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Controversial newspaper caricatures: Wikis


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There are several incidents involving controversial caricatures in the press media.


International stories


Muhammed cartoons and response

The Arab world

Many Muslim Middle Eastern newspapers have frequently published cartoons with allegedly anti-Semitic themes, or those created or inspired by Nazi-style propaganda. These newspapers have generally claimed to be anti-Israeli but not anti-Jewish. Some examples:

  • On June 6, 2002, Akhbar al-Khalij from Bahrain published a cartoon showing an Israeli Jew piercing a baby with a spear.
  • On July 24, 2002 Al Watan from Qatar published a cartoon of Ariel Sharon, the then Prime Minister of Israel, drinking from a cup of Palestinian children's blood.
  • On December 17, 2001, Keyhan published a cartoon showing a Jewish Israeli Soldier in front of a Holocaust scenery, killing Arabs.
  • Almost all Israeli prime ministers in the last 15 years (Shamir, Peres, Rabin, Barak, Sharon) have been depicted as Nazis. Israeli Jews have been depicted as spiders,[5] octopuses,[6] scorpions,[7] snakes,[8] thieves or other menacing-looking persons with exaggerated "Jewish" characteristics.
  • On May 17, 2001 the Palestinian Al Quds published a cartoon depicting then Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, eating Palestinian children.

By country


  • On July 20, 2007, the cartoon on the front page of the weekly satirical magazine El Jueves whose front page carried a drawing of Crown Prince Felipe having sex with his wife and commenting on a government plan to give parents 2 500 for each child born.[9] Judge Juan del Olmo ruled that the cartoon "struck at the honour and dignity of the people represented."



  • In May 2002, Le Monde in France published a cartoon comparing the destruction following the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising with the destruction caused by Israeli military following the Battle of Jenin. The text below it says: "History has a strange way of repeating itself!"


  • On July 21, 2004, German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung published a cartoon depicting a Jew - not obviously Ariel Sharon – destroying a French cafe called "Chez Jacques", and shouting “Why can’t I feel any sympathy?”.[10]


On 27 March 2006, Indonesian daily Rakyat Merdeka published a cartoon on its front page depicting the Australian Prime Minister and Foreign minister as dingoes discussing the acquisition of the Indonesian province of West Papua. A cartoonist in The Australian responded on 1 April with a cartoon depicting the Indonesian President as a dog copulating with a West Papuan.


United Kingdom

  • On January 27, 2003, the day before Israeli elections, British newspaper The Independent published a cartoon[12] depicting the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon naked (with an Election badge acting as a Fig-leaf) sitting among bombed houses eating a baby while helicopters and tanks buzzed 'Vote Sharon', with Sharon saying "What's wrong, haven't you seen a politician kissing babies before". The cartoon was based on Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son and was penned after a pre-election raid by Israeli missiles on Gaza City. The cartoon was eventually selected as the "Cartoon of the Year" by the United Kingdom's Political Cartoon Society. The Israeli embassy, backed by the Sharon government, issued a complaint saying the cartoon was anti-semitic, however the Press Watchdog, the press complaints commission, said of the cartoon; "There is nothing inherently anti-semitic about the Goya image or about the myth of Saturn devouring his children, which has been used previously to satirise other politicians accused of sacrificing their own 'children' for political purposes".

United States

  • Racist caricatures of African Americans have also appeared in the United States before the American Civil Rights Movement, and occasionally since then as well.
  • During World War II, several American newspapers and major animated studios put out cartoons and films depicting the Japanese with exaggerated Asian features and as being untrustworthy or trickster figures, echoing the anti-Japanese racist sentiments common during the war period.
  • A cartoon in Los Angeles Times, published in October 2000, shows a Jew and a Muslim, praying at a wall where the stones are formed to read "Hate". Below the cartoon the inscription says "Worshiping their God". According to the cartoonist, it showed "BOTH Israelis AND Palestinians worshipping 'hate.'"[13]
  • Jesus with erection is a controversial satirical cartoon published in 2006 in a student newspaper at University of Oregon.
  • Jesus Dress Up is a game that was created by artist Normal Bob Smith in 1991 as a black-and-white colorform, which he photocopied and distributed to friends.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ [4]
  5. ^ (Palestinian Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2001)
  6. ^ (Palestinian Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 2000)
  7. ^ (Saudi Arabia, Al-Riyadh, Dec. 2003)
  8. ^ Syria, Tishrin, April 30, 2000
  9. ^ Cover of July 20, 2007 El Jueves
  10. ^ "Examples of Anti-Semitic and problematic Cartoons (concerning the Middle East conflict) in the Western Media"
  11. ^ Iranian paper banned over cartoon BBC. 11;41 UC 23/05/2006
  12. ^ [5]
  13. ^ Barbara and David Mikkelson. "Hate" Snopes; November 28, 2007


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