Wednesday, February 26, 2014

German newspaper blamed for anti-Semitic cartoon

From The Mail Online.

Zuckerberg Octopus: The cartoon was published in Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper last week and has led to accusations of anti-Semitism.

The German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, has been accused of anti-Semitism after it published a cartoon depicting Mark Zuckerberg as an octopus controlling the world.

The cartoon was published in the newspaper last Friday after the announcement that Facebook had purchased Whatsapp. Two versions were published, one with the caption ‘Krake Zuckerberg’, the other ‘Krake Facebook’ – Facebook Octopus and Zuckerberg Octopus.

In the drawing, the 29-year-old Facebook founder is portrayed with a hooked nose, fleshy lips and curly hair, features ascribed to Jewish people in Nazi cartoons.

The cartoon was ‘starkly reminiscent’ of anti-Semitic Nazi era cartoons, Efraim Zuroff from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre told the Jerusalem Post.

‘[I]f anyone has any doubts about the anti-Semitic dimension of the cartoon, we can point to Mark Zuckerberg’s very prominent nose, which is not the case in real life,’ said Mr Zuroff who added that he found the cartoon, 'Absolutely disgusting!'

The cartoon depicts Mr Zuckerberg, who was raised Jewish but now describes himself as an atheist, as an octopus grasping at computers around him. In one of his tentacles he holds the logo of Whatsapp, the instant messaging service his company recently purchased for $19billion.
‘The nefarious Jew/octopus was a caricature deployed by Nazis. That was used pretty much as a staple by the Nazis in terms of their hateful campaign against the Jews in the 1930s. [An] exaggerated Jewish nose removes any question if this was unconscious anti-Semitism,’ Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre told Algemeiner.

‘Mark Zuckerberg is fair game for the media, including German media, but no German should deploy such caricatures,’ he said.

The cartoonist, Burkhard Mohr, apologised for the offence his cartoon caused in an email to the Jerusalem Post on Monday.

‘Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies which are totally foreign to me,’ he wrote. ‘It is the last thing I would do, to defame people because of their nationality, religious view or origin.’

The newspaper took to Twitter on Monday to address the issue, writing simply: ‘We apologise for the cartoon.’

Mr Mohr released an updated version of the cartoon this week, replacing Zuckerberg’s face with a blank rectangular hole.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung came under fire for publishing a cartoon that seemed to depict the State of Israel as a ravenous monster.

The cartoon as it originally appeared in the newspaper last Friday. It bears the caption 'Krake Zuckerberg', or Zuckerberg Octopus

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