Guardian publishes cartoon showing Israeli leader as puppet master controlling Hague & Blair (Updated)

Here’s a cartoon by Steve Bell, Guardian, Nov. 15., titled “Steve Bell on Tony Blair and William Hague’s role in Israel-Gaza clash – cartoon”.

Some relevant background:

Here’s a cartoon in Al-Ahram Weekly, October 4-10, 2012 (Egypt) depicting both Romney and Obama kissing Bibi’s hands.

Here’s another Al-Watan cartoon of Obama nad Romney on Sep­tem­ber 10, 2012.

The Saudi paper Al-Watan, on October 11, 2008, published this, depicting Jews were puppet masters, controlling both McCain and Obama.

The message the Guardian cartoon is trying to convey – similar to the Arab cartoons posted above – is unambiguous.

Bell is complaining that recent expressions of support for Israel’s operation in Gaza by UK foreign secretary William Hague (and Tony Blair) suggest they are being controlled by the Prime Minister of the Jewish state. 

Walter Russel Mead summed it up best in response to a BBC journalist who stated recently that “The American Jews influence US foreign policy and that explains Washington’s unwavering support for Israel.”

“…weak minds…are easily seduced by attractive but empty generalizations. The comment attributed to August Bebel that anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools can be extended to many other kinds of cheap and superficial errors that people make. The baffled, frustrated and the bewildered seek a grand, simplifying hypothesis that can bring some kind of ordered explanation to a confusing world; anti-Semitism is one of the glittering frauds that attract the overwhelmed and the uncomprehending.”

Steve Bell simply couldn’t accept that British expression of support for Israel’s action in Gaza is based on their understanding of the threat posed by Hamas and other terrorists movements, or other strategic considerations.

He needed an easy explanation as to why his nation’s leaders don’t share his hostility towards Israel, and the temptation to attribute such a vexing dynamic to sinister Israeli control was too great for him to resist.

The Guardian cartoonist has succumb to historically antisemitic (and necessarily reactionary) narrative which imputes Jewish power and Jewish control to the decisions of non-Jewish world leaders.

(Bell, and the Guardian, needs to be held account, so please consider emailing the Guardian’s readers editor, Chris Elliott,, to respectfully voice your complaint.)

UPDATE: Per The JC, Steve Bell responded to criticism that his cartoon is antisemitic, thus:

“I can’t be held responsible for whatever cultural precepts and misapprehensions people choose to bring to my cartoon. My intention, I think, is fairly clear.”

UPDATE II: The Guardian published a letter (21.00 GMT, Nov. 16) protesting Bell’s cartoon by the CST’s Dave Rich.

85 replies »

    • It’s not even reflective of reality. All Blair and Hague are “guilty” of is recognising that there are two sides to the conflict and that Israel has a right to defend her citizens. Surely even the most virulent critic of Israel’s policies towards and treatment of the Palestinians must recognise that these are perfectly logical and rational positions to take?

  1. This IS defamation – big time. I don’t think it could pass as fair comment, no matter which lily-livered PC judge presided. If I were Blair or Hague, I’d get in the queue recently formed by Lord McAlpine on other issues and sue like crazy. Julius Streicher would be proud!

  2. I don’t like you dragging my US President into your nasty cartoons. Very childish. By the time you finish those drawings you could have read or had some critical thinking accomplished and be not part of the problem, but part of a solution.

  3. One for the PCC I think. The Guardian has a nasty streak of anti-semitism in it, and Steve Bell deserves nothing but contempt for this latest demonstration. It’s a sick newspaper employing sick people.

  4. The Groan quotes Lauren Booth :
    “In response, journalist Lauren Booth, Tony Blair’s half-sister-in-law, tweeted: “yes Palestinians do have the right to defend themselves a good point well made”, in its ME blog.
    Lauren “concentration camp” Booth. ‘nough said.

  5. I expect the Guardian will claim it’s not about a Jewish conspiracy but a Zionist conspiracy. However, with the menorah prominently displayed in front of Netenyahu, that will never stand up in court.

    • That’s the official seal of Israel.

      But yes, it’s a foul cartoon, with the flags around Netanyahu doubling as missiles (some of which have already been fired).

