SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – The umbrella body of the Jewish community in Sydney, Australia, threatened to take action against a major newspaper for publishing a cartoon about Gaza that “racially vilifies” Jews.
Yair Miller, president of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, wrote to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday claiming that the cartoon by Glen Le Lievre in the July 26 edition was in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act.
“In our view this is racial vilification, not only in the sense of offending, insulting, humiliating and intimidating Jews as a group, but also in the sense of inciting third parties to hatred of Jews,” Miller wrote.
The cartoon, published alongside a virulently anti-Israel article by columnist Mike Carlton, showed a yarmulke-wearing, hooked-nose Jew sitting in an armchair etched with a Star of David, using a remote control to detonate a collection of buildings, presumably in Gaza.
The Anti-Defamation Commission of the B’nai B’rith also lodged a formal protest against the “anti-Semitic” image.
“This is the venomous propaganda of Der Stumer recycled for a modern-day audience,” fumed commission chair Dvir Abramovich. “The cartoon portrays not just Israelis, but all Jews, as heartless, cold-blooded murderers.”
The furor comes as an Islamic leader called for a law prohibiting Australian citizens from joining the Israeli army. Samir Dandan, president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, claimed that Australians who fight in Iraq and Syria face prosecution whereas those who fight for Israel do not.
“It’s hard when you say something to one side and they look and say ‘how come we’re not being treated the same’ — it’s not fair,” he told the Australian Associated Press this week.
But Dr. Danny Lamm, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, told JTA: “The law is to prevent Australians from going to fight for proscribed groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, etc., who are trying to undermine established states or commit terrorist acts.”