Stephen Pollard’s hypocrisy on offensive cartoons


by Sunny Hundal    
9:15 am - February 1st 2013

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Earlier this week the Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard appeared on the Today Programme to criticise the publication of the cartoon in the Sunday Times.

To be clear, I accept that many Jews found the Sunday Times cartoon offensive even if some pointed out it couldn’t be anti-semitic.

But what annoys me are the double-standards.

Here is what Stephen Pollard said on the Today programme:

Oh yes, you have to separate out the difference between the right to publish something, whether there’s a right to be offensive, and whether that means you always have to be offensive, and I don’t think you do.

I think this is an absolute model of how you deal with such a situation. Clearly, there was a mistake made. We’re all human – cartoonists are human, journalists are human, editors are human… The mistake was printing the cartoon. Whether it was Gerald Scarfe’s in drawing it. Whether it was the Sunday Times in printing it. Whatever. It was a mistake.

Clearly he thinks that if some people find such cartoons offensive they shouldn’t be published. He even said the date was immaterial – it shouldn’t have been published at all.

But here is what Stephen Pollard said a few years ago during the Danish cartoons controversy (via @Busty1956):

But they are certainly offensive to a large number of Muslims, as this week’s turmoil shows. But so what? Rather more offensive, one might think, than some mocking cartoons is some Muslims’ desire to murder me as a Jew.

Indeed, in some ways the cartoons were designed as a deliberate challenge. A biographer of Mohammed had lamented the fact that artists were too intimidated to illustrate his book, and the newspaper called for cartoonists who would be willing to have their pictures published. Offensive and unfunny though they might be, they none the less raise legitimate points about the beliefs and behaviour of some Muslims. Is there, for instance, any non-Muslim who does not find the notion of the 76 virgins who await suicide bombers to be both horrifying and amusing?

If free speech means anything, it surely includes the ability to question, and to mock, the belief that Mohammed rewards jihadists, just as it must also include the freedom to stage Jerry Springer – The Opera and the play Dishonour at the Birmingham Rep, against which Sikhs protested last year.

When Muslims find something offensive, Stephen Pollard thinks they raise “legitimate points” about Muslim beliefs. So what if they find it offensive? he asks, it is about free speech right?

But the last paragraph clinches it:

Such is the nature of the fight to defend Western values – half-hearted and supine. The right of a newspaper to publish unfunny cartoons about Mohammed, Jesus or any other religious figure is not a distraction in the defence of freedom from terror. It goes to the very heart of what must be defended.

Ahhh, I get it.

When we are publishing offensive cartoons about Muslims then we are defending Western values, but when we are publishing “grotesque” cartoons about certain Jewish politicians, then a line has been crossed.

The hypocrisy is simply breath-taking.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


In the case of Scarfe, Pollard believes “the mistake was printing the cartoon”.

Meanwhile, in his own publication, he’s happily stood by the mocking of a kidnap victim, and a columnist expressing pleasure at the murder of a peace activist.

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ben-white/jewish-chronicles-new-hate-blog-shame-mocking-former-kidnap-victim

2. Closet Zionist

Are your fingers tired yet from grasping at all these straws?

Pollard doesn’t at any point say the cartoon shouldn’t have been published. In fact, he says that what happened overall was a model situation: cartoon published, offence taken, offence pointed out, apology offered, apology accepted, everyone goes home.

No one sought to censor anyone. And no demonstrators took to the streets threatening death and destruction as they did over the Danish cartoons, which is the context in which Pollard defended free speech at the time.

So two different reactions to two different situations which you have now elided to make a point about, well, what, exactly?

As for Ben White…Lectures on tolerance from the man who believes that anti-Semitism is ‘understandable’?:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2002/06/18/is-it-possible-to-understand-the-rise-in-anti-semitism/

*throws up a little bit in own mouth*

It’s silly to pretend that mocking the Prophet and referencing the blood libel are identical causes for offence. The context between those two controversies (and, forgive me, the *response* from the two constituencies) has been so very different, that you basically need to be out to get Pollard to draw this conclusion. Which, you know, is fine; but this is polemic, not ethics, what you’re doing up there. And polemic is frankly the last thing we need more of in this field of discourse.

What you have failed to mention here is the difference in the subject matter of the cartoons. If I recall correctly, Scarfe portrayed the Israeli leader cementing live Palestinians into a brick wall – ie it portrayed him as a murderer. The Mohammed cartoons lampooned the ridiculous claim that the prophet must never be portrayed in any way.

