German newspaper cartoon shows Netanyahu as peace process poisoner

(JTA) — A cartoon in a German newspaper shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu poisoning the Middle East peace process.

The cartoon featured Tuesday in the German daily newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung shows Netanyahu sitting on a park bench, holding a piece of bread to feed peace doves that he is poisoning with liquid from a bottle labeled “settlement construction.”

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The cartoon caption refers to a 1938 anti- Nazi song by Austrian Jew Georg Kreisler, called “Pigeon Poisoner.” The song is not related in any way to Israel.

On Facebook, Kreisler’s daughter Sandra criticized the caricaturist for a drawing she deemed “anti-Semitic and wrong in content.” Israel, she writes, has made numerous peace offers. She added in the post that her father never would have supported the view of the cartoonist, according to the German office of the American Jewish Committee.

She called on the newspaper to publish an explanation of her father’s Israel-friendly views and on the cartoonist to apologize for using her father’s anti-Nazi song in a false context.

“Defaming the memory of a Holocaust survivor to attack Israel is a new low in Israel-bashing,” said Deidre Berger, director of AJC Berlin.

“Such perfidious simplifications and one-sided judgments of Israel poison public opinion and have the opposite effect of what is intended,” Berger said. “Whipping up strong animosity toward Israel damages Israeli attitudes toward Europe and ultimately harms the peace process.”

The cartoon also appears to be anti-Semitic due to the medieval anti-Semitic legend that Jews poisoned wells in Europe.