    • RZ is correct. Knowing the politicised and anti-Israeli bias of some of the British courts the probability of a fair judgment is virtually zero.

  6. I knew the Guardian were Israel haters, but we now know their no different then Der Stumer in their Pro Arab hate lies.

  7. Its the Arab governments who perpetuate the incitement of Muslims against Jews, with conspiracy theories that Jews are secretly behind every incident that negatively affects them. This is a pitiful self-serving attempt to deflect blame from their pathetic societies.

  8. The Arab leaders get there people under control by blaming all there problems on Jews.
    How much easier it is for you to stop blaming the Jews and take responsibility for your own failings.
    The fact the Guardian is now become a Nazi paper with blood libels against Jews, shows how demonic the left is.

  9. How much easier it is for the Guardian for you to stop blaming the Jews and take responsibility for your own failings

  10. Isn’t it irresponsible to reproduce this material – just to make a point? I was searching for anti-semitic on google cartoons and yours came top of the list! shame on you!

    • The irony….racist comment on website dedicated to highlighting others racism…If the Guardian were to publish a comment such as yours replacing “Arab” with “Jew” you’d (rightly) scream racism…but apparently anti-Arab racism is fine with you.

        • Let’s try substituting “geniuses” for “simple persons”:
          “Only geniuses substitute one word for another and believe it has still the same meaning.”

          Hmm yes, I see your point…

          • ” Arab” and ” Jew ” are in the logical category of ” names ” and therefore have no meaning, they are not part of language at all. So substitute one name for another in a sentence and the meaning of the sentence remains unchanged though the truth value may, of course, change.

          • ” Arab” and ” Jew ” are in the logical category of ” names ” and therefore have no meaning, they are not part of language at all.” pseudo-realzionist

            Wow, that´s deep hocus-pocus. You probably are the new Noam Chimpsky. At least you have the same lack of moral compass. So, let’s us analyse “psycho-iguistically” your choice of idiotic nick. In a typical turnspeak, you call yourself “realzionist” while barfing standard Judeophobic crapolla. Man, what an advanced propaganda device. And what about your self-righteous posturing? Now, THAT is meaningless BS indeed.

          • Serjew you have the same problem as Adam. You are not able to point to a single instance of my barfing Judeophobic language, standard or otherwise. Good night sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

          • Listen, pseudo-zionist, if someone has got a problem here, that is you. You and your buddy Norma Rae don’t fool anybody with your fake-neutral posturing and moral relativism.

            Go read some more of your hero Noam Chimpsky. ‘Cause I love to laugh at your pseudo-linguistic babbler. Oh…, sorry, was that too rude? Can you take it? Please, don´t cry.

        • And still no real argument there Fritz. Just personal abuse. You’ll have to up your game. Racism is racism, whether against Jews, Arabs, Africans or anyone else. You can call me simple, racist, hypocrite or any other term you like, you won’t scare me into not giving my opinion. Without having to call anyone names!

          • I don’t think recognition of backwardness ipso facto constitutes racism. Please find another tree up which to bark.

          • I think tarring a whole race with a slur is pretty much the definition of racism. This site is littered with it. You guys are so busy shouting about other people’s faults that you can’t see that you’re turning into the very thing you decry.

          • “The thing you hate in others is the thing you hate in you” pseudozionist

            Ah, that explains why you hate yourself so much. And your relentless need to project your moral sickness on others.

      • It’s not racist to note the undeniable fact that Arab political culture, by and large, is reactionary in comparison to the West. It would only be racist if someone argued that Arabs were “backwards” by nature.

  11. Tris, the Guardian is a major Paper in the U.K.
    Where not talking about the KKK with 10 followers putting out some racist cartoon.
    The fact the Guardian is publishing racist cartoons about Israel, similar to the Nazis is something that everyone should know.
    Everyone should know that the Guardian is now the Der Stumer of today.

    • So, if this site is “littered with racism”, why are you hanging around here? Either because you yourself are a racist or you think yourself the champion of couch-potato anti-racism. Makes you feel good inside, eh?

