Germany: Erdogan Cartoon “Free Speech”; Netanyahu Cartoon “Anti-Semitic”

The cartoonist at the Süddeutsche Zeitung has been sacked for drawing a sketch of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—even though his employers defended him under “free speech” for a similar cartoon of Turkish president Recep Erdogan.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung —one of Germany’s largest daily newspapers—had come under intense criticism from the Jewish lobby in Germany following the publication of cartoonist Dieter Hanitzsch’s picture last week.

The cartoon portrayed Netanyahu in the clothing of Jewish performer “Netta” (who won the Eurovision song contest with a screeching noise which could only be describe as “music” by artistic illiterates) clutching a military missile in his hand.

The rocket has a Star of David on it, and in the words “Eurovision Song Contest,” a Star of David has replaced the “v.”

In the speech bubble, Netanyahu is saying “next year in Jerusalem!”—an accurate quote from the Israeli Prime Minister, which is also a play on the often-used phrase by Jews through the centuries referring to their desire to return to Palestine.

The drawing was immediately attacked as “anti-Semitic by the Jew Felix Klein, who works as the German government’s “anti-Semitism commissioner,” who claimed that it reminded him of cartoons in the Nazi-era publication Der Stürmer.

The editors-in-chief of the Süddeutsche Zeitung formally apologized for the publication of the cartoon, and immediately fired Hanitzsch—who refused to apologize and denied that his cartoon was anti-Semitic in any way.

The sacking stands in strong contrast to the behavior of the Süddeutsche Zeitung in a previous 2016 controversy involving Hanitzsch and cartoons of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Those cartoons portrayed Edrogan as a stereotypical “Ottoman Turk” complete with hat, robe, and curved sword, painting graffiti depicting the hanging of “freedom of opinion.”

When the Turkish government objected to that cartoon, the editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung refused to sack Hanitzsch, and instead defended him by saying that it was his “freedom of speech” to characterize public figures in this way.

Hanitzsch, who claims to be a liberal, has however found out the hard way that “freedom of speech” and “democracy” only applies when Jewish sensibilities are unaffected: and that when these same standards are applied to Jews, “freedom of speech” flies out the window.

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