refer to the Jewish demographic as ‘Jewish votes’ or when Seymour Hirsch talks about the role of ‘Jewish money’ – why doesn’t Abe Foxman have a conniption?

        Antisemitism seems to be based on a lot of historical and religious events. So if something resembles the precursor in some historical event, to some historical violence or discrimination – then it is, in the present and naturally devoid of context, deemed antisemitic.

        If the reason Zionists are up in arms over the inclusion of the SoD in this cartoon – then they should explain why it is antisemitic WITHOUT relying on historical whatevers (in other words – without circular logic).

        So why don’t you define antisemitism for us, WJ/burger king.

    • just
      just
      January 21, 2014, 7:00 pm

      I’ve not “see(n) this exact image going back a century”

      Please provide a citation or link tokyobk, and also tell me your impression re: this–

      “John Douglas says:
      January 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      But the cartoon is far more offensive than even Foxman is aware. Look at the depiction of our president’s face, another iteration of the old trope about African-Americans having darker features than Swedes. And the Persian with the burning flag? Still propagating the old canard that Iranians are angry with an exceptional America. Racist, Racist, Racist.”

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 21, 2014, 7:49 pm

      >> The Star of David is probably meant to represent Israel and not all Jews.

      End of story. Israel chose to be “Jewish State” and it chose the Jewish symbol to represent it.

      If use of the symbol causes problems only when Israel rightly comes under fire, easily-offended / overly-dramatic Jews need to get over it and/or Israel needs to adopt a new symbol.

      Something less “Jewish-supremacist Israeli” and more “secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli” might be nice. :-)

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        January 21, 2014, 9:32 pm

        With respect eljay, I don’t think its the end of story.

        Ever notice how the folks at JihadWatch and the most extreme Salafists agree exactly on the definition of Islam and its role in the world?

        I can contest Israel’s use of the symbols (as a Jew) and insist that they not be applied to me (as a Jew) in the shape of an ambiguous image. Same would be true of the star and crescent or even more appropriately the Shahada (on the flag of Saudi Arabia) or the phrase “Allahu Akhbar.”

        Its not unreasonable to expect people to make the distinction between Israel and Jews and to make it clearly. In general and in light of an evil tradition that outdates Israel and has had demonstrable consequences.

        And, of course this standard must be applied universally.

      • Djinn
        Djinn
        January 22, 2014, 3:05 am

        ISRAEL does NOT make that distinction though tokyobk. They are very open about being the state of ALL Jews. Why should other people fall over themselves to make a distinction that the Israeli government flatly rejects?

        Apart from anything else, the ADL views criticism of Israel, even that which is very clearly criticism of the state and not the religion, as anti-semitism in disguise. The is no way to criticise Israel without Foxman following up with an apoplexy. So even if the star was replaced with the word Israel, the exact same pathetic guff would fall out of his mouth. Can’t really blame him though, how else would the useless windbag justify his salary.

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 22, 2014, 7:24 am

        >> With respect eljay …

        Appreciated, tokyobk.

        >> I can contest Israel’s use of the symbols (as a Jew) and insist that they not be applied to me (as a Jew) in the shape of an ambiguous image. … Its not unreasonable to expect people to make the distinction between Israel and Jews and to make it clearly.

        So how do they do that? If an official symbol taken from the flag of Israel is inappropriate, what symbol can people use to identify a “Jewish State” – a state declared to be and promoted as the nation state of Jewish people throughout the world – such that when the state is being rightly criticized for its unjust and immoral actions, the Foxmans of the world will be prevented from crying “anti-Semitism!”?

        An outline map of Israel (with or without “Judea and Samaria?) won’t cut it – it identifies the “Jewish State”, and in a context of criticism, that’s clearly anti-Semitic.

        I honestly can’t think of anything else.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 23, 2014, 11:40 am

      @ tokyobk
      There is a group of Jews who say Zionism is the same as worshipping the Golden Calf, and who have always denied that Zionism is a reflection of Judaism. In short, they have never ceded the ground you speak of. Instead, they claim that Zionists operate with the banners and symbols of Judaism, but in fact have always viewed the bible as BS. Kinda hard for a goy to size this up given the symbol of the menorah on Israel state documents and the star of David on the side of the free F-16s and Apache helicopters in the Israel military force.

  20. tokyobk
    tokyobk
    January 21, 2014, 7:18 pm

    I think what he is saying is – well its not racist if its true. Which is of course the classic way of excusing generalizations or ascribing a real or perceived trait of some members of a group with all of that group or the essence of that group.

    I think an image that very clearly demarcated The State of Israel as opposed to the Jews would not have been offensive in the way I describe above, and done all the commentary work the artist wanted to do. But, I am not the artist.

    Google: “star of david menorah roosevelt lustige blatter” for one of many that you can find in this particular vein that pre-date the founding of Israel.

    There is imagery like this in anti-immigraiton cartoons of the late 19th century which was also mostly anti-catholic and in Europe during the Dreyfus affair and of course in Nazi Germany. Japan, which had a bipolar attitude towards Jews used similar Roosevelt imagery (controlled by Jews as represented by a Star of David) which is readily available from google images.

    • just
      just
      January 21, 2014, 7:40 pm

      I appreciate your reply.