        • Hey Serjew – no couch potato/racist me (you guys seem to have a store of abusive language saved up for newcomers!). I thought the quote at the top of the home page said ALL views were welcome….but it seems you only want to hear how you’re all in the right and everybody else is just mean. Kind of like kindergarten on here.

          • Hey, Norma Rae. You already accused this blog of being littered with racism. Now you accuse it of being a kindergarten. Why do you keep hanguing around a blog you despised so much. Are you masochistic? Or you just want to feel superior? And, please, cut the drama-queen whining. And, no, not ALL views are welcome. And hypocrites, Jew-haters and whiners will be dully unmasked. Take it as an adult.

          • “Dully” indeed – I assume you meant “duly” but I think dully about sums your site up. I decided to look at the site as some folks mentioned it on Cif itself. Maybe its changed a lot as it seems to be a US based site less concerned with the Guardian. If you check the top of the page it says clearly that “voices of opponents” should be heard. But seems this is a site where you all sit around congratulating yourselves on how you hurl abuse at those who disagree. I think perhaps the term “hypocrite” applies more to you than me…..

          • Well, Norma Rae, now you turn into the the proverbial grammar teacher, eh? Where are you “strong” arguments you accuse others of lacking? And, man, you are very fond of accusing, eh? You accuse this blog of being “littered with racism”, “a kindergarten” and of “hypocrisy”. What a nerve, eh, Norma Rae?

            It seems you have that same projection disease of your buddy pseudo-zionist. And your pathetic self-righteousness shows clearly shows *you* are the one desperately after self-congratulatory reassurances. Why on earth would you continue posting at a blog you claim are full or racists? Sorry, you won´t find solace for your theatrics here.

            Now, as your little act is crumbling, why don’t you quit being such a drama-queen in distress? No one is forcing you to post in here: not the Mossad, nor the evil Zionists. So, take it as an adult or STFU

  12. Get real. Netanyahu, Blair and Hague are politicians. Even if The first isn’t pulling the strings of the latter pair (which is open to significant question) it is perfectly fair comment to suggest that he is. Where does racism come in?

      • LOL. Good job at explaining the ‘anti-Semitism’ of Bell’s cartoon: ‘it’s anti-Semitic, it’s anti-Semitic! For you to not see this, you must be an anti-Semite yourself!’. The irony is two of my friends who are Jewish have laughed at this joke of an article/argument.

    • “Netanyahu, Blair and Hague are politicians.”
      Well done sencar.
      I knew that one day you would write a sentence that was accurate and that I could agree with.
      Pity you had to spoil it and revert to your usual standards with the rest of your post.

    • Because, Sencar, if you allude in any way to the political power and influence of an Israeli-Jewish politician – even though, folks, in 2012 some Israeli-Jewish politicians ARE powerful! – then you’re instantly trading in anti-Semitic narratives. There’s no way around that, apparently. Or at least, not that I’ve heard, and certainly not on this website.

      Which raises the question: how does one refer to the power and influence of an Israeli-Jewish politician WITHOUT being anti-Semitic? And if you can’t, doesn’t that basically yoke all criticism of Israeli leaders with anti-Semitism?

      Oh, it does! Forgive me, I’m a little slow. I’ve just got it.

      • Well then, as a sidekick to our resident anti-Semite “sencar”, why don’t you explain HOW exactly does Netanyahu, supposedly “powerful, omnipotent”, control either Hague or Blair.
        Go ahead, keep us amused… Make sure it’s entertaining.
        Just don’t let the mask slip.

      • You are too modest Chris. That you are only a little slow intellectually is a typical British understatement. Be strong and digest the fact – you and your antisemitic EAPPI colleagues are intellectual snails with serious disabilities.

  13. That you don’t get the antisemitic nature of this cartoon sencar is understandable and natural. Don’t worry about it at all.

  14. Wonder if steve bell and Al-Guardian in the interests of fair and balanced reporting is going to publish a similiar style cartoon showing the hamas/fatah/hezoballah leaderships with iran pulling their strings ???

  15. The Guardian and Steve Bell are ashamed of absolutely nothing, on the contrary, they appear proud of their antisemitic prejudice, their open hatred.- I can only hope there will be a very strong backlash against this sick cartoon and those responsible will be forced to apologise. But even in that case, I strongly doubt they will have learnt anything, they never do at that paper.

