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Philip M. Giraldi: “What’s in a Cartoon?”

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Written by Philip M. Giraldi; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

Israel and its friends in Washington and New York never miss the opportunity to exploit the news cycle to tighten the screws a bit more, rendering any criticism of the Jewish state unacceptable or even illegal. Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon has been persistently demanding that what he describes as anti-Semitic speech be criminalized. Danon declared that “The time for talking and having a conversation is over. What Israel and the Jewish community around the world demand is action – and now.”

Philip M. Giraldi: "What's in a Cartoon?"

How exactly Danon would enforce his definition of acceptable speech is not clear, but the demands to eliminate any negative commentary regarding the holocaust or on Israel and/or the behavior of diaspora Jews have been promoted for some time, resulting in laws in Europe that inflict harsh punish on those who dare to speak out. The latest incident in the campaign to eliminate the First Amendment in America took place oddly enough on the pages of the New York Times, which, in its international edition, ran a cartoon by a Portuguese cartoonist showing a dog with the face of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a leash leading a caricature of Donald Trump wearing a yarmulke and a blind man’s glasses. The Netanyahu-dog had a tag on its collar featuring a Star of David.

There are several ways to interpret the cartoon. It is, of course, an insult to dogs to have them depicted in such a fashion as to suggest that they might behave like the monstrous Israeli Prime Minister. No dog would sink so low. One observer, commenting from a dog’s point of view, noted that “We canines share that saying that ‘the eyes are the window to the soul.’ Look into our eyes and you’ll see love and trust. Look into Netanyahu’s eyes you see cunning and deceit so why stick his head on our body?”

On the other hand, one might see in the cartoon a serious message, that Netanyahu has been able to “wag the dog” with an ignorant and impulsive United States president who is so desirous of pandering to Jews both in Israel and in the U.S. that he is blind to his obligation to do what is best for the American people. Trump, who is the first president within memory not to own a dog, would rather stroke the head of the disgusting casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson than an intelligent and loyal Labrador retriever.

The cartoon was immediately blasted as being anti-Semitic, of course, because the definition of that “hate crime” has now been expanded to include criticism of anything that is even remotely Jewish. The Times twice went into full apology mode, promising never to do anything like that again and implying that heads would roll. The paper’s spokesperson stated that the publishers were “deeply sorry” and elaborated that “The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it. Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable. We are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again.”

But in spite of the abasement, the critics kept piling odd, some even claiming thatthe newspaper has a history of anti-Semitism. It was an odd assertion as the NYT has been Jewish owned since 1896, is home to numerous Jewish journalists, and its news coverage on the Middle East often serves as a mouthpiece for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

All-Jewish all-the-time Times columnist Bret Stephens was in particularly fine form, attacking his own employer, writing in an op-ed entitled “A Despicable Cartoon in the Times” that appeared within hours of the cartoon’s surfacing. He demanded that the Times should engage in “some serious reflection as to how it came to publish that cartoon,” which he described as “an astonishing act of ignorance of anti-Semitism.” He elaborated how the cartoon shows “The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign.” It might also be noted that the Times published on Sunday a photo that might be considered highly offensive to Catholics without any commentary by Stephens or from the paper’s editorial apologist.

Well, for once Stephens gets something right. The cartoon encapsulates the reality of U.S. policy in the Middle East and the relationship between Trump, who has made concession after concession to Israel, and his apparent masters. And yes, a few million Benjamins scattered around would have underlined why Trump misbehaves as he does.

And, in a demonstration that no crisis is too small to be exploited by the Trump Administration, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, “We stand with Israel and we condemn antisemitism in ALL its forms.” Donald Trump himself followed up with his own tweet on the following day, writing that “The New York Times has apologized for the terrible Anti-Semitic Cartoon, but they haven’t apologized to me for this or all of the Fake and Corrupt news they print on a daily basis. They have reached the lowest level of ‘journalism.’”

The furor over a cartoon was useful as it covered up the latest outrage conducted by Israel against the Palestinians. The Israelis are again attacking Gaza, a story which the New York Times briefly reported in their Saturday edition. The Times headline in the online edition was “Gaza Militants Fire 250 Rockets, and Israel Responds With Airstrikes” before reporting that “Palestinian militants launched about 250 rockets and mortars into southern Israel from Gaza on Saturday, and the Israeli military responded with airstrikes and tank fire against targets across the Palestinian territory… Four Palestinians — including one militant, another man, a pregnant woman and her young daughter — were killed in Israeli strikes… That would bring the total number of Gazans fatally struck by Israeli fire since Friday to eight.”

Note how the Times reports the story. It gives the impression that the Gazans initiated a major attack by firing hundreds of missiles while Israel “responded” to Palestinian initiation of violence. Framing it in that fashion is a replay of the Israeli Foreign Ministry version of events, uncorroborated by any independent observers. Other accounts differ as to who started what and whom to blame. In reality, the Israelis have been threatening Gaza for months and have been moving troops up to the fence line for what is expected to be a final push to kill alleged “militants” in the Strip. The Times also wastes no time on humanizing the Arab casualties – the Palestinian baby that was killed was fourteen months old and named Seba Abu Arar. Her pregnant mother also died.

