(The second frame is a reference to a comment by Murdoch in November, complaining that the “Jewish owned media” is consistently anti-Israel. The final frame is a reference to Sooty, a popular glove bear and TV character from the 50s.)
As we noted in our post, the cartoon could arguably be interpreted as suggesting that Zionists have a significant degree of control over the media.
Today, Feb. 5, Bell revisited the trio of Murdoch, Bibi and Sooty, and published this, titled ‘On Murdoch, Netanyahu and the little bludger‘.
If, Bell is indeed perplexed – or, perhaps, amused – with the notion of “antisemitic tropes”, I know just the right person to help him understand its significance.
Guardian readers’ editor Chris Elliott – who criticized Bell’s cartoon in Nov. which depicted Netanyahu controlling Blair and Hague like puppets, and warned: “…using the image of a puppeteer when drawing a Jewish politician inevitably echoes past antisemitic usage of such imagery” – wrote the following in Nov. 2011, in a post titled ‘On averting accusations of antisemitism“:
[Comment is Free] moderators…are experienced in spotting the kind of language long associated with antisemitic tropes such as Jews having too much power and control, or being clannish and secretive, or the role of Jews in finance and the media.
However, regardless of whether Bell understands (or takes seriously) the lethal history of such racist tropes employed against Jews, a bit of research into his work may provide some insight into why (per his BBC Radio debate with Stephen Pollard) he was so dismissive of accusations that the Scarfe cartoon arguably evoked the antisemitic blood libel.
These cartoons are on Bell’s website: (Below each cartoon is the exact caption used by Bell to identify and date the image.)
2002, blood motif.
2001, blood motif.
2001, blood motif
Finally, here are two Bell cartoons which evoke an entirely different trope.
1998, Jews as ‘Chosen People’.
1998, Jews as ‘Chosen People':
Here’s another relevant passage from Chris Elliott’s post on antisemitism noted above:
“Two weeks ago a columnist [Deborah Orr] used the term “the chosen” in an item on the release of Gilad Shalit, which brought more than 40 complaints to the Guardian, and an apology from the columnist the following week. “Chosenness”, in Jewish theology, tends to refer to the sense in which Jews are “burdened” by religious responsibilities; it has never meant that the Jews are better than anyone else. Historically it has been antisemites, not Jews, who have read “chosen” as code for Jewish supremacism.”
- A place where Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell can find “real” antisemitism (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian reader bemoans the effectiveness of CiF Watch (cifwatch.com)
- More than a cartoon: What Jews are talking about when they talk about antisemitism (cifwatch.com)
- The BBC, Bell and the blood libel (bbcwatch.org)
- The Guardian, Steve Bell, Bibi and more puppet-like control (cifwatch.com)
- How one British paper decided to depict living Jews on Holocaust Memorial Day (cifwatch.com)