    • I think that Al-Guardian’s plumeting readership soaring losses and approaching job losses indicate to me that Al-Guardian does not learn anything and never will untill bankruptcy arrives at AL-Guardian

      • Yes that’s precisely right. The Guardian is losing money because it’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel – not because the internet has caused the near-collapse of print media and undermined the business models of newspapers everywhere.

        Keep those crackpot theories coming. Hugely entertaining.

        • No the Guardian is collapsing financially due its far loony left agenda. A lot of other printed newspapers are making serious profit. Even its Komment Macht Frei blog won’t save it, the majority of the potential buyers/readers are living in the reality and are not interested in the crap published in it printed or online. The few losers who eat its shit doesn’t represent a serious market.

          • Do you have any evidence for that theory, or did you just pluck it out of the air? I’d be interested to read any serious analysis which argues that the Guardian is losing money because of its “far loony left agenda”, if you happen to have one to hand.

  16. “I can’t be held responsible for whatever cultural precepts and misapprehensions people choose to bring to my cartoon. My intention, I think, is fairly clear.”

    Yes it is very clear Mr Bell. You depict the ancient Jew hatred very well, indeed as well as the Nazis did and the current Islamic states do. You’re not even talented as your drawing is as ancient as the hills, been reproduced in every age for centuries. Maybe you can even be done for plagiarism!

  17. Epic LOL at the article and also all the comments, all confirming how ‘anti-Semitic’ Bell’s cartoon is.

    The reasoning at work is hilarious and ridiculous. The cartoon is anti-Semitic because it reminds them of another cartoon that reminds them of another cartoon – only the latter being anti-Semitic. You missed out two, hahaha.

    And a final lol at the complete lack of acknowledgement of Western imperialist support for Israel, which is the purpose of the cartoon to illustrate.

    • “And a final lol at the complete lack of acknowledgement of Western imperialist support for Israel, which is the purpose of the cartoon to illustrate.”

      Thanks for explaining it to us, Stanley. We get it now, comrade.

  18. Today – apologies for offending other readers’ religious sensibilities – Brendan O’Neill wrote thus in the Daily Telegraph: “What is the message of this cartoon in the Guardian this morning? (See screen grab above.) That Jews are the puppet-masters of Western politicians? Do people still believe in that old, poisonous conspiracy theory?
    Tags: anti-semitism, cartoon, Gaza, Israel, Jews, Steve Bell”
    Link: Shabbat Shalom.

  19. letter in Guardian today:

    The Guardian has, in recent years, editorialised against the use of antisemitic language, publishing strong articles on this subject by Chris Elliott (the readers’ editor), Jonathan Freedland and others. They have rightly noted that such language may well be inadvertent on the part of the user, while retaining its offensive power. Nevertheless, too many Guardian contributors continue to get away with using antisemitic imagery and tropes, the latest example being Steve Bell’s cartoon (16 November) showing Tony Blair and William Hague as puppets of Bibi Netanyahu. This is an unoriginal way of visualising the old antisemitic charge that Jews are all-powerful. (The notion of Jewish power and conspiracy has long distinguished antisemitism from other racisms, which tend to depict their targets as idiots.) The paper’s integrity and reputation is seriously compromised by its continuing failure to get a grip on its own content.
    Mark Gardner
    Community Security Trust

  20. And write out a thousand times ” I will not be gratuitously rude to someone on this blog site for at least a week “

    • Cool, tell that to your buddy Norma Rae, that accused this blog of being “littered with racism”, of being a “kindergarten” and of “hypocrisy”. I think that´s pretty rude and, moreover, pretty hypocritical, as you and Norma Rae keep posting at this oh-so-horrible blog, don´t you think?

    • Mr Levick,
      Could you please remove these overt Neo-Nazi comments and links?
      “sencar” and Chris are enough for us.

    • The 1965 The Race Relations Act is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that the UK – and whoever drafted it and got it through parliament – can be proud.

  21. A trademark response from the CST’s Mark Gardener (G. letters) btw, i.e. polite but insistent. A good man.