First it was Israeli lawfare outfit Shurat HaDin's attempt to silence Sydney University Professor Jake Lynch. Now the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) is threatening legal action against the Sydney Morning Herald.
The following details come from the J-Wire site:
"The Executive Council of Australian Jewry... sought an apology from the Sydney Morning Herald for publishing a cartoon portraying 'an ugly stereotype of a Jew'. Executive Director of the ECAJ Peter Wertheim told J-Wire: 'On July 26, the SMH... published a cartoon by Glen Le Lievre portraying a stereotype of a Jew - identified with a hook nose, a kippah (religious head covering) and a Magen David (Star of David) - using a device to blow up people and buildings, presumably in Gaza'."
[For an analysis of Le Lievre's cartoon, see my 29/7/14 post Deconstructing the Carlton/LeLievre Backlash 1. It should be noted here that, in order to make his case, Wertheim has deliberately shorn the cartoonist's image of its context: the old man is clearly one of the now notorious Israeli ghouls seated on a hill overlooking Gaza, enjoying the Zionist festival of slaughter as though on a television screen, and the so-called "device to blow up people and buildings" in his hand is obviously a TV remote. However, nowhere is Wertheim's sleight of hand more apparent than in the words "presumably in Gaza."]
"'The cartoon was accompanied by an appallingly inflammatory and un-factual article by Mike Carlton and a headline accusing Israel of violating international law and basic norms of human behaviour. Our organisation... received a very large volume of complaints about these items... but it was the cartoon which we considered to be antisemitic'."
[It's tempting to see here a deliberate decision by ECAJ to target Le Lievre, Carlton being simply too popular with the Herald readership to pursue safely.]
Herald editor in chief, Darren Goodsir's July 28 response read in part:
"In my view, it does not, and was not intended to, depict an 'ugly stereotype' or to incite racial hatred. Not only did Mr Le Lievre use an actual image as the source for his cartoon, he adopted the same distinctive style he has developed over the years in which most old people have very pronounced features... He usually draws old people this way."
ECAJ, however, was not to be deterred, coming out on the 29th with - ahem - all guns blazing:
"The figure in the cartoon... is unambiguously identified as a Jew," which "is a device for conveying a message about Jews generally... Whether the cartoonist intended it or not... the cartoon thus attributes to Jews generally a collective blood guilt for the deaths and suffering in Gaza. This is the calumny of Jewish people which your letter simply fails to address. We therefore cannot accept your explanation, nor your failure to publish our letter, or to publicly apologise for what has clearly been a descent into racism in your newspaper. In the circumstances, we feel we have no alternative but to seek redress by legal means. You will be hearing from us or one of our constituent organisations in this regard shortly."
One hopes that Darren Goodsir will stand by Glen Le Lievre and defend the Herald against this kind of hysterical Zionist bullying. Le Lievre's cartoon is an honest and powerful response to an act of Israeli barbarism. Nothing more. Nothing less. It takes enormous chutzpah for ECAJ to pretend otherwise. Watch this space...