What’s wrong with saying it’s understandable? It’s not the same as saying it’s acceptable which is sort of what you’re trying to imply here and nowhere near as vomit worthy.

6. Neville Squamous

Closet Zionist, did you even read the article you link to or was it just the headline?

“I have just provided a by no means comprehensive list of reasons why “I can understand very well that some people are unpleasant towards Jews.” I do not agree with them, but I can understand.

To interpret agreement with this statement as an indication of anti-Semitism is wrong and intellectually flawed. It can only contribute to real anti-Semitism by the creation of hysteria and polarisation that real racists thrive on”

The piece was explaining the possible reasons behind such a large proportion of people “understanding” “anti-semitism”, but it also necessarily explores why these people could be considered misguided.

However, I agree with your other point. Later in the same interview that the first rather unconvincing quote above is pulled from, Pollard specifically says,

“In a way this whole discussion is surreal because I defend The Guardian’s right to print such a a cartoon and I defend the Sunday Times’s right to print the Gerald Scarfe cartoon. What I’m saying is, if you print such cartoons you have to be aware of the consequences.

And one of those consequences will new [sic] that some people will describe those cartoons, and I’m one of them, as anti-semitic. That doesn’t mean that I would ban the publication of such cartoons. But I think if you’re going to draw such images you have to be aware where the cultural resonances, and precisely who you’re giving offence to”

Not an identical opinion to the one given in response to the drawings of Mohammed but certainly not “breathtaking hypocrisy”.

Beware. Pollard doesn’t take kindly to any criticism of his POV. Years ago, he devoted his column in The Times to a personal attack on me by name for posting critical comments on his blog.

being editor of the Jewish chronicle and not getting caught out for apparent minor dissonance in expressed views would be a feat worthy of Jehovah, Muhammed and Christ rolled into one …
and that person would still end up being crucified by one religious tribal faction or another.
A plague on all God’s supposed houses.

Apples and oranges again, Sunny.

(1) a cartoon published of a living person is felt (I don’t agree, but hey) to recycle anti-Semitic tropes against a whole people, that led to a genocide; on the very day that we remember that genocide. People complain politely. They are apologised to (I don’t think there should have been). Pollard says this is a model example of how to deal with offence. The end.
(2) some cartoons are printed mocking a dead religious figure. Death threats are issued and people die in riots. Pollard says that freedom of speech must be protected from threats.

Can you explain how the two are the same, precisely?

So, maybe, if the Scarfe cartoon had been of Moses. And if the Jewish board of deputies had rioted in the streets. And if then Pollard had sided with them? Then you would have a comparable event. Or, if, instead of Muhammad, the Danish cartoons had shown, I dunno, insert any Muslim politician you want, as (allegedly) a stereotype that encapsulated his entire race, on the day that was meant to commemorate 6 million Muslims being murdered. And as a response, there had been a polite letter writing campaign. Then you’d have a comparison.

Here, you are stretching.

Yup, this I am afraid is the double standard the pro Zionists have. But they have learned from many years in the US to play the antisemitism card whenever anybody, or any organisation criticises The state of Israel.

And as I point out in another thread on this site since the loony Christian Right wing have bought into the rapture, many Conservaives parrot the same accusation of antisemitism at any one not on board the Pro Israel express.

Pollard wriggles on the hook of hypocrisy, which is all too typical these days on this issue. But his assertion that this was a mistake is deeply sinister. The usual fake outrage, and the groveling apology from the proprietor means this is not a mistake that will happen again. The editor of the paper has had his card marked and will be VERY wary of any article or cartoon that in any way criticises Israel.

This of course follws exactly the same technique to bring the recent Lib Dem politician who has also (following the usual fake outrage) been forced into an embarrassing retraction. Major newspapers, Members of parliament, all cowed in the face of such sinsiter power. Terrifying.

And as to prove my point we have a classic case here on the comments page.

Ben Wright points out, quite reasonably that Mr Pollards publication has no such concern with decency when it’s a peace protester killed. Not for the fist time by the way the laughing and revelling at the death of peace protesters in pro Zionist publications.

And immediately closet zionist. (which rather gives away his bias) responds so….” As for Ben White…Lectures on tolerance from the man who believes that anti-Semitism is ‘understandable’?:”

When in doubt or when you have no case accuse opponent of antisemitism. Standard operating procedure these days for the Zionist. Antisemitism is the magic get out of jail free card for all pro zionists. And they play it over, and over and over again to avoid having to defend their lies, crimes, and censorship.

