Der Sturmer Never Died

Der Sturmer was famous for its malicious cartoons depicting Jews as hook-nosed messengers of greed and evil, always conspiring to do-in innocent Germans, and then skulk away into the shadows like the vermin they were portrayed to be.

I received an extremely disturbing e-mail today, from an individual who forwarded the URL for Ha’aretz, an Israeli daily newspaper published in English.

The following is the word for word text of the article.

(Begin Article)

“A cartoon of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon eating the head of a Palestinian baby against the backdrop of a burning Palestinian city has won first prize in the British Political Cartoon Society’s annual competition.

There were 35 entries in the Cartoon of the Year competition, sponsored by the British Independent newspaper, from some of the country’s leading cartoonists.

Dave Brown’s winning cartoon was published in the Independent a few months ago, when it was claimed that it was inspired by a Goya painting.

In the cartoon, Sharon says: “What’s wrong? Have you never seen a politician kissing a baby?” The background shows Apache attack helicopters sending missiles from the cockpit with the message “Vote Likud” – the prime minister’s party.

In his acceptance speech, Brown thanked the Israeli Embassy for its angry reaction to the cartoon, which he said had contributed greatly to its publicity”.

(End Article)

It’s History All Over Again:

Prior to, and during the Nazi reign in Germany, there was a particularly hateful and vile anti-Semitic magazine called Der Sturmer, published by one of the world’s most notorious of Jew- baiters, Julius Streicher.

Der Sturmer was famous for its malicious cartoons depicting Jews as hook-nosed messengers of greed and evil, always conspiring to do-in innocent Germans, and then skulking away into the shadows like the vermin they were portrayed to be.

This is the cartoon image one sees and expects to see everyday in the Arabic press. But the European press of the 21st century?

As if an extraordinarily anti-Semitic cartoon such as this one isn’t enough, the fact that the cartoonist’s peers voted to make this, the cartoon of the year, is dreadful to the point that it can be compared to Der Sturmer.

I have been a staunch advocate of Israel’s Security Wall, even before the Knesset decided to construct it. And now I want to advocate another critical opinion.


Europe’s Jews are not safe. Not in England. Not In France (especially not in France). No where!

It is fine that some European politicians are paying lip-service to daily attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions. But that is not enough. Europe is no more tolerant of Jews 60 years after the Holocaust, than Europe was while the Nazis and their allies were rounding Jews up on the streets.

Unlike the 1930’s, Jews have a refuge to where they can now seek safe harbor. Amongst other reasons, this is precisely why Israel was established. It is the haven Jews can go to when the world wants them savaged.

European Jews can also immigrate to North America, bringing with them their education, professions, entrepreneurial spirit, love for democracy and their wealth.

And in Canada, specifically in Quebec, where the French language is the Lingua Franca, France’s Jews would be right at home, especially in a province with a negative birthrate, which is desperate for French speaking immigrants.

It doesn’t take a sociologist, an anthropologist, or a professor of history to see what’s happening in Europe. Europe, in spite of all the lofty ideals of the EU is still Europe, with all of its historical prejudices intact, with anti-Semitism being the seemingly most durable and common.

To publish a vile anti-Semitic cartoon is one thing. To reward it as the Best Political Cartoon of the Year is yet something else entirely.

Israel MUST keep building the Wall. And Europe’s Jews should get out, while the getting is still good. I feel pangs of guilt sitting in the safety of my home in Canada, while so many people of my religious culture are at great and grave risk, only because of the religious culture we share.

It could just as easily be me on the firing line. And I never forget it. Not for a moment. My saving grace are the MANY non Jewish friends, who are light years above and beyond the elitist rabble in Europe, and the trash found elsewhere away from this great continent.

Even as a Secular Jew, I guess I have to say: Thank God. Especially today, on the eve of American Thanksgiving.

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One Comment

  1. Howard, big sigh of relief … You made your decision. It’s your decision and yours alone. I hadn’t written or said anything, before today, either. This was a very personal decision, between you and Anne. I see that Anne is your pillar and rock, when push comes to shove. I will echo, many others statement … You will do a better job, with your writings, than being a politician. The power of the written word, is far superior, to the spoken word!!! Prayers and love, to both you and Anne.

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