      I must say that this hairpin trigger that Zionists have deployed tirelessly and endlessly has become more than ridiculous. I can “see” the entire cartoon and understand the sarcasm, but Foxman comes right out and whines and makes demands for “a full- throated apology”, and the Economist removes it. As the pinhead of the ADL, shouldn’t he have pointed to the, um, stereotypical mischaracterizations of our President and any American- Iranians or Iranians?

      Does ADL mean Anti- Defamation League for all or just some?

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        January 21, 2014, 7:48 pm

        Right so Foxman uses it for his own agenda. The term “anti-semitic” has been over used to the point of reducing its meaning. Israel uses Jewish imagery as state symbols and so others use this symbols to mean Israel. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.
        And Zionism uses anti-semitism as a cloaking device. Agreed.

        Now, does the cartoon as it was drawn dip into a poisoned well that predates Israel?

        Yes, it does. And the economist was right to rethink it on those grounds.

      • Marco
        Marco
        January 21, 2014, 8:07 pm

        If this cartoon dips from a “poisoned well” then that can be blamed on the Israel Lobby.

        When people act in accordance with odious historical stereotypes, then any honest calling out of their misbehavior can be easily described as prejudiced. In fact, the way then to avoid this accusation is to water down your accusations to the point where they lose all potency altogether.

        The blame here lies with those who do egregious wrong – in this case the Israel Lobby in the U.S.

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia
        January 21, 2014, 10:25 pm

        Association of Star of David with neafrious elements or with not so holy causes also predate the creation of Israel. The Star was flown on the flag side by side with the Nazi flag in 30s. cartoon in Economist is not blasphemous or destructive to the Jeiwsh interest or image.
        Star of david reminds Jewish people of the deep heriatge and of the rich cultures. It distills it in those shapes all the history,passion,responsibilities,prides,and possssibilities that the Jeiwh nation possess and cherish.
        Economist is distilling the facts ,the passion,the history,the political climate and the power with which Israel through AIPAC has been forcing US to toe Israeli-lines on Palestine ,Iran,Syria and Egypt by placing the symbol over the American eagle and the flag .
        It is not on the chain.( putting it on the chain would have been more like saying the Jewish soldiers fought American wars in Iraq when the fact is that it was the significant Jewish influences that sent the American soldiers to the wars ) .
        Jewish influence embodies,symbolizes,and encapsulates the forces that mainatin that chain.

  21. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    January 21, 2014, 8:16 pm

    i see a major omission in your lesson, so i added it in

    Lesson: You’re not allowed to debate this political issue with any of the tools you bring to other debates (criticism, anger, satire, contempt, exaggeration). And you’re not allowed to talk about the Israel lobby if you’re not Jewish and a PRO ZIONIST.

    being Jewish is not enough ask Norman Finkelstein or Max Blumenthal.

    however Jon Stewart must be wearing some sort of anti-ADL repellent. i was always suspicious of that ZINO DAVIDOFF COLOGNE.

    back in 2008 Jon Stewart Calls AIPAC ‘Elders of Zion’
    http://mondoweiss.net/2008/06/jon-stewart-calls-aipac-elders-of-zion.html

  22. Tobias
    Tobias
    January 21, 2014, 8:42 pm

    Have to believe that the Economist might have well expected a response. The cartoon appeared in the print edition that hit the newsstands last Friday and subscribers’ mailboxes in the last few days. You can still buy it from a newsagent. They haven’t recalled the magazine – the cartoon has just been replaced on the web edition. If anything Foxman has drawn more attention to the cartoon.

  23. palijustice
    palijustice
    January 21, 2014, 8:59 pm

    Because Israel used the Star of David as its symbol on its flag, not only does it exclude others, but it binds Judaism to a political entity that has tarnished and damaged it. The symbol, sadly, has become a symbol of oppression, rather than a symbol of a religion and people who have given the world so much. (I say that as a non Jewish person).

    Until Israel becomes a nation for all it’s citizens and puts a non religious symbol on its flag, it will continue to drag down Judaism with its policies of ethnic cleansing and Jewish supremacy laws.

  24. talknic
    talknic
    January 21, 2014, 9:59 pm

    Israel doesn’t want to be identified by the symbol it chose to be identified by. AMAZING!!

  25. Talkback
    Talkback
    January 22, 2014, 8:23 am

    OMG. At the antisemitic AIPAC conference:
    http://forward.com/workspace/assets/images/articles/w-aipac-030313.jpg

    Wait, it even get’s worse! More from other antisemitic Jews:
    http://israelmatzav.blogspot.de/2011/04/america-needs-israel-more-than-ever.html

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 22, 2014, 8:32 am

      >> OMG. At the antisemitic AIPAC conference:
      >> Wait, it even get’s worse! More from other antisemitic Jews:

      Why do these Jews hate Jews so much?!

    • American
      American
      January 22, 2014, 11:15 am

      I always wonder when I read this stuff about America literally ‘not being able to survive’ without Israel’s help and expertise how many of the rank and file US zio followers really believe this hasbara.
      If they do actually believe it then it makes them a 1000xs crazier then we already know them to be.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 23, 2014, 12:00 pm

        Bill Kristol has waxed in smug satisfaction that the “Arab lackeys in the State Department” who worked against support of Zionist Israel have all been done away with. We can all most especially thank Truman for what we have today. The next one to especially thank is Johnson. What do these two guys have in common? They were both ignoramuses about history, and both desperately in need of Zionist dollars to retain POTUS status. If there were ever two American traitors for the most selfish and trivial of reasons, Truman and Johnson must be at the top of the list.

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