12. Chaise Guevara

@9 Hegemony

“Can you explain how the two are the same, precisely? ”

To hear you tell it, the one called antisemitic was making a genuine political point, while the ones called Islamaphobic were pointless attempts at inciting anger? The Times’ cartoon seems more justifiable if anything, not that I object to any of them being published.

13. the a&e charge nurse

[9] ‘People complain politely’ – yes, while at the same associating Scarfe’s depiction of Netanyahu with anti-semitism, or even being pro-nazi.

Clearly anybody who thinks Scarfe is equivalent to a latter day Joseph Goebbels is a few pfennigs short of a Deutsche Mark.

If certain leaders pursue a murderous policy they cannot rely on the past to shield them from uncomfortable questions about the consequences of choices being made today.

And so, neatly, we now debate the rights and wrongs of the offences caused to people who are ever willing to take offence. Meanwhile the illegal settlements and the continued oppression of Palestinians can carry on with apparent impunity.

The Israeli right has blood on their hands, Scarfe was right and the cartoon should have been published.

The Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust, after all, and on Holocaust Memorial Day we should remember the politics that made it possible, not just the victims.

I find it utterly bizarre that I even have to explain this to some readers.

Closet Zionist: Pollard doesn’t at any point say the cartoon shouldn’t have been published.

Ah right… the fact he says it was a mistake for it to be published isn’t relevant then?

I’m not the one clutching at straws.

MarinaS: It’s silly to pretend that mocking the Prophet and referencing the blood libel are identical causes for offence.

Oh really? The fact that Muhammed has a bomb in his turban isn’t meant to say something about Muslims then? Are you kidding me?? I’ll just assume you were trying to be satirical there.

16. the a&e charge nurse

It’s not even as if the sentiments expressed in Scarfe’s cartoon have not been touched on before – this from 2001
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/graphic/0,5543,435245,00.html

Chaise Guevara: “the one called anti-Semitic was making a genuine political point”?

Really? This is very interesting. I’m a fan of Scarfe’s work, generally. He’s certainly more talented than the witless individuals in the Danish Cartoon case, who seemed, well, not very funny. And I’m not someone who takes sides in the Middle East conflict at all, so have no axes to grind either way.

Saying all that, i would be interested if you could explain the point being addressed by the Scarfe cartoon? Because it kind of flew past me. There he is, building a wall, which contains dead Palestinian children, blood and what appears to be the head of Obama peeking out. What’s it meant to represent? The security fence? Which is 90% fence and was built by errrr Ariel Sharon’s government, rather than Netanyahu’s? (not in any way to defend that government, both are far to the right of any government I support anywhere). The blockade of Gaza? What’s it supposed to mean?

That’s where it falls down as a cartoon, y’see. And that’s my only real objection to it’s publication – it doesn’t cleverly illustrate or satirise anything. It’s just a barbarous image (one can argue the Israeli government deserves such imagery, go right ahead, but to argue thus one has to choose *imagery which is apt*. Scarfe failed to do so). What current news story provoked it? Nothing, I can see. Yes, yes, ongoing situation but nothing that fell under the brief of current events.

And so, I can understand the reactions of those who saw it as anti-Semitic. I don’t agree with them, actually, but I can understand it. And I can understand people using their freedom of speech to protest about it’s publication, as long as that protest is within certain boundaries.

Now – vile and offensive though the Danish cartoons were – the nature of the protests against them *were* a challenge to freedom of speech on a far greater level than these objections. If I were running a newspaper, I’d not have printed either, because I don’t like either set of cartoons, they illustrate nothing. But also, I would have not backed down from either if they had been published.

And I wouldn’t have conflated an angry mob rioting with some letters and statements issued either.

18. flyingrodent

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there’s no point getting into a raging row over comparisons between the Mo cartoons and the Scarfe one.

There’s no point of logic or principle here; it has nothing to do with rational argument or racial incitement or whatever.

It’s all purely and simply about us and them, our tribe versus theirs, and by that I don’t mean “Jews vs Muslims” or vice-versa. I mean “One gang of bullshitters vs another gang of bullshitters, all of whom are talking bullshit for highly political reasons, to at least some extent”.

