The Australian Jewish News
has called on its readers to cancel their subscriptions to Fairfax Media after a column by Mike Carlton and its illustrating cartoon were slammed in the paper's August 1 edition as antisemitic.
Carlton's column, published last Saturday
, quotes Israeli journalist Gideon Levy accusing the Jewish state of fascism. Carlton writes:
"It is a breathtaking irony that these atrocities can be committed by a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead of the Holocaust at the centre of their race memory. But this is a new and brutal Israel dominated by the hardline, right-wing Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition."
That was the line that most offended AJN,
whose editors quote it in their editorial
and say the column was "no longer about a country, this was about a people and a race -- a people and a race who should know better because of what they themselves went through".
The AJN also slammed
the cartoon that illustrated the piece, which featured an old man "with a hook nose" sitting in a chair emblazoned with the Star of David on the back, pressing a remote to blow up a Palestinian area. The cartoon was labelled "clearly anti-Semitic" by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, who sent a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald
claiming it could lead to the "inciting of hatred against Jew". The ECAJ said the cartoon had been slammed by Holocaust survivors, who "compared the cartoon to those which regularly appeared in Nazi newspapers in occupied Europe".
The piece carries a response from SMH
editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir, who says he "deeply regret[s]" the offense the cartoon has caused. “I take a very dim view of any racist behaviour – as do all members of the Herald --
newsroom.” The ECAJ told AJN
that Goodsir did not address the substance of their complaint, and that they were considering lodging a formal complaint against Fairfax Media with the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. The cartoon still illustrates Carlton's article online.