You Won’t Believe This Anti-Semitic Swedish Cartoon

A Facebook friend from Sweden shared a post criticizing this cartoon. The image was published Nov 20 on Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s leading newspapers. Usually I would not react to these types of provocations, but this particular one made me gag in my mouth a little bit extra.

The word in Netanyahu’s speech bubble says Antligen — “Finally”.

Finally, it implies, Netanyahu got the United States president he wanted, carried by evil Orthodox Jews, KKK supporters, Americans, and Israel supporters. He can now finally proceed with his vicious plan.

It is a very telling picture. You can look at this cartoon and in an instant see who the Swedish left loves to hate. The image is implying that these characters have built an evil coalition that is going to take over the world. What I find most bothersome is how many of these characters are Jewish.

Very few readers who look at this cartoon in Sweden will realize that most Jews in the United States voted in the recent presidential election for Hillary Clinton, not Trump. But who cares about numbers anymore, right?

Bibi Netanyahu is probably happy a Republican won. He has been wishing and hoping to see a Republican president for years. It is the first time in his almost 10 years as Prime Minister of Israel that a Republican will be the President of the United States. And Trump (and Pence) has already clearly expressed support for Netanyahu’s agenda. There is no doubt that the Israeli right is celebrating Trump’s win. But there is a huge step from there to implying that the Jews and the KKK are working side by side in a worldwide conspiracy to rule the world.

The day after the image was published and criticized by many Swedes on social media, Dagens Nyheter’s Editor in Chief Peter Wolodarski posted a response on twitter. It said that the cartoon shouldn’t have been published, but also that after consulting with a historian DN’s conclusion is that the cartoon is not anti-Semitic. So sorry, but not sorry.

The text reads:

“Over the years we have published many cartoons in DN that don’t necessarily coincide with the newspaper’s stance. That is the way it should be.”

“The problem with Sunday’s cartoon is that it is open to other interpretations than those intended. For that reason it shouldn’t have been published, even if there is a legitimate political criticism of Trump and Netanyahu at the root.”

“Following the criticism, head of editorial Johannes Åman and I asked historian Henrik Bachner, whose research focuses on anti-Semitism, if he perceives the work to be anti-Semitic. He shares our conclusion that it is not.”

Cartoons should be funny and provocative, and I have a high tolerance when it comes to humor. Still, I find this cartoon to be tasteless and offensive. Anti-semitic or not, it definitely reeks of Israel hatred — and why promote that?

This story "You Won’t Believe This Anti-Semitic Swedish Cartoon" was written by Oriel Danielson.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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