On one side, bomb-’em-all-for-freedom twunts of various ethnic, political and religious backgrounds; on the other, various stop-bombing-’em-all-for-imperialism handjobs from a range of religious, ethnic and political traditions. This is politics, not principle.

Forget blood libels, incitement or insult. At heart, this is just another spanked-up boo-hoo Twitter blub-fest, and both sides of this interminable game of grievance one-upmanship will be onto something else by next week, and that sorry farrago will be just as lacking in reason, proportion and personal honesty as this one is.

19. adam carter

Couldn’t agree with you more Sunny. The problem is the extraordinary level of ‘sensitivity and misuse’ of the term ‘anti-semitism’. Anything remotely critical of Israel or the Zionist cause is immediately treated with suspicion by large parts of the media for no obvious reason other than the fact that they too run scared from the Zionist propaganda machine.

You are right Sunny, Pollard is a hypocrite, no doubt. Unfortunately though the media machine won’t reveal this.

20. Suburban Tory

Why have my comments from yesterday and earlier today disappeared?

Sally accuses others of anti-semitism but believes in an International Jewish Conspiracy, that ALL Jews are Israel firsters and that Israel controls the British Government.

When I point out her anti-semitism my comment is deleted.

Why are you protecting Sally from fair criticism?

#20 – I was particularly taken by Sally’s assertion that Rupert Murdoch was brought to heel by the massed, sinister powers of the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Board of Deputies. A more realistic assessment would be “Rupert Murdoch, a noted supporter of Israel, and someone who has large financial interests in the country, had his attention brought to a cartoon he wouldn’t normally have seen, and expressed his opinion”. This version, however, doesn’t have the “sinister” Jewish lobby in control of events, does it?

Hegemony @17, they’ve just had an election in Israel and Netanyahu is putting together a new coalition.
That was the reason why the cartoon was run I presumed.
And the wall wasn’t just a Sharon initiative …. it’s still being built every day. I was in Israel just a few days ago and you can see new sections of wall (not fence) being built just east of the tram line going north to the settlements in east Jerusalem.

Any blood ever highlighted when criticising Israel will always be accused of referencing the ‘blood libel’.
It’s a dirty underhand tactic, but they are going to stick with it. If you show blood – you hate Jews.
Maybe even showing pictures of dead Palestinians is ”anti-Semitic” in that way.

flyingrodent is quite right too.

Suburban Tory – I expect some of Sally’s comments were deleted, and that your own comments were deleted to prevent confusion.

I do think there is a distinction between cartoons published in the wake of physical intimidation – and then being republished in the face of similar intimidation, and a cartoon published outside that particular context. Sunny Hundal’s point about Stephen Pollard’s ‘so what if they find it offensive’ line is perhaps a stronger point. Though there is a special offensiveness in the timing (not Scarfe’s fault or intention) on Holocaust Memorial Day which does seem a little different from the offensiveness of the Danish cartoons. However I think a reputable publication would probably not want to reproduce the latter – except as part of a discussion about freedom of expression.

21 The editor of The paper, and the cartoonist now know this is a subject to stay away from. We won’t see this again.

And yes I’m well aware of Murdoch’s pro Zionist position. Which is why I’m surprised the new editor ran it in the first place. But thanks to the usual fake outrage he won’t do it again. Mission Accomplished!

20 Oh do stop whining. I had plenty of my posts deleted yesterday.

26. Suburban Tory

Sarah AB

My original post was in response to
this comment which has not been deleted.

Sally

Your comments were appalling and rightly deleted. I am amazed that someone with your bigoted views is tolerated here.

Fair enough! Can see why you objected. Plenty of antisemitism on the left, unfortunately, and surely only a fraction of right-of-centre support for Israel driven by that kind of theology – particularly in the UK.

“Hegemony @17, they’ve just had an election in Israel and Netanyahu is putting together a new coalition.
That was the reason why the cartoon was run I presumed.”

And in what ways did this cartoon reflect the changing dynamics of Israeli politics, in which Netanyahu’s new coalition has to move more centrewards? It didn’t, did it? In fact, it bore absolutely no relation to the Israeli election at all…

“And the wall wasn’t just a Sharon initiative …. it’s still being built every day. I was in Israel just a few days ago and you can see new sections of wall (not fence) being built just east of the tram line going north to the settlements in east Jerusalem.”

Sharon built most of it. It wasn’t his initiative (Rabin, actually, the “peacemaker”), but Sharon did most of it. And it is, mostly, fence.

