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Meshwar’s Editor: Cartoons Are Not Anti-Semitic

In response to the publication in “Shalom Toronto,” the editor of Meshwar weekly sees no reason to apologize for the cartoons, claiming that they are not anti-Semitic but legitimate criticism against Israel

Jonathan D. Halevi (Translated by Elad Benari)

Dr. Nazih Khatatba, editor of Toronto-based Arabic newspaper Meshwar and a board member of the Palestine House in Mississauga, responded to an article published in Shalom Toronto which exposed the publication of anti-Semitic cartoons in his newspaper.

In the newspaper’s editorial on December 28, 2012, entitled “Anti-Semitism meant to intimidate the opposition”, Khatatba rejects the description of the cartoons as anti-Semitic, and claims they are legitimate criticism of the “massacres” of Palestinian children committed by Israel over the years.

Khatatba also argues that the term “anti-Semitic” is used by the Jewish lobby in Canada “to suppress and crush any politician, Member of Parliament, journalist or editor who approves the publishing of an article or opinion which is contrary to Israel or the Jews.”
Following is a translation of the full editorial by Dr. Nazih Khatatba:

“During the past week the paper [Meshwar] received no less than 500 e-mails and phone calls from Jews living in Canada, the U.S. and even in Australia, expressing their protest over the cartoons published in Meshwar on November 30, in articles covering the results of the Israeli aggression against Gaza and the launching of hundreds of missiles by the resistance which reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”

“More than anything the protesters were angered by an illustration by the Palestinian artist Umayya Juha, which depicted a man with a six-pointed star [Star of David] on his chest and in front of him a plate on which a Palestinian child lies as he cuts him [the Palestinian child] in order to eat him. Alongside [the plate] is a cup full of blood, an expression of Israel’s killing of the children of Palestine and the massacres carried out by its aircraft of children in Gaza.”

“The messages received by the protesters ranged from denunciation, condemnation and demands for an apology to an implicit threat and intimidation, claiming that this is an anti-Semitic act.”

“The title of the campaign, ‘Anti-Semitic Cartoons’, was carefully chosen, especially by Jewish journalist Jonathan Halevi, and its content was quickly distributed in the press, on Jewish web sites and on television stations of their associates, along with a request from their supporters to send letters to our newspaper and to Members of Parliament to condemn what they called anti-Semitism in Canada.”

“This expression [anti-Semitism] is used by the Jewish lobby used to oppress and crush any politician, Member of Parliament, journalist or editor who approves the publishing of an article or opinion which is contrary to Israel or the Jews.”

“We did no wrong for which we need to apologize, because the cartoons reflect a political situation and comment on the massacres of the children of Gaza during the aggression that has continued throughout the period of the occupation, and we do not express opposition to the Jewish religion like the cartoons that offrnd Islam, and the illustrations and films that were distributed to offend Arabs and Muslims.”

“Also, your accusations against us regarding support for Hamas or terrorism are fundamentally null and void since, along with our reverence for the Hamas movement, its influence and large presence in the Palestinian and Arab arena, we disagree with many of its positions and perceptions, and this is clear from the line of the newspaper and from dozens of different articles.”

“Your allegations will not frighten or deter us. The world has changed quite a bit and has started not to trust your narrative and your lies. You do not even want the victim to cry out.”

“They took our land, stole our waters, burned our trees, arrested our sons, killed our children, destroyed our houses and gave us a taste of humiliation, and they do not even want us to cry out and see us as terrorists, when we are happy that your capital city is bombarded with locally produced missiles that the Palestinian resistance acquired with great difficulty, with the assistance of those who you describe as terrorists and the axis of evil.”

“We had negotiations with you for over twenty years and we have achieved nothing but further Judaization of our land and the establishment of dozens of new settlements that threaten the realization of our dream of an independent state on less than what was given to you in the partition resolution [Resolution 181] and the UN’s birth certificate for your state, the state created on our people’s ruins, which was deported and remains is in this situation throughout the world.”