New Internationalist

Editors’ response to Polyp’s ‘Special Cases’ Cartoon

The ‘Special Cases’ cartoon published in the November 2011 issue of our magazine has regrettably caused offence to some readers.  This post is the New Internationalist editors’ reply to the objections raised:

The New Internationalist has consistently championed the cause of Palestinian autonomy, which has led to many attacks over our coverage of the region.

However, we recognize that some people who claim to be supporters of the Palestinian cause also use it as a cover to voice anti-Jewish sentiments. Anyone with an interest in these issues would have come across these ugly attitudes. The ‘Special Cases’ cartoon is aimed at exposing this hypocrisy, rather than in any way seeking to undermine the work of Palestine support groups.

The targets of its satire are not those who oppose the oppressive policies of the Israeli state towards Palestinians, but those who vent racist views about Jewish people using the Palestinian struggle as an excuse. We believe acknowledging, inspecting and excluding such racism can only strengthen Palestinian solidarity campaigns.

The hidden swastika in the image is rightly disturbing: it is a symbol of the extreme consequences of such irrational hatred.

I hope this allays your concerns.

Dinyar Godrej
Co-editor, New Internationalist

A selection of some of the articles we have published online over the last six months, that report and condemn Israeli human rights violations in Palestine.

Breaking the silence: Israeli soldiers with a tale to tell
Heather Kathryn Ross meets members of the military exposing the reality of life in the Occupied Territories.
20 October

Palestine: the role of recognition
Libby Powell on the ramifications of Palestine’s bid for statehood.
22 September

Palestinian newborns are dying at checkpoints
Israeli soldiers blocking women in labour from reaching medical care have caused deaths of at least 35 newborns and five mothers, says a new Lancet report.
25 July

Palestinian children routinely jailed for throwing stones
Israeli military authorities dish out prison terms to minors as young as 12, says B’Tselem report.
13 July

Comments on Editors' response to Polyp's 'Special Cases' Cartoon

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  1. #1 Angus 28 Oct 11

    Congratulations NI. Pro-Palestine sentiments all too easily stray to anti-Israel, and then anti-Israeli (there is a distinction). I must admit I was surprised to see this cartoon in the magazine, and guessed it would cause some kind of backlash. The surprise was a pleasant one.

  2. #2 annie MW 30 Oct 11

    perhaps had the cartoon sought to bring awareness to an otherwise unspoken narrative or the message been at all original it would have gone over differently. while the 'art' is different it is such a <a href=’http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/09/23/how-israel-is-engineering-the-quot-clash-of-civilizations-quot/’ rel=’nofollow’>tired overwrought accusation</A> it adds nothing to the conversation and sweeps in all those who 'express moral outrage wrt palestine'.

    the vast majority of people who feel or express this outrage over what's happening in palestine aren't anti semites. but you'd never know that by looking at this cartoon. it is in very poor taste and insulting to people who care about human rights many of whom work tirelessly on this issue.

    it would have been much more effective had it been awarded to someone for something specific they said as an example of ’those who vent racist views about Jewish people using the Palestinian struggle as an excuse.’

    as i am sure you know those who ’vent racist views about Jewish people’ certainly are not confined to ’using the Palestinian struggle as an excuse’.

    furthermore the letter offers no apology for such a broad sweeping insult. it claims ’Anyone with an interest in these issues would have come across these ugly attitudes. ’ well if, as this statement implies, it is that common than assign the certificate to someone. i'm all for calling out racists.

  3. #3 Civetcat 18 Nov 11

    Are the few articles you have printed this year (less than one a month) on Palestine supposed to justify the insulting smear you have made on all seekers for justice for Palestine? In the name of press freedom and equality will you also be smearing supporters of Israel as closet Islamophobes?

  4. #4 Shoba Ramachandran 24 May 13

    Your anti-racial discrimination stand supporting the Jews is well explained.

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