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Are we sure this makes it better?

Guardian staff who approved ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon didn’t know Richard Sharp was Jewish

I’m really not sure that does make it better you know.

Option 1 is that they portrayed a Jew using the standard anti-semitic tropes and that’s bad.

Option 2 is that they made a non-Jew look bad by deploying the standard anti-semitic tropes.

It’s still the use of the anti-semitic tropes to make someone look bad, isn’t it?

Would the portrayal of Boris with frizzy hair, bone through the nose and dancing in a grass skirt be better, worse or the same as portraying Kemi the same way? It’s still the use of the same tropes to insult isn’t it.

17 thoughts on “Are we sure this makes it better?”

  1. “All the component parts were there: the large nose, the lips, the Fagin-like sneer, and, of course, what appears to be money. It’s a racialised depiction of a Jew,” Dave Rich, head of policy at the Community Security Trust, which advocates for British Jews and works with police on Jewish security issues, wrote Monday in a Guardian op-ed.

    Well, he would know his own, I suppose.

    But nota Benny that while they’re doing the traditional laments and oy-veying we’ve seen a million times before, the cartoon contained a much more disgusting and offensive representation of the prime minister we elected in 2019. He is depicted as massively fat, naked, and lolling on a huge pile of shit.

    However, nobody is offended on Boris’ behalf. Turkophobia is still acceptable in Britain in 2023, thank God.

  2. Steve, the depiction of Boris sounds more like the work of Van Rijn than Gerald Scarfe……

  3. Addolff – you are far more cultured than me, I was thinking it looked like something you might see in Viz, or maybe in the liner notes to some insufferably right-on Radiohead album from 2003.

  4. Steve, I was entertained to find that when I tried to find the image of this bloke Sharp, the only rag which included Boris was The Times of Israel.

    I have to congratulate them on having the guts to display it all.

  5. I read the Graun’s apology & explanation piece yesterday. Wonderful how they kept digging. They might have been able to gloss it over by simply asserting that they were so far from being anti-semetic they were unable to recognise the tropes. And some people might even have believed them.

  6. Remind me. Didn’t someone do time for disseminating an image of a cardboard Grenfell Tower on a bonfire? So where exactly are the limits? Or is it just who gets offended?

  7. BiS – Crispy Migrants are extremely triggering to effete Metropolitan wankers, for whatever reason. We heard a lot more about a slum fire in London than we ever did about the Manchester bombing or the grooming gangs.

    I think they enjoyed the humiliation of being repeatedly accused of being racist by ungrateful survivors. Racial self abasement is part of the kink.

  8. Did the cartoonist intend to offend Jews or not? It’s tricky for the Guardian because it seems to believe that giving offence should be a crime.

    I suppose there’s little point in the G employing a witty cartoonist because their readership would normally miss the point anyway.

  9. I suppose there’s little point in the G employing a witty cartoonist because their readership would normally miss the point anyway.
    From what I’ve seen of Graun cartoons, the gags are “unsubtly obvious to a those with Graunreader preconceptions”. Which leaves anyone else searching & failing to find subtle amusing interpretations. Which I’m inclined to think indicates the average IQ of Graunreaders. (Less than their shoe size)

  10. Which is maybe what happened with the cartoon under discussion. The cartoonist laid it on with the usual thick trowel without considering what more subtle interpretations could be made. He’s not pitching at that sort of sophisticated audience. The Graun does seem to in for a sort of C18th style where the gag-points are distinctly labelled for the hard of thinking.

  11. @Jonathan

    A brief glance at that article shows that it uses an excessively large font for its headings. Since this is a sign of poor argument, I didn’t read it. I’m sure you’ll agree that my application of a stereotype was appropriate.

  12. There’s an interesting phenomenon on the left where they accuse opponents of horrible things by engaging in the horrible things themselves.

    Eli Valley is a Jewish cartoonist who makes almost identically Nazi-esque illustrations of people he doesn’t like. He’ll draw Ben Shapiro, Alan Dershowitz, Netanyahu and also non-Jewish conservatives this way.

    I guess the thinking is, “I’ll own these fascists by dehumanizing them just like the fascists did”?

    It’s much the same as when they joke that “That Republican senator is probably gay” or “I hope Sarah Palin gets raped by a bunch of black guys.” Yes, I’ve heard such comments back when I was a liberal.

    They have no actual set of principles, morals or consistency. They just care about winning elections. Might get innocent people killed or imprisoned, might not accomplish anything after winning the elections. They just need to win and tally up the points on the scoreboard, so they can feel good about themselves for five minutes at a time.

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