“Any blood ever highlighted when criticising Israel will always be accused of referencing the ‘blood libel’.
It’s a dirty underhand tactic, but they are going to stick with it. If you show blood – you hate Jews.
Maybe even showing pictures of dead Palestinians is ”anti-Semitic” in that way.”

Ah, those dirty underhanded Israelis.

Here’s a poser for you…

is there any other racial grouping who – if a significant proportion of their number in the UK found something to be racist towards them – you’d just dismiss their opinions as “a dirty underhand tactic”?

Yes, it’s clearly hypocritical to believe one group of people has a right to complain about cartoons while believing another group has no right to kill cartoonists.

Or when Christians are offended by something and protest against it they are defending their religion against Christian hating liberal Guardian reading lefties. But when Muslims are offended by something and protest against it they are seeking to impose Sharia Law on our country and are affronting Western values of free speech.

Funny ,last year Sarah Palin tried to use ‘blood libel’ to defend her comments regarding the shooting of a Dem politician.

And what did we here from the usual suspects who get worked up anytime the term is used? *crickets* silence. *crickets*

Why are you protecting Sally from fair criticism?

In fairness Sunny did delete some of Sally’s more disgusting posts (personally I’d have left them up as they say more about her than the ‘Jewish lobby’) and he rightly deleted one of mine which quoted her and which would have looked rather pointless without the comment it was refering to.

Still, I have to repeat a point I’ve made many times before: attacking someone for hypocrisy is a weasely way of dodging the main issue which is the continual use of antisemitic tropes by British cartoonists. It’s perfectly possible to criticise the Israeli politics without falling back on stereotypes of big-nosed puppeteers using blood as an ingredient just as it is possible to comment on African politics without images of black people with bones through their noses cooking missionaries in a pot or, for that matter, portraying the English as football hooligans with the George Cross tattooed across their faces.

And what did we here from the usual suspects who get worked up anytime the term is used? *crickets* silence. *crickets*

Maybe you should post a link to the LibCon post on her comments so we can refresh our memories about what we said.

30 Hilarious, western values of free speech?

We can’t even have cartoons now.

@30

“Christian hating liberal Guardian reading lefties.”

Ok, stop there. Where do you people get this “Christian hating” crap from anyway? All religion stinks and as Nietzsche said, “God is dead”. Get over it.

You’re playing the victim card like so many Telegraph reading righties (Yeah, I can use clichés too). Muslims aren’t “seeking to impose Sharia law” on this country. That’s absurd and paranoid.

36. Just Visiting

Buddyhell

> Where do you people get this “Christian hating” crap from anyway? All religion stinks and as Nietzsche said, “God is dead”. Get over it.

If you look back at LC and do a count of the articles that mock christians: versus those that mock say Muslims: you’ll conclude that “Christian hating liberal Guardian reading lefties” are active here !

They may say, as you do, that ‘all religion stinks’ – but that doesn’t stop the bias in their actions.

A recent indicator of this bias: “Why a Briton changed her mind on Muslims” – see if you can find an equivalent article on LC that says ‘Hey guys, some Christians are nice community members too’ !

Or ask Bob B why he often says here that (for example) the Amritsar massacre was a ‘Christian Atrocity : for which there is no iota of historian support.

If Bob B threw around on LC the phrase ‘Muslim atrocity’ with equal lack of basis: wouldn’t the response be 100 times louder against him?

Buddyhell at #35 – I think Dan Factor at #30 was being sarcastic.

“the continual use of antisemitic tropes by British cartoonists”

…does not exist.

The continual attempt by demented neocons to pretend that things which are not antisemitic are antisemitic, on the other hand, does.

Scarfe draws cartoons with blood and shit and piss in them; that’s his schtick.

It’s worth reiterating here that the blood libel was the lie that religious Jews in Europe sacrificed Christian children in order to use their blood in religious rites.
Now, Scarfe’s cartoon the week before last was Bashir Assad drinking a child’s blood, to highlight the fact that Assad murders children. That obviously wasn’t antisemitic, given Assad’s ethnicity; it’s an example of Scarfe’s style.

But the blood libel hardly has relevance to a cartoon where the secular leader of a country which has built a wall and killed a lot of Arabs is depicted building a wall and killing a lot of Arabs. For those to be connected, you need to be claiming that any critical depiction of someone of Jewish extraction alongside death or blood is necessarily invoking the blood libel.

