Recently, the relations between Israel and the United States have been deteriorating ever since Obama administration officials described the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit” and “coward”. They accused him of being more interested in political posturing instead of engaging in efforts at Middle-Eastern de-escalation.
As a result, the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a cartoon – made by cartoonist Amos Biderman – characterizing the worrying relations between Israel and the United States. The caricature showed Netanyahu inside a plan with the word “ISRAEL” written on it. The plane appears to be flying towards an American building which looks like the World Trade Center’s twin towers.
An unnamed American official reportedly had a conversation with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, in which he said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname Bibi:
“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit. The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states.”
The mocking cartoon draws a clear comparison with the events of 9/11. Benjamin Netanyahu was put in the same box with the hijackers who attacked the United States on Sep 11, 2001.
The Caricature Was Made By Israeli Cartoonist Amos Biderman
“The message is that Bibi is arrogantly and wantonly destroying Israel’s ties with the U.S. and leading us to a disaster on the scale of 9/11.”
He reportedly told Haaretz:
“It was certainly not my intention to insult or upset anyone, I have drawn cartoons depicting every war that Israel has fought, including the Yom Kippur War — which I was involved in — where we suffered thousands of casualties. I have used some of Israel’s greatest tragedies as the background for my cartoon; I never imagined that by using an image that evoked 9/11 I would cause such a storm.”
Biderman talked about Netanyahu’s actions, saying:
“He’s been acting like a bull in a china shop with the United States, which is Israel’s most important strategic asset.”
Some Were Mad Haaretz and Some Said It’s True
The opinions about this cartoon have ranged between critical and supporting. Some described it as the most disgraceful anti-Israel cartoon around! Others said it’s “garbage” and “f**king disgusting.”
While this cartoon was widely rejected by many Israel-supporting people on social media, the other side, those who believe in the conspiracy theories that the 2001 attacks were the work of Israeli intelligence operatives, said it’s very accurate.
The British commentator Tom Wislon made a tweet (listed below) saying that the cartoon is what the conspiracy believers need.
“What the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel?”
Mr. Netanyahu replied:
“It’s very good.”
But seconds after his quick reply, he added:
“Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.”
One of the critics was the director of the Israel office of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, Tamar Sternthal, who told the Blaze:
“One would expect a cartoon such as this one to appear in an Iranian or Syrian newspaper, not an Israeli news outlet.
Haaretz has crossed all lines of reasoned discourse by publishing a cartoon which apparently seeks to compare Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policies — such as approving construction of homes in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem over the green line, a move criticized by the U.S. government — to the 9/11 massacre of thousands of Americans.
Haaretz should be ashamed and ought to apologize to its readers. The cartoon is also likely highly offensive to the victims of 9/11 as it belittles their unspeakable tragedy.”
Another critic is the Anti-Defamation League‘s National Director, Abraham H. Foxman, who blamed Haaretz for publishing the drawing and saying it supports conspiracy theories about 9/11. He reportedly wrote in a statement:
“The cartoon in question is offensive on many levels. Not only does it completely misrepresent any tensions which may current exist between the U.S. government and Mr. Netanyahu, it disrespects the memories of thousands of innocent Americans and others who tragically perished on 9/11, and the deep pain and trauma caused by the horrific attacks.
Furthermore, as anti-Semitic conspiracy theories charging that Israel and/or Jews were behind the attacks are still believed by large swaths of the Muslim world, it is particularly jarring and incredibility irresponsible that an Israeli newspaper, especially one whose journalistic standards are widely respected, would resort to publishing such a highly offensive stereotype in the name of political satire.”
The Connections Between Both Regimes is Stronger Than A Cartoon!
Israel receives annually $3 billion from American taxpayers, and a few additional hundreds of millions (during each year), to build new missile defense systems, colonies, and infrastructure. The United States has also been a strong defender of Israel in the United Nations and Security Council for more than 60 years.
Crimes against humanity or violations of international law by the Israeli regime are worth nothing to Washington, as Israel is considered as a part of U.S global empire. Whether this is primarily because of Washington’s interest in Israel’s geopolitical position, or because of the intensive lobbying on the part of AIPAC, is a different question: it seems unlikely that US-Israeli relations are really weakening significantly.
(2) NY Times
(3) The Blaze