Adoration of the Palestinians: Guardian cartoon shows Boris Johnson tackling baby Jesus

We recently commented on the Guardian’s coverage of the row over London Mayor Boris Johnson’s trade mission to Israel and the Palestinian territories – particularly the manner in which their Jerusalem correspondent covered for the Palestinians’ extreme reaction to anti-BDS comments by Johnson. Palestinians expressed their outrage over Johnson’s denunciation of the boycott movement by disinviting him from two scheduled meetings with NGOs, and creating a climate whereby it was determined that his personal safety couldn’t be guaranteed.

The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont framed the dis-invitation and threats of violence against Johnson – in a Nov. 11 report – not as an offense against the principles of free speech, but as a faux pas by mayor known for his “flippancy” and “hyperbolic enthusiasm for Israel”.

However, Beaumont was not the only Guardian contributor who managed to obfuscate Palestinian intolerance.

Their political cartoonist, Steve Bell, published this the following day:


To further understand Bell’s cartoon depiction of a diving Johnson, you need to recall the widely covered photos and videos of the mayor tackling a Japanese boy during an exhibition Rugby match in Tokyo last month.

It’s also necessary to understand that the cartoon was inspired by this 1564 painting by Peter Brueger the Elder ‘The Adoration of the Kings’, in which the Virgin Mary is seen cradling the infant Jesus.


Here’s a side by side comparison:


commentary on ‘Adoration of the Kings’ suggests that the presence of soldiers in the painting “may reflect the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands at this time”.  

Was Bell alluding to the Israeli occupation?

Either way, Bell’s cartoon certainly seems to be echoing frequent Palestinian efforts to present themselves as the direct descendants of Jesus and Mary. Unlike the ‘adoration’ for baby Jesus by the kings, Johnson is seen crudely trampling on the sanctity of the virgin birth.

Moreover, Bell’s cartoon can arguably be seen as a promotion of Palestinian Liberation Theology.

Tricia Miller, PhD., a CAMERA senior analyst who monitors Christian organizations and media in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict, provides background on this theology:

Traditional replacement theology says that God no longer has any purpose for Israel or the Jews and that God’s work on earth is now being done through Christians and the Church. This teaching promotes contempt for Jews, and has provided justification for two millennia of anti-Semitic violence.

Palestinian replacement theology rewrites history by claiming that Jesus and the first Christians were all Palestinians, and that the Palestinians – not the Jews – are the indigenous people in the land. This assertion means that the Palestinian people are the rightful owners of the land, which serves their political agenda very nicely by delegitimizing the existence of the Jewish State.

“Palestinian liberation theology”, Miller adds, “depicts Palestinians as victims who need to be liberated from Israeli occupation”.

Bell – who was criticized in the past by the Guardian readers’ editor for evoking antisemitic tropes – again demonstrates the toxic narratives that are perpetuated by the British far-left’s insistence on infantilizing Palestinians.

22 replies »

  1. I am have trouble identifying who is crazier, the Arab knife wielding attackers or the journalists who sympathize with them. To speak about extending sympathy to Palestinian terrorists who are utterly bent on murdering innocent Jewish civilians is insanity.

    Certainly if the shoe were on the other foot and it was Jews hacking to death elderly Arabs, or Jews grabbing Arab teenagers on bicycles and bludgeoning Arab teens with knives, these same journalists would be screaming in protest.
    Peter Beaumont himself would be filled with rage if Jews did what these Palestinians are doing trying to stab defenseless Israeli civilians.
    The tone of how these journalists are Arab terrorist apologists is sickening.

    The simple fact is that these attacks have nothing to do with Arab frustrations of Israel not living as a minority under Arabs.
    It has to do with a well organized brain washing campaign by Palestinian leadership to promote terrorism as a way of getting headlines across the globe. It by this means that the monetary contributions pour in and these things always arise when the money slows down.
    Instead of appeasing Palestinian terrorists, Journalists should think what would you do if Arab knife wielding attackers wanted to stab you to death.

    • I think we should pass it on to o’le George Galloway and Labour MP Corbyn to get their input. Who knows, we may get a looney response however considering their stature that would be difficult

  2. Steve Bell is not only a vicious idiot, he is just an awful caricaturist. His style and technique is butt ugly, and it’s hard to understand that he wants to say. Which is maybe a good thing.

  3. Notice that Boris is in a blue and white strip. He’s playing for Israel. I bet Steve Bell thinks he’s a card carrying atheist. And yet here’s this cartoon, saturated in jaw-dropping replacement theology and inversion, with the Palestinians cast as what the Christians see as “the Mother of God” and her precious baby tackled away out of her arms by the thug in the pay of the Israelis…umm, Jews…. The cartoon is also a riff off this YouTube clip where Boris was invited to take part in a rugby demo with some Japanese kids and ended up toppling a Japanese schoolboy who he apologised repeatedly to after the event. For the record, Boris always plays in a red strip. Living in Islington, he’s probably an Arsenal fan — if indeed he has any interest in football. As an Oxford man,he’s never going to play in light blue colours (Cambridge) if he can help it….

  4. I am have trouble identifying who is crazier, the Arab knife wielding attackers, the journalists who sympathize with them or the occupying Israelis who wonder why the Palestinians don’t just luv ’em to bits.