(JTA) — The chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, condemned the publication of an editorial cartoon in a student newspaper criticizing Alan Dershowitz’s pro-Israel stance with anti-Semitic imagery.
The cartoon published a week ago in the Daily Californian depicts a grinning Dershowitz with his head poking through a cardboard cutout bearing an Israeli flag and the silhouettes of happy children. The sign reads “The Liberal Case for Israel,” which was the topic of the Harvard Law School professor’s recent speech on the campus.
Behind the sign, Dershowitz is stepping on a Palestinian and holding up an Israeli soldier shooting an unarmed man. Only the Palestinian flag, the soldier and the blood coming from the unarmed man are in color.
In a letter published Tuesday in The Daily Californian, Chancellor Carol Christ called the cartoon “offensive, appalling and deeply disappointing.”
“I condemn its publication,” she wrote. “Are you aware that its anti-Semitic imagery connects directly to the centuries-old ‘blood libel’ that falsely accused Jews of engaging in ritual murder? I cannot recall anything similar in The Daily Californian, and I call on the paper’s editors to reflect on whether they would sanction a similar assault on other ethnic or religious groups.
“We cannot build a campus community where everyone feels safe, respected and welcome if hatred and the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes become an acceptable part of our discourse,” the letter concluded.
In an interview with The Daily Wire, a conservative news and opinion website, Dershowitz said he was surprised at the “little response” to the offensive cartoon.
Hours after Dershowitz spoke at UC Berkeley on Oct. 11, a flier of the event was discovered with a swastika drawn over his face.