Israel Withdraws Mocking Cartoons

Mark Litlzer

Daily Cartoon, The New Yorker

Cartoons are one of the earth’s most popular and beloved art forms. They have been used in every artistic culture and in a manner of different ways to promote and detract from specific social issues. They can also be used to tell difficult stories in an easier, more engaging fashion. Propaganda cartoons are still in use today (what do you think political cartoons are?) and can do anything from making fun of an opponent to terrorizing and political base into action. Now, Israel has taken down an insulting cartoon due to outrage from international journalism organizations.

The Israeli cartoon in question has to do with the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The cartoon, drawn in a similar style to South Park, has drawn condemnation from the Foreign Press Association (FPA) and other journalism groups who take issue with how it portrays non-Israeli journalists and the coverage of the Gaza conflict. The cartoon made it seem as though all the foreign reporters covering the conflict were naive, idiotic, and missed the blatant truth. The cartoon was released, and subsequently taken down, right before a UN report on Israel’s actions in Gaza was released.

The cartoon has been taken down, but harsh feeling still remain. Israel has frequently complained that western reporters side with Hamas and are biased against Israel; Israel believes that they never speak negatively about Hamas and its actions during conflicts. The FPA released the following statement: “At a time when Israel has serious issues to deal with in Iran and Syria, it is disconcerting that the ministry would spend its time producing a 50-second video that attempts to ridicule journalists reporting on a conflict in which 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed. Israel’s diplomatic corps wants to be taken seriously in the world. Posting misleading and poorly conceived videos on YouTube is inappropriate, unhelpful and undermines the ministry, which says it respects the foreign press and its freedom to work in Gaza”.

While the Israeli Foreign Ministry says that it meant no offense and the video was supposed to be a light-hearted take on the use of Hamas human shields and partial reporting, no one is believing the official story. The movement to the right in Israel’s government, and it’s frequently combative stance in regards to Gaza, has everyone thinking that this video is what Israeli’s truly believe.

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