The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced a German newspaper on Tuesday for running a cartoon depicting Israel as a hungry monster lying in bed, fork and knife in hand, being waited on by a woman.
The “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” Germany’s largest broadsheet daily, published the visual with the caption, “Germany is serving. For decades now, Israel has been given weapons, in parts for free. Israel’s enemies think it is a ravenous Moloch. Peter Beinart deplores this situation.”
Peter Beinart is a liberal American Jewish journalist who has become a vocal critic of Israel’s policies after writing favorably about the Jewish state for years.
“Let us be clear,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Like every other democracy Israel is never above reproach or criticism. However, the depiction of the Jewish state as a ravenous monster deploys a classic tool of dehumanization-animalization.”
“Such horrific stereotypes were all-too devastatingly deployed by the propaganda machines of both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union,” he charged.
Moloch is mentioned in the Bible as the idol of a Canaanite sect that sacrificed its children by burning them to death.
“The characterization of the Jewish state as a ravenous Moloch — an idol to whom children were sacrificed — is a blatant anti-Semitic canard,” Cooper added. “The attempt to mention a Jewish critic of Israel is a failed fig leaf that neither justifies nor covers up the hate masquerading as political commentary.”
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges the the editors to apologize to its readers, the Jewish community and the State of Israel. We also hope that German NGOs and personalities will publicly denounce this slander,” he continued.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung, or “South German Daily,” reaches 1.1 million readers a day.