Goldstone Retraction Fuels New Round Of Anti-Semitism & Conspiracy Theories In Arab Press

New York, NY, April 11, 2011 … The decision by the author of the Goldstone Report to retract several of the key findings of the United Nations fact-finding commission into the 2009 Israeli operation in Gaza has spurred a new round of anti-Semitic cartoons and conspiracy theories in the Arab press, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

"Just as the original report was celebrated by Arab cartoonists as 'proof' of the evil nature of Israel and Jews, so too has the decision by Judge Richard Goldstone to reconsider his findings inspired another round of hateful caricatures and stereotypes in the Arab Media," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Newspapers across the Arab world have responded to the Goldstone developments with a series of hideous caricatures, many of them viciously anti-Semitic." 

A typical depiction of Judge Goldstone's decision to retract his finding that Israelis committed war crimes during the Gaza war appeared in the Hamas newspaper Filastin on April 5, two days after his op-ed, "Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes" appeared in The Washington Post. The editorial cartoon showed a vicious stereotypical Jew -- with a large nose, beard and black hat and labeled "The Jewish Lobby" -- holding Judge Goldstone's tongue (labeled the "Goldstone Report") and a pair of scissors. The Arab cartoons include conspiracy theories suggesting that the Jewish lobby played a sinister role in pressuring Goldstone to change his mind, or accusing Jews and Israelis of attempting to whitewash the report's findings. Several use creative wordplay to suggest that Israel bribed the jurist with "Gold" while hurling "stones" against the Palestinians, or burying dead Palestinians in a shallow grave marked with a "stone." 

ADL identified more than a dozen other similarly hateful and anti-Semitic caricatures which appeared in newspapers across the Arab World, including papers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Qatar. A sampling of the cartoons is available on the League's Web site

ADL monitors anti-Semitism in the Arab media through its Israel Office and issues periodic reports on its findings. In a survey of editorial cartoons following the release of the original Goldstone Report in November 2009, the League identified dozens of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoons appearing in newspapers across the Arab World.