That the media in the United States should follow the Israeli line in reporting what takes place in the Middle East should surprise no one. It is called self-censorship and it will do until real laws can be drafted that will make speaking or writing anything unpleasant about Israel illegal. Referring back to the Times cartoon, the death of free speech is the reality that we American will eventually arrive at due to the actual power relationship that lies behind the metaphor of the wily Israeli dog leading the big, dumb American blind man.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

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  • Rob

    In this cartoon Netanyahu dog look like a transgender.

  • Pave Way IV

    FFS, the Khazar Mafia is so desperate to keep imaginary anti-Semitism as the most important topic in the U.S. that they have the Times publish this IN ORDER TO apologize for publishing it. It’s pretty damn obvious and egregious to the point of being absolutely pathetic. The timing of this isn’t lost on most. Every time a new Gaza slaughter is about to take place, we have to be schooled (again) on the audacity of daring to criticize the actions of Israel.

    Most important thing though: I wonder if Trump saw it and if it had ANY impression at all on him? For all his Israeli-firster MIGA bluster, have no doubt: Trump is still fundamentally a Trump-firster. He has enthusiastically protected Israel’s parasitic relationship with the U.S., but he would not tolerate being viewed as anything less than dominant and in control. He would dump Netanyahu and Israeli ‘interests’ in a heartbeat if he honestly thought it made him look weak or exploited.

    He clearly IS the weak and exploited one here, but he really doesn’t think so. His tiny MSM window to the outside – Fox News, I guess – goes to great lengths to reinforce that mistaken perception. I doubt if he reads the NY Times much, but he may have caught the colorful cartoon. Effect? Who knows, but he’s eventually going to get it. Trump is always on the covfefe for attacks on his image.

    • Joe Kerr

      No doubt Trump is fundamentally a Trump-firster, but he owes his position to his Jewish masters, and he knows it. U.S. presidential elections have become a slave auction where candidates vie to sell their wares to their Jewish lords and masters. The U.S. has become an Israeli colony in all but name.

      • Pave Way IV

        “…but he owes his position to his Jewish masters, and he knows it.

        WE know that, Joe. But I just don’t think that’s the way Trump’s mind works. He would have considered their support helpful, but winning the presidency is (in his consideration) HIS personal accomplishment. He would never go so far as to say (or think) he needed their support. I’m sure there was some quid pro quo, but it was just part of a deal to him.

        Whatever is going through his mind now is not out of a sense of obligation or loyalty to Israel – it’s slimy deals that will directly benefit Trump – or perhaps his spawn – somehow. Financially? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just to get his ego continually stroked by the psychopathic oligarch Khazar elite that fawn over him at his tacky-ass Mar a Lago palace. It’s a giant self-reinforcing cult of adoring neocon chickenhawk Zionists, and Trump loves being their magnanimous king.

        It’s got to be a fairly easy illusion to maintain by those that control access to him and feed him lies. Sure, there’s always the possibility that Trump discovers they are all laughing at him behind his back and using him – he would go absolutely f’king ballistic. But his handlers exist to make sure he is and never will be aware of that. He’s too useful to them as a pliable, oblivious megalomaniac that thinks he’s in control.

    • Jacob “Wraith” Wohl

      get lost antisemitic conspiracy theorist
      hitler also loved the idea of jews being khazars

  • Sinbad2

    it’s OK for Jews(NYT) to poke fun at Jews, but no one else can.
    The famous throw another Jew down the well by Borat is an example, as is Seinfeld.
    But to the Goyim it is forbidden to take our masters name in vain.

    • Jacob “Wraith” Wohl

      omg your antisemitism is off the charts
      NYT owner who happens to be Jewish is clearly not fond of Israel and Zionists if he allowed this
      For him to be ok with this art work, he is either extremely antisemitic himself or just doesn’t care… he is promoting a system of hatred against all jews and the State of Israel by allowing this artwork to exist
      he’s a disgrace to Jews and the name of Zionism
      and yes, many jews can be antisemitic – look at Noam Chomsky and Dr Hojo Meyer – 2 jewish antisemites

      • Ace

        Hyperbole alert!

        PS – anti-Zionism = anti-Zionism. Anti-Semitism is either what vexes Jacob in this world or what is a true statement about Jews or Israel.

      • Sinbad2

        “If it were not for the accident of my birth, I would be anti-Semitic,”(Henry Kissinger)

        It’s not your race, it’s because most, but not all are quite simply cunts.

  • hvaiallverden

    Yeah, whats real, and whats bullshit, this time I give you something I have read for decades, and to the people unknown about issues as what I define as Demographic scams/lies/faked history to cover over invasions or peoples movements, some happened just an century ago, to the present, like the Jooho scam and Kurds, witch is an briliant example of what I am going to show you, about Palestina.
    If you are familiare with narratives they try to fake and impose upon us and ugh…… history, as Who are the Palestinians, yeah, wankee style.
    An tour de force in total hoggwash.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbf2LjF8OPw

    To me, nothing in this video is new, and this video shows you what their propaganda is about, to fake history.
    I know all about just that, faked history to cover over other people/tribes.
    This ex. is also exactly the same rethoric I encounter by been an Finn and fights for my people.
    And spear me the bloody giberish about ISISraeli 12 tribes, you can shufle that up your asses where it belongs, that narrative is nothing but 100% bollocks, the Jews was invented just 2 centurys ago, and their ” history” is done thru another massive scam, the Old Testament, an book whom is by large an flat out copy of Gilgamesh/Zoroastrian (the moses bullshit story, incl the river story and the pricess, copyed directly from Gilgamesh, etc, etc, etc.).

    peace