Middle Eastern Press Features Anti-Semitic Cartoons In Wake Of Tensions In Gaza and Jerusalem

  • May 25, 2018

Recent tension between Israel and the Palestinians reached a highpoint with the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th and the simultaneous ongoing demonstrations on the Gaza-Israel border which left at least 60 Palestinians dead and scores more wounded. 

The demonstrations, primarily mobilized by Hamas, began on March 30th.  Titled "The Great March of Return," the weekly demonstrations, along with the large event on May 14 featured some who were protesting in a non-violent manner, while others who were armed with weapons or explosives with the intent of storming the border fence.

The cartoons, published in recent days, have coalesced around a number of themes: some invoked anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of Jewish control of U.S. foreign policy, notably by replacing the stars on the U.S. flag with Stars of David, or by explicitly depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as leading President Trump to open the embassy in Jerusalem.

Others included dehumanizing depictions of Israel as a beastly animal, showing Israel as a giant crab about to attack al-Aqsa Mosque; Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump as snakes about to attack al-Aqsa Mosque and a pig marked by a Star of David, resting on a pillow with the pattern of the American flag, in which the stars have been replaced by Stars of David.

Some cartoons demonized the act of relocating the U.S. embassy, including one showing the devil holding a U.S. flag with the stars replaced by Stars of David.

These objectionable reactions are consistent with earlier ones in the Arabic language media commenting on President Trump’s December 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, as well as previous examples of Arabic-language mass media using anti-Semitic imagery in their commentary. These included cartoons suggesting Jewish domination of the U.S. and other anti-Semitic cartoons. Here are further examples of cartoons from recent days:

al-Jazira, May 16th, 2018 (Qatar)

al-Jazira, May 16th, 2018 (Qatar)
President Trump and Israeli PM Netanyahu are depicted as snakes about to attack al-Aqsa Mosque.

Tasnim (English), May 15th, 2018 (Iran)

Tasnim (English), May 15th, 2018 (Iran)
Gaza Strip is preventing the snake representing Israel from devouring al-Aqsa Mosque. President Trump is depicted riding the snake, carrying a sign which reads "The US Embassy".

al-Yawm as-Sabi, May 15th, 2018 (Egypt)

al-Yawm as-Sabi, May 15th, 2018 (Egypt) 
With the stars marking the 50 states replaced by Stars of David, the US is giving Israel al-Aqsa Mosque.

al-Hayat, May 15th, 2018 (UK)

al-Hayat, May 15th, 2018 (UK)

al-Watan, May 15th, 2018 (Qatar)

al-Watan, May 15th, 2018 (Qatar)
Headline: "Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem".

Depicted as a pig, Israel is resting on a pillow with a pattern of the US flag, with the stars replaced by Stars of David.

ar-Raya, May 17th, 2018 (Qatar)

ar-Raya, May 17th, 2018 (Qatar)

Headline: "Clearing Israel of the Gaza Massacre".

President Trump is wiping the blood from Israel's teeth. It is described as a wolf.

Al-Iqtisadiyya, May 16th, 2018 (Saudi Arabia)

Al-Iqtisadiyya, May 16th, 2018 (Saudi Arabia)
In Arabic: "Gaza"
The Star of David serves as a grinding machine which grinds Gazans.

al-Bayan, May 18th, 2018 (UAE)

al-Bayan, May 18th, 2018 (UAE) 
In Arabic: "Palestine's Martyrs".

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