The use of bone-nosed Africans or football hooligan English doesn’t work as a comparison, because those tropes exist solely as slurs directed against those groups. Rather, the position has to be that a non-racial “blood on their hands” trope which is completely fine when directed against a murderer of any other ethnic group *becomes* antisemitic if the murderer happens to be Jewish. So while it’s perfectly OK for Scarfe to portray a white or black or Arab politician as a bloodthirsty murderer, he is not allowed to do the same for an Israeli politician or for anything related to Israel’s conduct.

Seeking to rule out an entire class of ways to refer to murderous behaviour as inherently racially offensive solely when applied to the government of Israel is, of course, extremely handy if you’re someone who’d rather we didn’t discuss the murderous behaviour of the government of Israel…

Hegemony @28

it bore absolutely no relation to the Israeli election at all…

Even if you think it didn’t, the charge is that it’s anti-Semitic. Because it shows blood. Palestinians tend to bleed when their killed though so to say you should never dipict blood in a cartoon like that is demanding a lot.

Ah, those dirty underhanded Israelis.

No, those dirty underhand tactics usd by the unreasonable Israel supporters who drag any discussion of I/P down into a slanging match and accusations that you hate Jews. I’ve had it myself on the Harry’s Place website.
There, some always insist that people just love to hate ”Jooooos” and you get comments like ‘No Jews – No News’ as an explaination as to why other stories aren’t covered as much as ones about Israel.
It’s a crap point of view, even if the pro-Palestinian side can be equally as shrill and rubbish.

Whether it’s a wall or a fence is hardly worth making a point about. They both do the same job.
The problem isn’t a wall or fence particularly, but where it’s being built. And it’s definitely a work in progress. Have you not looked at the map?
I stayed in two Palestinian run backpacker hostels in Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago and they both had this map pinned on the wall for their guests to study.
http://images.blatantworld.com/520_image/august_2011_access_and_closure_map_for_the_west_bank.png

And as for your poser at the end, just because you think something is anti-semitic or racist – doesn’t mean that it is.

40. Chaise Guevara

@ Hegemony

I haven’t seen the cartoon, presumably because news sites aren’t desperate to republish. From what I hear it’s trying to make a point about Israel buying its security with the blood of Palestinians.

Now, it may make that point badly. That doesn’t really matter. The point is that it’s at least trying to send a message beyond simply being randomly offensive. As far as I can tell the Danish cartoons aren’t trying to say anything beyond: “Hah, what do you think of this, Muslims?”

41. Chaise Guevara

I have to say I’m with damon’s last post on this one.

@ Hegemony

“is there any other racial grouping who – if a significant proportion of their number in the UK found something to be racist towards them – you’d just dismiss their opinions as “a dirty underhand tactic”?”

Speaking for myself: yes, any of them, assuming that it was an unfair accusation. Racial, religious, political, whatever. Straw manning your opponent to unfairly accuse them of bigotry is not reasonable, no matter how many people join in.

I think we can say the cartoon was a great success in making a truthful point. Hence the cacophony of whining, and winging, and pearl clutching by the usual neo con right wing lunatics.

Truthful points about the state Israel are not to tolerated.

“Still, I have to repeat a point I’ve made many times before: attacking someone for hypocrisy is a weasely way of dodging the main issue which is the continual use of antisemitic tropes by British cartoonists. It’s perfectly possible to criticise the Israeli politics without falling back on stereotypes of big-nosed puppeteers using blood as an ingredient just as it is possible to comment on African politics without images of black people with bones through their noses cooking missionaries in a pot or, for that matter, portraying the English as football hooligans with the George Cross tattooed across their faces.”
Does that go for sly faced Frenchman with onions or sour faced Germans or cruel aggressive looking Russians.
Who would employ all your right wing cartoonists. Also shatter I have never seen you complain about cartoons that stereotype Muslims or did I miss something.
Also what is the point of this thread? Right wing journalist is a hypocrite. Christ they all are. Cohen, Bright and Collins are all hypocrites. Most of the British press are made up of lying right wing creeps who talk about MPS expenses when their organisations and colleagues have corrupted police and officials in a way the Mafia would be proud of.
Also the lefty journos, are as bad but at least there are very few of them.
There are exceptions like Peter Obone but they are not the rule

Chaise, at the risk of sounding sarcastic, there’s a magnificent device called Google. here is a selection of reproductions of the Scarfe cartoon (the Netanyahu bricklaying one that appears several times. Note the resemblance to his ‘wall’ one, though). While we’re at it, the first one here is the Assad one I mentioned above (the first one with the bucket of blood, although the vulture one on the right is also worth noting).

