|AJC Berlin Asks German Press Council to Censure Paper for Anti-Semitic Cartoon
July 3, 2013 – Berlin – AJC Berlin called on the German Press Council to censure Sueddeutscher Zeitung (SZ) for publishing a cartoon depicting Israel as a horned monster. The cartoon in the prestigious German daily appeared alongside a review of two books critical of Israeli government policy.
“A German newspaper publishing age-old anti-Semitic imagery of Jews is outrageous,” said AJC Berlin Director Deidre Berger. “Cartoons that employ vicious stereotypes to criticize the Israeli government are insidious, and contribute to promoting hatred of Jews and Israel.”
The SZ caricature shows a young woman serving food to a monster with horns sitting at a table and holding up a carving knife. The caption asserts that Germany for decades has provided weapons to Israel, and that has allegedly provoked tremendous animosity toward Israel.
“We are shocked that a major German newspaper would publish a drawing that depicts the state of Israel in the form of an avaricious, bloodthirsty monster,” said Berger.“Ascribing savagery to Israel turns the tables on the perpetrator-victim relationship.This cartoon evokes primitive stereotypes of Jews while perpetrating the Nazi myth that Jews are allegedly responsible for their own misfortune.”
In response to an AJC inquiry, the SZ replied that the drawing was originally intended for other purposes and regrets misunderstandings related to its usage. AJC has filed a complaint with the German Press Council, a self-governing organ of German media, to investigate the incident.
“Publishing this cartoon is a major violation of press standards for ethical and balanced reporting,” said Berger. “The SZ explanation is totally unsatisfactory.”