Cartoon in Norwegian daily foments anti-Israel feelings, embassy diplomat says

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Israel has called on a Norwegian daily newspaper to apologize  for a cartoon that equates Israel with Nazi Germany and North Korea.

The cartoon appeared on Sept. 24 in the daily newspaper Dagbladet. In a letter to the editor published on Tuesday,  Dan Poraz, first secretary at the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, called the cartoon “reprehensible and thoughtless.”

“There is a fine line between freedom of speech and hate speech, and this cartoon crossed that line. It’s about time that editors take responsibility. An apology may be a suitable way to start,” Poraz wrote.

“This is damaging because it can incite anti-Israeli bias that can lead to violent reactions,” he said.

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The cartoon was reproduced with the letter.

The cartoon shows a woman standing in front of an organic food store holding an orange and saying: “These oranges come from Israel! You are supporting murderers!”  The next panel shows her holding a box and saying: holding a carton: “This macaroni is produced in North Korea!? How did you even get a hold of these??” The final panel shows her holding a box of frozen pizza marked with a swastika, with a “Made in Nazi Germany” label, and says: “And this pizza is from N… what kind of store is this??”

Dagbladet’s editor has refused to apologize, saying Israel’s reaction is exaggerated, Ynet reported.

Cartoonist Ola Lysgaard  told The Local – Norway that people missed the point of the cartoon, but did not elaborate.

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