Just a short while after the remarks of the Liberal Democrat MP on the treatment by Israeli jews of Palestinians, sparked outrage in the Jewish community and saw the term ‘anti-Semitism’ being used left, right and centre, another case has caused offence. This time a cartoon, printed in The Sunday Times, by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe depicting Israeli PM Netanyahu building a brick wall on the bloodied bodies of Palestinians. Of course, after the powerful Jewish voices on the Board of Deputies of British Jews screamed in anger their offence at the ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoons, a public apology quickly surfaced from media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
It seems quite a big deal has been made from this cartoon, I understand how this may have upset some Jewish people, as the timing came around Holocaust Memorial Day, and some may have drawn comparisons between the two. However, to be named anti-Semitic is for me, uncalled for. Upon seeing the cartoon, it may be seen, as the cartoonist himself expected it to be, as an attack on Netanyahu’s policies as the PM, in which his re-election raised issues of his continuation in building the wall in the West Bank separating the Palestinian land from the occupied territories, as well as his continuation to build settlements, deemed by the UN to be illegal. Not, as many interpreted it to be, as an attack on the Jewish people. If a cartoonist was to depict the British PM’s policies in a negative light (as we have already witnessed with Tony Blair), I don’t think the British public would be offended in themselves and outraged by such portrayals.
It feels as though in this time and age, our minds have become so riddled with political correctness that our thoughts and actions have become constricted. I am in no way suggesting that people should have the liberty to intentionally cause offence to a particular religion or belief, as I am myself completely against that, but when it comes to politics, parallels are constantly trying to be drawn, and reading between the lines has been taken to a whole other imaginative level. For example, if this cartoon depicted in a negative light a certain figure in the Jewish religion, I would have been the first person against it, as I have been when the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet in a negative light surfaced (but that is a very complex situation that I will not delve in now), as that was seen as an attack on a religion, and not simply an (alive) politicians policies and way to ideals on ruling a country.
Some may think that my comparisons are unjustified, and that all the above are very different instances, however, this is how I see it in my uncomplicated-with-political correctness mind, and they are just my personal thoughts. Therefore, if I have caused any offence it was unintentional.