[9] ‘People complain politely’ – of course its more sinister than polite complaint, its a call to blacklisting, an attempt to destroy reputations and deny the very freedoms of speech and the right to offend.

To be Islamophobic is very much supported by those who would have a knee jerk response to any complaint against Israel or Judaism under the guise of calling it anti Semitism.

This whilst Zionism (not Judaism) attempts to remove any visible sign of the Palestinian people in the very image of nazi principles without any complaint from those who defend Pollardand his ilk.

why is it wrong to not like Israel or Judaism?

we are encouraged not to like say iran, argentina, mali etc and certainly to dislike Islam .

47. Michael J Fieldhaus

There is a big difference here that is being overlooked.

1. Pollard is saying they had the right to publish it, but thought as many others did that the content and timing were wrong, not accurate.

2. No one can dare ever publish cartoons about Mohamed for fear of death, which is not the case in the Time cartoon, no death threats had been made.

To summarize, the times cartoon, offended some and was debated on its merits using the intellects, no violence involved. The Danish cartoons resulted in many people dying, big difference.

The Danish cartoons resulted in many people dying, big difference.

Technically speaking, they didn’t. There’s quite the story behind the Jyllands-Posten cartoons controversy, that starts off with noticing that the cartoons were published on the 30/09/2005, while the big protests kicked off in Feb 2006. It can be deduced that there was a concerted effort to generate outrage on the subject, including a group of Danish Imams going on a whistle stop tour of the middle east while adding three cartoons and pictures to their dossier, one of which was famously of a French politician engaging in some local pig squealing contest whom they claimed was supposed to be a representation of Mohammed. One of the other two additional images (a photo) portrayed a Muslim being mounted by a dog while praying, and the other (a cartoon) portrayed Muhammad as a demonic paedophile. Where these pictures originated from (aside from the French photo which presumably was from a local newspaper snap) is still unknown. They also gave the impression that Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen somehow controlled or owned Jyllands-Posten, to further imply that there was an overarching plot by the Danish government to persecute Muslims.

In short a campaign of lies and misinformation, with the cartoons forming stands in their web of lies, resulted in many people dying.

49. Chaise Guevara

@ 47

“No one can dare ever publish cartoons about Mohamed for fear of death, which is not the case in the Time cartoon, no death threats had been made”

Something of an exaggeration, that, given that at least one webcomic features him as a main character: http://www.jesusandmo.net/

50. Shatterface

Something of an exaggeration, that, given that at least one webcomic features him as a main character: http://www.jesusandmo.net/

(a) It’s published pseudonymously, and

(b) ‘Mo’ is Mortimer, not Mohammed.

51. Shatterface

Something of an exaggeration, that, given that at least one webcomic features him as a main character: http://www.jesusandmo.net/

(a) It’s published pseudonymously, and

(b) ‘Mo’ is Mortimer, not Mohammed.

52. the a&e charge nurse

[52] I saw that on the front of Indy – is the quran simply too difficult to understand, or are the saudis guilty of a school boy error?

53. flyingrodent

is the quran simply too difficult to understand, or are the saudis guilty of a school boy error?

I think the key to understanding Saudi Arabia is that it’s run by horrendous extremist lunatics whose contribution to the world of religion is the belief that you should always, at all times, act like as much of a godawful bastard to everyone as is humanly possible.

@ Flyingrodent:

Not really. Saudi’s rulers aren’t particularly devout. However:

1) Saudi contains Islam’s two holy cities, Mecca and Medina. This confers particular responsibilities.

2) Her rulers certainly are under pressure from extremists, and they’ve had to keep them sweet one way or another.

3) The Quran is very different to the Bible. In short, it is, a) quite literally the word of God via His Prophet, and, b) it’s a detailed “rulebook” covering all aspects of life.

The Bible is sufficiently vague, and/or allegorical to allow Christian’s to adjust (mostly) as time passes and attitudes change.

The Quran, however, is much more specific. Changing the “rules” means over-ruling God. (I know this is also true in some Christian churches, but it’s on a very different scale). The further we get from the time of the Quran’s writing, the more it will clash with “modern thought”.

Imagine if we in the UK were governed by similar rules, impeccably tolerant for the time, but created 40 or 50 years ago. They would be horribly out-of-date already.


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