It is so sad that one of our true national treasures, the wry and gentle Michael Leunig, has been drawn into the Great Cartoon Blasphemy debate by some malevolent [it subsequently turns out that "ill-advised" is better] hoaxer. The cartoon in question (see it there) is indeed acerbic, but in no way does it deny the abominable crimes of the Holocaust, nor does it give any aid and comfort to those employing indiscriminate violence and terrorism against either Israeli citizens or Palestinians, and certainly it is totally out of sympathy with bigoted regimes like that screwing the great people of Iran at the moment.
Like a Biblical prophecy, the cartoon condemned all who violently deny justice. The fact that it was the Israeli government which was behaving badly at the time made the comment, appealing to Jewish experience, all the more poignant and, in my view, just if controversial in its imagery. And I have met plenty of Jews who would have agreed with it. See for example Not In My Name and Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace. Explore the pages of that great magazine Tikkun. Finally, read Judeophobia, a special issue (2004) of New Internationalist.
One was reminded of the complex play of good and evil on all sides of the Israel-Palestine mess by watching last night on SBS Israel’s Generals on Yitzhak Rabin, whose right-wing “religious” assassin is as much an enemy of the God of all nations and of humanity as any terrorist you would like to name.