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Anti-Semitism in the Arab/Muslim World

The U.S. Presidential Candidates: Cartoons in the Arab Media

Updated: November 13, 2008

Posted: August 25, 2008

As part of ADL's ongoing monitoring of anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim media, this report documents recent cartoons on the theme of the U.S. presidential election campaign.

The American elections have provided an excuse for the Arab media to promulgate perverse, bigoted and age-old conspiracy theories that portray Israelis and Jews as controlling the candidates. Appearing in Arab and Muslim newspapers published in the Middle East and the Gulf countries, the cartoons and caricatures focus on four main themes which reflect a deeply rooted sentiment in the Arab world:

  • The close relationship between America and Israel and/or the Jews;
  • The influence of the Jewish lobby on American decision makers;
  • Jewish control of the Western media and economics;
  • The American administration's unwavering desire to satisfy Israel and American Jews.           
The Arab media use these ideas to feed into another common theme: that Jewish/Israeli control of American politics and America's desire to cater to Jewish/Israeli demands is the cause of the Arab suffering and oppression.

The following is a collection of cartoons that appeared in the Arab and Muslim newspapers from March to November 2008.

Regional Examples


Al-Ahram weekly, October 23-29, 2008

Palestinian Authority

Al-Hayat al-Jadida, October 24, 2008 (PA)
The cartoon's headline reads: "The Palestinian Siege."

Al-Quds, July 22, 2008 
The cartoon's headline: "Learn about Israel…from 'Behind the Fence.'" Below, in Arabic: "Obama's view."

Ar-Risala, June 22, 2008
Headline: "The Wagon [that gets you] to the White House."

Filastin, June 8, 2008
Headline: "Obama: 'Jerusalem is Israel's United Capital.'"

Al-Quds, June 8, 2008
Obama's voice, coming from the TV screen says: "Jerusalem is Israel's eternal capital." The man watching the TV is saying: "One day faces will become gloomy… and other faces will also become gloomy…" (literally: will become black).

Al-Hayat, June 7, 2008
On the right: "Obama;" On the left: "McCain."

Al-Hayat al-Jadida, June 5, 2008
Headline: "The way to the White House."

Al-Quds, May 30, 2008
The sign near Obama reads: "Barack Obama for Change." The sign Ehud Barak is holding reads: "Barak for Change."


Ad-Dustur, November 1, 2008

Ad-Dustur, October 12, 2008

Ad-Dustur, October 21, 2008
The Arab is reading a paper entitled: "The Killing of Suzan Tamim," while the Jew is excavating under al-Aqsa.

Al-Ghad, October 23, 2008
On the right: "McCain," on the left, "Obama." The cartoon's headline reads: "White or Black?"

Al-Ghad, July 26, 2008
"Not Barack… Allah is within him." ("Allah is within him" is an Arab term for "Your Majesty")

Ad-Dustur, June 24, 2008
While drowning in the middle of skulls in Iraq, Bush is saying to Obama and McCain: "Come in, Make yourself at home."

Ad-Dustur, June 20, 2008
Obama and McCain are pointing at an Israeli/Jew saying: "You like changes."

Al-Ghad, June 16, 2008
In Arabic: "Obama, Obama, Obama."

Ad-Dustur, June 15, 2008
Bush is saying: "Tomorrow you will miss my days[as President]," while holding a sign that reads: "I love Israel." Obama is holding a sign which reads: "I love Israel more!" McCain is holding a sign that reads: "I love Israel more and more!!"

Al-Ghad, June 9, 2008
Headline: "Obama, the American Candidate."


Al-Watan, November 13, 2008
The Arabs are holding signs which read "the Road Map" and "the Peace Process" and are walking towards the Democratic Party (donkey).  At the same time, the Jew is flying to the White House, holding signs which read "the Zionist project" and "land robbery."

Al-Watan, November 11, 2008
The box reads: "New disasters."

Al-Watan, November 10, 2008

Al-Watan, November 5, 2008
The Jew in the White House is collecting money from the wining party (on the left) and the losing party (on the right). The caption on the Jew's bag reads: "The winner, always…"

Saudi Arabia

Two papers published the same cartoon: Al-Watan, June 10, 2008 and Arabnews, June 11, 2008


Tishrin, June 8, 2008
The ballot box is labeled: "The American Presidential Elections."

Tishrin, June 1, 2008
Headline: "The American Elections." Below are the three Presidential candidates: Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain.


Al-Watan, October 12, 2008
The cartoon's headline reads: "The Competition between Obama and McCain."

Al-Watan, March 21, 2008
Headline: "John McCain, the Republican candidate for the US Presidency, visited Israel." On the note: "The Jewish voices."

United Arab Emirates

Al-Khalij, November 11, 2008 (UAE)
The right pot reads: "Obama's policy," the pot on the left reads: "Bush's policy."

Al-Ittihad, October 12, 2008
Olmert is saying: "Honestly, I resigned by intention. I would like to be free for the position of the Vice President of America, which I held secretly during the last period of time." Olmert is holding a paper entitled: "Elections for the Next American Vice President."

Al-Ittihad, October 11, 2008
On the ballot box: "the American Elections." The Israeli\Jew is putting a note (illustrated as the globe), on which it is written: "Yes."

Al-Bayan, July 26, 2008

Al-Khalij, July 22, 2008
In Arabic: "God will not bless him." ("Bless" in Arabic is "Barack")


Al-Ittihad, June 10, 2008
Headline: "Obama: Jerusalem should be Israel's capital." The voter is putting Obama's ballot into the ballot box shaped like the Star of David.

Al-Khalij, June 6, 2008
The cartoon's headline: "The American Presidential Elections." 

Al-Ittihad, June 1, 2008
The ballot box is labeled: "The American Presidency Elections."  The man on the right is labeled: "The American People;" and the man on the left: "The Zionist Lobby."


Akhbar al-Khalij, June 9, 2008
The bearded man is labeled: "Zionist Lobby" and has Senator Barack Obama in its pocket, and Obama has Senator Hillary Clinton in his pocket. (An Arab media website serving as a platform for both cartoonists and columnists from all over the Arab world as well as providing a large index of Arab newspapers)
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