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Goldstone Retracts — and the Arab World Reacts

From vicious anti-Semitic cartoons to worse.

by
P. David Hornik

Bio

April 14, 2011 - 12:00 am
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The headline is “Goldstone backs down from his report concerning the Gaza war.” The words “Goldstone Report” and “The Israeli War Crimes in Gaza” seem to be written on the report.

The theme of Goldstone as victim of the Jews is, again, emphatic in a cartoon from Qatar’s Ar-Raya (April 6). Here Goldstone is trapped in the bloody fangs of a jubilant, malevolent Jew-creature with a Star of David dangling from its ear:

And in this one from Qatar’s Al-Watan, also simply called “Goldstone,” a bloodied Goldstone is again a victim:

In addition to Hamas, the UAE, and Qatar, cartoons in this sample — with similar content and themes — come from Jordan (formally at peace with Israel), Saudi Arabia, and the UK’s pan-Arab Al-Hayat.

Notable here, of course, is not just the anti-Semitism, but also the cultural depth that could produce such sickening images — these being mainstream papers mostly under government control. None of this, it goes without saying, has ever mitigated the pressure on Israel to “make peace,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton having announced just the other day a “renewed pursuit of comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.” The Israeli army is putting the finishing touches on its new multiyear plan, which speaks of “an increasing chance for war on multiple fronts in 2011.”

Looking at these cartoons, you get an inkling as to why. Real support for Israel entails recognizing its real situation — as an island of democratic light amid great darkness.

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P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel.
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