Israel’s Foreign Ministry has come under fire for publishing what is being dubbed a racist cartoon depicting an Arab sitting on a mule and proclaiming to boycott a futuristic looking Israel with flying cars and whatnot.
The caricature, originally in Arabic, conveys the message that Middle Eastern countries need to cooperate with Israel in order to lift itself out of the “Middle Ages” – a sentiment one can only describe as ignorant and offensive.
It showed an angry-looking Arab sitting atop a mule with the words “I boycott you Israel” appearing in a speech bubble near his head. Meanwhile, the mule had its own speech bubble implying his rider was “as stubborn as a mule.” The other half of the sketch showed a Jetsons-style metropolis with words “Welcome to Israel” written on it.
The Islamophobic and xenophobic undertones of the sketch are hard to miss.
“As the English saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. The time has come for cooperation between Israel and its neighbors in order to build a bright future for the countries of the region instead of the boycott and remaining in the Middle Ages,” the foreign ministry wrote on its official page alongside the cartoon. “The precursor to change in the Middle East will come through realizing that relations with Israel will be beneficial for Arab countries.”
The controversial post also mentioned a research that purportedly discovered almost 50 percent of the Middle East’s population would not object to establishing ties with Israel as long it benefits them.
According to the Times of Israel, the controversial cartoon was a reference to an online poll commissioned by the ministry, which purportedly showed the “Arab world is increasingly ready to embrace Israel.”
Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently touted the results of the poll, which claimed 48 percent of respondents in Iraq, 42 percent in the United Arab Emirates and 30 percent in Saudi Arabia and Iran want their respective governments to establish ties with the Jewish state.
However, it is important to note several experts have criticized the methodology of the poll, with some even calling it “propaganda.”
Meanwhile, several social media users have slammed the offensive cartoon.
On Christmas eve, official Israeli account posts overtly racist cartoon in Arabic, in effort to "reach out in peace" to Arabs. https://t.co/sDjlIx0Q4S— İyad el-Baghdadi | إياد البغدادي (@iyad_elbaghdadi) December 25, 2017
Hey you know the city in the background of your racist little cartoon actually looks like Dubai or maybe Abu Dhabi! Oh also you guys should apologize for this. It's wrong, mean spirited and just as awful as the anti Semitic cartoons we rail against.— (((TuttleSinger))) (@TuttleSinger) December 26, 2017
“A model of diplomatic finesse. Now the Arabs will be convinced!” Dr. Assaf David, the academic director of the Forum for Regional Thinking think tank, said sarcastically, adding when Arab media published “similar caricatures about Jews, ‘research institutes’ and the foreign ministry cry foul and anti-Semitism.”
Well, he has a strong point.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters