Arab Press Uses Cartoons in War of Incitement Against Jews, Israel
New York, NY, August 8, 2006 … The fighting in the Middle East has unleashed a fusillade of virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoons in the Arab/Muslim Press, according to a new report issued today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The report, "Flashpoint Lebanon: The Arab Media's War of Incitement" cites dozens of examples appearing in newspapers across the Middle East. The anti-Jewish incitement prevalent in the Arab and Muslim press is at a level "that we haven't witnessed since the 9/11 attacks," the League said.
"From Bahrain to Damascus, from Cairo to Tehran, the press has unleashed a fusillade of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish images of a potency and virulence -- and a volume and pace-- that we haven't witnessed since the 9/11 attacks and the second Palestinian Intifada," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While we would expect to see criticism of Israel in the Arab/Muslim media at a time of conflict and stress, what we are seeing now goes far beyond legitimate criticism into incitement to hatred. Their aim is not to provoke or challenge ideas and discussion, but to spread horrific stereotypes of Jews and stir the pot of hatred of Israel and Jews in the Arab street."
The League's report includes cartoons and statements appearing in the Arab/Muslim press since the renewed outbreak of violence between Israel and Hezbollah in early July. The report includes editorial cartoons appearing in large circulation newspapers in Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.
"While anti-Semitism has been a recurrent problem in the Arab and Muslim media for many years, it is clearly exacerbated by any escalation in tensions in the Middle East conflict, and that is what we are now seeing across the Muslim and Arab world," said Mr. Foxman.
The cartoons embrace several prevailing anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli themes and stereotypes, including:
- Israeli soldiers are routinely depicted as bloodthirsty, Nazi-like stereotypical figures.
- Jews are shown using outrageous stereotypes, including hooked noses, long beards and black hats, and are depicted as greedy, manipulative and conspiratorial.
- Nazi comparisons: Israeli leaders are shown as Nazi-like or compared to Hitler; the Jewish Star of David is superimposed or otherwise linked to the swastika.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.