Jewish community to report hideous cartoon to press complaint commission

That cartoon story just refuses to go away…

lifted from Vårt Land (bad google translate)


Will report “anti-Semitic” cartoon strip to press complaint commission

The Jewish community and the Anti-Racist Center believe that the blood ripping cartoon is Jew hatred – editor in chief says this is over-interpretation.

Lise Marit Kalstad
Kjell Kvamme


Ervin Kohn, the president of the Jewish community (DMT) reacted strongly to a comic strip Dagbladet published onTuesday 28 May. Along with the Anti-Racist Center, the DMT has decided to refer the matter  to the Press Complaints Commission (PFU).

– The drawing joins a very old tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, where Jews were accused of killing Christian children and use their blood in religious rituals, says Kohn.

– What makes this drawing anti-Semitic?

– It does so by suggesting that the Jews are torturing children. There is also a clear understanding that the people in the drawing are Jews, I have not heard of Muslims who feel offended.

Few reactions in Norway.

The drawing shows a bleeding, screaming child who is chained to a bench. Alongside stands a woman and cuts off toes to the child with a large pair of pliers. Woman holding a thick book, and says: “child abuse? No, this is tradition! An important part of our faith, “woman is directing herself to two policemen and one waves disarmingly with his hands and says,” Faith? Oh, but then it’s okay! “. In the drawing there is also a man with a beard and hat, and who impales the child’s head with a fork while holding a thick book.

Kohn says he has received a lot of feedback from people outside Norway that react with disgust. He wonders why the drawing has received little attention in Norway, but thinks the reason is that few have seen it.

– It is very likely that we are dealing with a young and ignorant cartoonist. But he should apologize. Dagbladet has not apologized, but instead retaliated from their trenches and defend the publication, he said.

– The cartoonist Tomas Drefvelin says the drawing is in no way anti-Semitic and that it is intended as a general critique of religion. Is it not possible to see the drawing as just that?

– No. He has made other drawings which are critical of religion before, but in this case it’s a  specific critique that we torture children. DMT has no other problems with the general critique of religion, says Kohn.

– Brutal drawing.

Anti-Racist Center supports DMT assessment of the drawing. Newly elected leader Rune Berglund Steen believes it is appropriate to report Dagbladet to the press complaint commission.

– The drawing is worryingly close to antisemitic caricatures we’ve seen throughout history. It suggests a form of Jewish wickedness, and the newspaper failed in publishing this, he said.

One June 3  Dagbladet published a defense for the  publication of the drawing. Steen believes the newspaper has not reacted appropriately to the criticism.

– They blame it on Jewish sensitivities, but we are talking about a very brutal, bloody and violent drawing. The point is not what they meant by drawing in the first place, it is important here is the result of the publication. It is entirely rational to consider it as anti-Semitism, says Steen.

The complaint will probably be sent to the press complaint commission sometime today. DMT and Anti-Racist Center believes Dagbladet has breached section 4.3 of the ethical norms, Code of Ethics, “Show respect for human individuality and identity, privacy, race, nationality or belief. Do not draw attention to personal and private affairs when they are irrelevant. ”

Chief Editor: Not hatred.

Dagbladet does not understand that comic strip is perceived as anti-Semitic.

– This is over interpretation, and then there is no room for nuances. Our opinion is that one reads too much into the cartoon. I have no understanding how this can be interpreted as f anti-Semitic, says editor John Arne Markussen.

In an editorial in the newspaper Dagbladet defends the strip, “The message is criticism of religious justification of circumcision, a practice that is practiced by several religious communities, which is controversial in Norway. The underlying point in the drawing is that if you can place attitudes and actions under the umbrella of faith, then one can reject criticism or discussion. We believe it is an issue that certainly belongs in the public debate. ”

– The Jews are the ones who are best known for circumcision, it is strange that they feel attacked, do you think?

– I honestly do not understand why the Jews are reacting. Several groups perform circumcision, said Markussen.

In his editorial, he argues that Dagbladet has a long history in the fight against anti-Semitism. But in the areas of freedom of expression and religion “there must be maximum freedom. Likewise, no religious feelings, dogmas or rituals be exempt from criticism. ”

Satire Tradition. – How good is satire and caricature in the form of drawings suitable as religious criticism?

– We have no doubt a strong tradition in Norway with satirical drawings. It is actually an important part of the opinion journalism in Norway. I think there should be room for it, says John Arne Markussen.

He’s sorry if anyone feels hurt, but believes that the theme of the cartoon is so important that we must look beyond emotions.

The strongest reactions to the strip have come from abroad, he says. This makes him believe that someone is mobilizing the criticism.

Markussen will not comment on the fact that a complaint against the drawing now is being lodged with the Press Complaints Commission (PFU), or speculate on how the press complaints body will judge the case.

Might it be that the honorable editor in chief has got his head lodged so far up his back passage that he cannot see the warning lights that keep flashing? Now he want to blame the reactions he has received for his hateful drawing on some foreign instigators. How hysterical is that?