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Belgians rapped for accepting ‘anti-Semite’ cartoonist

PARIS (JTA) — A Belgian satirical weekly criticized Belgian society for accepting a cartoonist who has insulted Jews and mocked the pope.

In its cover story Thursday, the French-language Pere UBU weekly asked why Ben Heine — “an anti-Semite of the worst kind,” according to the article, who also “crudely” caricatured Pope Benedict XVI in April — was still accepted in mainstream Belgian society.

The paper said Heine was a regular contributor to a Christian daily, La Libre, was paid to speak at a rally for the moderate cdH Christian political party and until recently was hired as a history and religion Catholic school teacher.

Heine participated in a 2006 drawing competition in Iran on Holocaust denial and was censored for comparing Israeli politicians to skull-brandishing Nazis. A recent cartoon showed a crucified Jesus wearing a condom on an erect penis.

“Here, nobody gives a damn,” about Heine’s views and whether he is marginalized, the paper editorialized.

The weekly reproduced some of Heine’s controversial cartoons in the issue, including the most recent showing the pope throwing away a condom and commenting, “I have no penis anyway.”

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