For your information,
On Tuesday the 30th of June 2009, this bluntly anti-Semitic caricature was published in El País newspaper by the caricaturist Romeu. The character in red wonders: “But how is Israel able to violate with total impunity all human and international laws?" The other character, an orthodox Jew, answers: “It costs us a good amount of money.”
Please pay attention to the wording of the question of the first character. It doesn’t use the term “humanitarian” which is customary to use in conjunction with international law. Rather, the author chooses to use “human,” exposing one of the most extreme elements in the classic anti-Semitic narrative: the inhuman nature of Jews explains their behavior.
Romeu has published other anti-Semitic caricatures in El País in the past.
This caricature is an excellent example of a very interesting phenomenon: the return to the sources of anti-Zionism, the modern anti-Semitism. This embraces, without complexes or intellectual contradictions, the stereotypes that once were the exclusive components of classic anti-Semitism: the Jews are rich, manipulative, vengeful, greedy, blood thirsty, God-killers and inhuman.
It is very important to stress that this caricature was not published in a marginal neo-Nazi underground publication but in Spain’s most influential newspaper. It goes without saying that the editors of this newspaper would never agree to publish similarly racist and prejudiced messages about other groups such as Moslems, women or other minorities.
There is a short slippery slope between anti-Zionist opinions and plain and simple anti-Semitism. This caricature, far from being an exception, is symptomatic of a way of thinking among a public generally identified with the left. Anti-Semitic caricatures and articles appear periodically in El País and other big and supposedly democratic news outlets. These types of messages are being sent constantly to the general public, since long time. Then it shouldn’t surprise us that those well established stereotypes result in hostile actions (physical aggressions, campus harassment, and more) not just against Israeli targets but against Jews and non Jews who are all but criminalized for being perceived as friends of Israel and Jews.
Attached is another example of a caricature that is supposedly critical of Israel with classic anti-Semitic elements. It was published in Público, another Spanish newspaper identified with the values of the left. The caricature appeared on the day after President Obama’s speech in Cairo.
Counselor Press Attaché
Embassy of Israel in Spain
Tel: +34 917 829 510