An editorial drawing appears to be crossing the line, sparking outrage and insults.
The controversial cartoon appeared on Internet sites all over the country yesterday, including the New York Times Web site.
A nationally syndicated cartoon by Pat Oliphant depicts a giant headless soldier pushing a shark-like Magen David, threatening a woman and baby in Gaza. It appears the cartoon was created to provoke, but whom? Many people are outraged.
“The wielder of the sword is marching in a goose-step,” said Irwin Echtman of the Upper West Side. “The sword is hanging over the Star of David and you show the Star of David as an alligator eating up Gaza … it is terribly offensive.”
Added Janis Rodin of Kips Bay: “It’s against Israelis and it says they are attacking Gaza, but there is nothing coming from the other side.”
Mohamad Abdoul of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn said the cartoon shows what he called “the reality” of a lop-sided fight.
“When I see this Israel, too, power is over power and Gaza does not have the same power,” Abdoul said.
Abraham Foxman is national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“It is hideous. It is anti-Semitic,” Foxman told CBS 2 HD. “To compare Israelis defending their men women and children and children against bombs as Nazis is beyond provoking debate or response. It is bigoted.”
Earlier, Foxman released a statement blasting Oliphant’s work.
“Pat Oliphant’s outlandish and offensive use of the Star of David in combination with Nazi-like imagery is hideously anti-Semitic. It employs Nazi imagery by portraying Israel as a jack-booted, goose-stepping headless apparition. The implication is of an Israeli policy without a head or a heart.
“Israel’s defensive military operation to protect the lives of its men, women and children who are being continuously bombarded by Hamas rocket attacks has been turned on its head to show the victims as heartless, headless aggressors.”
There are those who question the timing of this cartoon – two months into a cease-fire in Gaza. Why this? Why now? And what good does it do?
“It just moves bad feelings. We got enough bad feelings for what happened in Gaza. What are you going to add to this, more hate?” Sammy Hassan of Bay Ridge wondered.
There was no word last night from the New York Times if the cartoon will make it into today’s print edition.
Back in the middle of February, A Page Six cartoon in The NY Post by Sean Delonas stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy. The cartoon, which depicted police shooting a chimpanzee dead, with the caption reading: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill” was labeled, racist, offensive, and an attack on President Barack Obama.
What followed were days of protests by The Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network. The story became national headlines and eventually prompted a full apology from The Post.