ADL: Norwegian Newspaper Cartoon Demonizing Jewish Ritual Circumcision “Deeply Offensive”

New York, NY, May 29, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called a cartoon appearing in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, which grossly demonized Jewish ritual circumcision, “deeply offensive and appalling.”

The cartoon, which was printed on May 28, depicts a bloodied crying baby lying on a table with his toes being cut off with pruning shears and severed toes scattered around. A bearded-hatted man is holding what appears to be a Jewish holy book in one hand, while with the other, he holds the baby down on the table with a pitchfork. A woman, who is also holding what appears to be a prayer book, says to entering policemen “Mistreating? No, this is tradition, an important part of our belief!” The police say, “Belief? Oh yes, then it is all right.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

This grotesque cartoon of a bloodied, mutilated baby, suffering at the hands of adults is a deeply offensive and appalling distortion of a core Jewish ritual. The image harkens back to the centuries of anti-Semitic illustrations depicting Jews engaged in ritual ceremonies involving gratuitous and fabricated bloodletting.

In no way can this sickening cartoon be justified as an acceptable graphic representation in support for the campaign to legislatively restrict ritual circumcision, which unfortunately has gained some traction in Europe.

We call on the editors of Dagbladet to issue an official apology and for other government and societal leaders in Norway to speak out against this monstrous cartoon and its deeper messages.

In November 2011, ADL voiced concern to the Dagbladet regarding a cartoon equating the situation in the Gaza Strip with the Holocaust.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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