Like any good Guardian Left contributor, Cartoonist Steve Bell seems to share the philosophy of his colleague Martin Rowson, who believes his ‘progressive mission is to ‘afflict the powerful, and comfort the afflicted’. Within this facile moral paradigm, Jews represent the former and Palestinians the latter.
In addition to the fact that some of his cartoons have evoked antisemitic narratives (or mock the very idea of antisemitic tropes), as far as we can tell Bell has never used his skills as an artist to demonize Palestinian suicide bombers – as they, it seems, even as they are igniting their murderous device, represent the ‘afflicted’. Though in at least one cartoon he mocked – as hypocritical – Israeli condemnation of said bombers.
He revisited the topic of suicide bombers in a cartoon published at the Guardian on July 21st. The cartoon was inspired by comments of the Israeli Prime Minister about Hamas’s exploitation of Palestinian casualties, in which he made the painfully obvious observation that the group puts civilians in harm’s way because they know that images of dead Palestinians in Western papers helps their cause.
Here’s the full quote, from an interview Netanyahu gave to CNN:
“These people are the worst terrorists — genocidal terrorists,” he said. “They call for the destruction of Israel and they call for the killing of every Jew, wherever they can find them.”
“They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can,” the prime minister continued. “They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.”
Now, here’s the cartoon:
It’s not entirely clear what Bell is trying to communicate, but the suicide belt (presumably made up coffins containing dead Palestinians) on Netanyahu strongly suggests that he – not, of course, Hamas – is the one responsible for killing innocent Palestinians in Gaza.
Such visual anti-Israel agitprop, which neatly serves the cause of Palestinian extremists, is par for the course at the Guardian.
The Hamas propaganda strategy is of course dependent on Western media groups playing along, not only by highlighting every tragic Palestinian civilian death, but by also pretending that such casualties are not in fact the result of Hamas’s cynical strategy of using human shields and other tactics meant to maximize the number of casualties.
It’s difficult to understand how the Guardian can continually demonize the democratic Jewish state, while parroting the narrative of reactionary extremists, and yet, evidently, still fancy themselves a liberal institution.
- Two Guardian cartoonists agree: Jewish life is overvalued by the media (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian cartoon mocks IDF efforts to avoid civilian casualties (cifwatch.com)
- When anti-Semites at the Guardian fall out (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian admits error in publishing Netanyahu ‘puppet master’ cartoon (thejc.com)
- ‘Antisemitic’ Guardian Gaza cartoon shows Jews as puppeteers (thejc.com)