Fight Hatred

Monday, Jul 28th

Last update09:20:27 PM GMT

You are here: Anti-Semitic Cartoons Arabic Cartoons The anti-Semitic cartoons of Al Jazeera

The anti-Semitic cartoons of Al Jazeera


Al Jazeera published an unmistakably anti-Semitic cartoon to describe US President Barack Obama's speech in Jerusalem on March 21, 2013. It is titled "Obama calls on Arabs to normalize relations with Israel."

The cartoon displays two historic stereotypes against the Jews. We see a representation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by the Jews but this time it is Mother Palestine on the cross. Hence Jews are again G-d killers but this time they are killing the holy Palestine. A sprinkling of blood from the figure and the obviously Jewish killer with blood on his hand symbolizes the classical Jewish hate theme of the Blood Libel where blood is claimed to be important for Jewish religious rituals.

The cartoon satirizes the words of President Obama calling for peace between Jews and Arabs. Obviously, the reader is expected to conclude that it is impossible to make peace with such a monster as the Jew.

According to Erik Nisbet, an Ohio State University professor who studies Arab media and anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism is woven into the fabric of al-Jazeera's Arabic reporting. Nisbet adds. "Unfortunately in Arabic political discourse there is a great deal of anti-Semitism."

Al Jazeera is a broadcaster owned by the privately held Al Jazeera Media Network and headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty TV channels in multiple languages. Al Jazeera is accessible in several world regions. Until 2011, Al Jazeera was owned by the government of Qatar.

On January 2, 2013, Al Jazeera Media Network announced that it purchased Current TV in the United States and would be launching an American news channel. 60% of the channel's programming would be produced in America while 40% would be from Al Jazeera English.

An example of earlier anti-Semitism was a report in Al-Jazeera that Jews had been informed in advance not to go to work on the day of the September 11 attacks.

A more recent example of systematic anti-Semitism is the highly popular weekly show "Sharia and Life" by Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He regularly froths about the insidious character of Shiites, Americans, and especially Jews. "Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one," he said on air in 2009. Elsewhere, Qaradawi praised Hitler's treatment of the Jews ("even though they exaggerated the issue") but stressed the führer's regret at not finishing the job.[

The cartoon about Obama (shown at the top) is not the first time that Al Jazeera provided its readers with cartoons based on anti-Semitic themes.

The two cartoons above appeared on Al-Jazeera (TV Network) on April 7, 2011 in commentary on Judge Richard Goldstone’s retraction of charges made in the report of the committee he chaired regarding Israel war crimes.

South African Jurist Richard Goldstone was appointed in April of 2009 to head the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict that took place on January 2009. The mission published its 574-page report in September 2009. The Goldstone report called for both parties, Hamas and Israel, to investigate their own actions and accused both of deliberately targeting civilians. On 1 April 2011, Goldstone retracted the report’s claim that it was Israeli government policy to deliberately target citizens,

The two cartoons reflect Al-Jazeera’s conclusion that Gladstone’s retraction could only be considered as part of an international Jewish conspiracy.

On March 5, 2008 Al-Jazira reacted to Israel’s actions in Gaza with this cartoon of a Hitler figure next to an Israeli flag and holding a burning stick. The figure has written the word Olmert on his vest in Arabic: Olmert being Israel’s Prime Minister at this time.

This cartoon shows a popular anti-Semitic theme in the Arab world by showing equivalence between the Jewish State and the Nazi State. In so doing, the Palestinians are seen as the victims of a holocaust similar to that perpetuated on the Jews by Nazi Germany.

Further Reading:

Arab world anti-Semitic cartoons attack Judge Goldstone

Classic anti-Semitism from Al Jazeera Cartoon

Yusuf al-Qaradawi