Charlie Hebdo’s Political Cartoons Depicting Prophet Muhammad Grotesquelly Were Welcomed in Israel but Palestinian Cartoonist Sabaaneh Is Not1
November 13, 2015 by Alfred
Boundless hypocrisy when it comes to political cartoons comes to the surface again.
Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons denigrating the highest prophet of the Moslem religion were considered an “exercise in freedom of speech”. In fact they are not as is documented at the end of this article.
After the tragedy of the storming of the office of Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office by two criminals, who killed several members of the office’s staff, there was naturally an outpour of indignation and solidarity for the victims.
Millions of people who never saw any of Hebdo’s work came out for a march in Paris in protest of this unjustifiable murderous act.
There was also a grotesquely opportunistic politician who hysterically joined the protest and paraded on the street in the front row of a march where he shoved aside the President of Mali when in reality Netanyahu was specifically asked by the leader of France to not come to this demonstration.
This politician was Israel’s PM Netanyahu who used the event to bizarrely tell French citizens of the Jewish faith that France and Europe are becoming anti-Semitic and that therefore they all should all emigrate to Israel. He also had the temerity to say that the represents or speaks for “all Jews”.
This opportunistic act of hysterical hate and fear mongering was taken as an insult by French citizens regardless of their religion. In fact at a later gathering with French Jews in Paris when he repeated this insult they started to sing the Marseillase. Netanyahu was forced to stand there, facing the yarmulke-wearing French Jews after just having finished telling them that their true home was Israel.
Fast forward now to Palestinian cartoonist Sabaaneh.
No, his cartoons have nothing to do with vilification of the highest prophet of the Jewish religion, Moses. He also does not depict Jews as evil, he depicts the Israeli military occupation as evil, as do all law-abiding people worldwide. He does not belong to any Palestinian faction. He has never been to Jerusalem because he cannot obtain a permit from the occupying Israeli authority and he has never visited the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Sabaaneh, who has a day job at the American University’s campus in Israel illegally occupied Ramallah campus, focuses on the injustices of he occupation.
Sabaaneh has been falsely accused of “association with an enemy organization” and was jailed by the Israelis for five months.
Because of his artistic depiction of the violence of the oppression and mass killing Palestinians have endured since Israel was implanted into 75% of the land of the Palestinians, he is considered a “provocateur”, and ludicrously charged with feeding hatred and violence by merely reflecting a reality and raising the question “Who is the terrorist”.
This insanity goes beyond the obvious characterization of it being a hypocritical double standard.
As a post scriptum to the Charlie Hebdo phenomenon, it is worthy to note that the surviving staff members have had rifts among each other over what to do with the millions of dollars they were flooded with in added revenue and donations and Sourisseau who owns 40 % of the company’s shares has been criticized for pocketing a good portion of the company’s recent profits.
For this writer it is hard to understand how the vilifying depiction of the highest icons of people’s religion can be deemed as an “exercise in free speech” when those who engage in this practice are fully aware of the potentially destructive consequences, as for example Pamela Geiger of the American Freedom Defense Initiative learned when she got away with posting disgusting and highly incendiary ads in the public transportation vehicles and stations of such U.S. cities as Washington DC and New York City.
There is a Supreme Court ruling which clearly states that what it defines as “Fighting Words“, i.e. words which reasonably and frivolously incite major violent confrontations, are not to be considered words which are covered under our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech.
See the 1942 ruling of Chaplinsky vs. New Hampshire