Israel a 'Moloch'
The image is a caricature published by the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung, a daily newspaper, criticizing Germany's military aid to Israel. The paper attempted to express the manner Israel is viewed by its enemies.
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"Germany presents" the drawing's subheading reads and then elaborates: "For decades Israel receives arms, sometimes for free. Israel's detractors believe Israel to be a voracious Moloch. Peter Beinart condemns this situation."
Beinart is a liberal Jewish professor and journalist known for his critical stance on Israel's treatment of Palestinians. In his 2012 book The Crisis of Zionism, he called for a boycott on settlement products and warned that Israel's polices in regards to the Palestinians were creating an ever-growing rift between the US's liberal Jewish community and Israel.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center was quick to slam the cartoon, saying in a statement: "Let us be clear. Like every other democracy Israel is never above reproach or criticism.
"However, the depiction of the Jewish state as a ravenous monster deploys a classic tool of dehumanization-animalization. Such horrific stereotypes were all-too devastatingly deployed by the propaganda machines of both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union."
"The characterization of the Jewish state as a ravenous Moloch – an idol to whom children were sacrificed – is a blatant anti-Semitic canard,” Rabbi Cooper of the center added.
“The attempt to mention a Jewish critic of Israel is a failed fig leaf that neither justifies nor covers up the hate masquerading as political commentary.”
On Wednesday the newspaper said in a brief statement that it regretted "misunderstandings" caused by the caption and that publishing the cartoon "was a mistake."
In April 2012, the same paper published a poem called "What must be said" by Nobel Prize-winning German writer Guenter Grass which attacked Israel as a threat to world peace and said it must not be allowed to launch military strikes against Iran. The poem was considered by some to be anti-Semitic.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also the object of a cartoon published during the elections last January in the British paper the Sunday Times. The cartoon was published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and in it Netanyahu was portrayed building a wall on the bodies of Palestinians, depicting their blood as cement.
Reuters contributed to the report
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