July 11, 2007 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 368

Antisemitic Cartoons in the Arab and Iranian Press

July 11, 2007 | By Ofir Winter*
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Palestinians | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 368

Among the cartoons published in the Arab and Iranian press are cartoons of antisemitic character. These contain a number of recurring themes: they often represent the Jews as long-nosed characters of ultra-orthodox appearance, as the killers of Christ, as serpents or as Nazi soldiers. In addition, Jews are portrayed as having pervasive control and power, and as conspirators and instigators of wars, who are out to rule the world.

The following is a sample of cartoons from the last few months:

The Jews as the Killers of Christ

Cartoon No. 1: "Israel is celebrating the discovery of the tomb of King Herod, the Jewish king who ordered, two thousand years ago, to kill all the children because soothsayers had foretold that a child would be born who would topple him from the throne. [This child] was the Messiah who fled to Egypt with his mother, Mary. And two days ago an Israeli soldier shot and killed a Palestinian child in his mother's womb!!"

Source: Al-Ahram (Egypt), May 12, 2007.

The Jews as Plunderers of Resources

Cartoon No. 2: The cow's udder is labeled "Arab oil."

Source: Kayhan (Iran), February 17, 2007.

The Jew as a Serpent

Cartoon No. 3:

Source: Oman (Oman), April 19, 2007.

Cartoon No. 4: The mice in the snake's mouth represent Fatah and Hamas. The snake is saying "imagine how they must be fighting each other in there.'"

Source: Akhbar Al-Yawm (Egypt), June 20, 2007.

Cartoon No. 5:

Source: Al-Gomhouriyya (Egypt), March 17, 2007.

The Jews as Taking Over the World

Cartoon No. 6: The title of the book is "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"

Source: Teshreen (Syria), March 7, 2007.

Cartoon No. 7

Source: Al-Rai (Jordan), March 4, 2007.

Cartoon No. 8: A figure labeled "Zionism" holds up a whip and a document titled "The Quartet Statement."

Source: Al-Gomhouriyya (Egypt), June 2, 2007.

Cartoon No. 9: "The Quartet"

Source: Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), March 7, 2007.

The Jews as Warmongers

Cartoon No. 10: The sign beside the door says "Hamas-Fatah."

Source: Al-Watan (Qatar), March 2, 2007.

Cartoon No. 11: The figures fighting in the background are labeled "Fatah and Hamas." The Jew is saying: "I'd like to know which one of them will turn out to be Cain, and which will turn out to be Abel [i.e., which will end up killing the other]."

Source: Akhbar Al-Yawm (Egypt), May 21, 2007.

Cartoon No. 12: The newspaper headline says: "The Arabs are Pursuing the Peace [Process]." The Jew is saying to George Bush: "There is no provocation greater than this!!"

Source: Al-Gomhouriyya (Egypt), April 1, 2007.

Cartoon No. 13: The document hanging on the right is titled "The Road Map"; the one hanging on the left is labeled "The Arab Peace Initiative."

Source: Al-Watan (Qatar), April 2, 2007

The Jews as Nazis

Cartoon No. 14: The figure is labeled "Zionism"

Source: Al-Gomhouriyya (Egypt), March 6, 2007.

Cartoon No. 15: "Israel Killed [Egyptian] Prisoners of War in 1967"

The figure on the right is saying: "We are not murderers, we are Nazis."

Source: Al-Ahali (Egypt), March 21, 2007.

Cartoon No. 16: "Washington: We Will Preserve Israel's Military Superiority over All the Countries in the Region."

The American is saying: "So that it can fight terrorism effectively." The box in his hands is labeled "ammunition."

Al-Ahali (Egypt), April 18, 2007.

Cartoon No. 17: The Israeli is explaining to the Nazi: "We are the same."

Source: Teshreen (Syria), April 26, 2007.

*O. Winter is a research fellow at MEMRI.

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