President Trump’s December 6 declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and setting in motion the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem engendered strong diplomatic protests, as well as some protests in the streets.
Moving beyond their initial outraged reaction, some Arabic-language media is continuing to focus on this issue, with editorial cartoons suggesting Jewish and Israeli domination of the United States.
These cartoons describe President Trump as a circus elephant balancing the globe on its trunk to the command of its Israeli trainer; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulling the arm of a blindfolded US in order to raise a Star-of-David-shaped wand; and President Trump driving off a cliff in a car marked with a Star of David. They also depict the Israeli flag on top of an Uncle-Sam-style top hat; Uncle Sam throwing away his original hat only to reveal he is in fact wearing a Jewish skullcap; as well as the US saying that "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel" while the Jewish figure is giving it a thumbs-up, as though it was said on Israel's cue.
These cartoons resonate with an age-old anti-Semitic theme of malevolent Jewish power found in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated document purporting to show Jews scheming to achieve world domination.
These cartoons came in advance of the Security Council discussion of the U.S. decision, which ended with the U.S. vetoing a draft resolution rejecting it; and on the heels of an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held in Istanbul last week, convened in order to reject President Trump's statement. Speeches included incendiary rhetoric on the part of world leaders, notably Palestinian President Abu Mazen, who threatened to renounce all previously signed agreements with Israel since the 1993 Oslo Accords, ruled out any future role for the US in brokering peace and re-asserted the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem while failing yet again to acknowledge the millennia-old Jewish connection to the city. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made equally inflammatory statements in the days leading up to the Summit as well as during the Summit itself, describing Israel as a “terrorist state” which “kills children”, attributing President Trump’s statement to his “Zionist mentality” and re-asserting the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem, similarly failing to acknowledge the Jewish connection to the city.
1. Al-Ahram, December 18, 2017 (Egypt)
2. Al-Watan, December 17, 2017 (Oman)
3. Al-Masri Al-Yawm, December 17, 2017 (Egypt)
4. Al-Ittihad, December 17, 2017 (UAE)
Headline: "Uncle Sam"
5. Al-Watan, December 17, 2017 (UAE)
6. Fars, December 16, 2017 (Iran, Arabic-language edition)