The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned a cartoon by Pat Oliphant that was published last Wednesday in newspapers and on Internet sites across the United States, including on The New York Times Web site. The cartoon depicts a headless man in uniform marching in goose step and brandishing a sword. In his other hand, the man is pushing a Star of David on a wheel toward a tiny woman holding a child and bearing the label, Gaza. An eye in the Star of David glares down at the tiny figures and the Star of David has sharp fangs. The cartoon falsely portrays Israel as brutal, indifferent and Nazi-like, bearing down on the tiny and innocent Palestinian Arab women and children of Gaza. There is nothing in the cartoon to reflect the truth that Israel was not the aggressor in Gaza. It fought a defensive war there, in response to eight years of rocket attacks into southern Israel from the Palestinians in Gaza.
Morton A. Klein, the ZOAs National President, expressed his outrage over Oliphants cartoon as well as the decision of The New York Times and other media outlets to disseminate it. Mr. Klein said, This cartoon is an out-and-out demonization of Israel, deliberately leading the cartoons viewers to the false conclusion that Israel is a ferocious, unprincipled and Nazi-like destroyer of the weak and vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza.
If Oliphant had been serious about telling his audience the truth, he would have shown Hamas as Nazi-like, not only because Hamas has intentionally targeted innocent Jewish civilians in Israel with 50 to 150 missiles per day for eight years, but also because the Hamas charter openly calls for the murder of every Jew.
This is not the first time that Oliphant has distorted the facts about Israel in his cartoons, using the Star of David, a symbol of the Jewish people. This most recent anti-Israel cartoon feeds ugly stereotypes about Israel and Jews that will no doubt help to incite anti-Semitic hatred and bigotry.
Oliphants cartoon is despicable, as is the decision of The New York Times and other media outlets to publish it. The New York Times and every other media outlet that have disseminated this anti-Semitic cartoon should pull it immediately, and issue a strong and sincere apology for their gross error in judgment. We urge readers of The New York Times and other news Web sites to contact these media outlets and let them know that their decision to publish this cartoon was hateful and wrong, contributing to unfair bias against Israel and encouraging bigotry against Jews.