Jewish groups call Oliphant cartoon ‘anti-Semitic’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jewish groups have denounced a cartoon by a prize-winning political cartoonist as anti-Semitic.

Pat Oliphant’s cartoon, published Wednesday, shows a headless figure goose-stepping while pushing a large Star of David with fangs and pursuing a tiny woman carrying a child labeled "Gaza." The syndicated cartoon appeared in newspapers around the world.

"Pat Oliphant’s outlandish and offensive use of the Star of David in combination with Nazi-like imagery is hideously anti-Semitic," Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League national director, said in a statement. "It employs Nazi imagery by portraying Israel as a jack-booted, goose-stepping headless apparition. The implication is of an Israeli policy without a head or a heart. "

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement: "The imagery in this cartoon mimics the venomous anti-Semitic propaganda of the Nazi and Soviet eras. It is cartoons like this that inspired millions of people to hate in the 1930s and help set the stage for the Nazi genocide." 

The Wiesenthal Center called on online media to remove the cartoon from their Web sites, as did the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

"Mr. Oliphant clearly has the right to his views, however noxious," said RAC associate director Mark Pelavin. "But newspapers, and others, are under no obligation to become publishers of such trash."

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