Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Carlton/Le Lievre Backlash 3

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...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

So these crackpots consider the cartoon 'anti-Semitic.'

I thought there were not just laws against racism in general but special laws relating to anti-Semitic acts in particular. Spurious assertions relating to 'Ethno Religious Groups' - in effect Jews and Sikhs have been deployed. The Sikhs are included for company, so the law can be described in the plural, although there have never been any prosecutions for anti Sikhism. [Google 'Ethno Religious Groups]

If this cartoon is really anti-Semitic why haven't the thought police prosecuted?

All huff and puff.

Peter Hindrup said...

I trust that if such an action is launched that the first demand be that those pursuing the action lodge a million dollars with the court as I understand that despite a court order to the effect that all Jake's costs be paid, they still have not fronted with the money.

But then nobody ought to be surprised --- thieves, liars, braggarts and killers.

Vivienne Porzsolt said...

The cartoon is undeniably anti-semitic. It closely resembles the depictions of Jews in Die Sturmer in NaZI Germany. There is nothing in the cartoon connecting the menacing, hook-nosed, Kippah-wearing figure with the State of Israel. The problem arises partly because Zionism itself elides Jewish identity with Israel and that Israelis have in fact been treating the horrific onslaught on Gaza like a great entertainment. They claim that Jews like myself who challenge and criticise Israel are 'self-hating' and 'not real Jews'. If Zionists insist on marrying Zionism with Jewish identity, it is the more imperative that those of us who oppose its crimes, make a very clear distinction. LeLievre's cartoon reminds us how easily the old anti-semitic tropes can be resurrected and how we must be vigilant and crystal clear in resisting all racism, whether Zionist or not. Vivienne Porzsolt Jews against the Occupation

MERC said...

I respectfully disagree.