Israel recently passed a litigious bill that claimed it to be a “nation-state of the Jewish people,” amid outcries from minorities.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the passing of the bill as a "a defining moment in the history of Zionism.” He celebrated the controversial bill becoming a law, with an odious selfie while surrounded by his allies.
His cartoon was right on point,and political in nature. He should not have been fired.— Gregg Housh (@GreggHoush) July 26, 2018
Israeli cartoonist fired over 'Animal Farm' Netanyahu caricature https://t.co/RPTPTiDuYz pic.twitter.com/jxqwtzMz8W
Avi Katz, who worked for the Jerusalem Report as a cartoonist, depicted the prime minister and his allies as pigs from George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
“All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others,” Katz’s cartoon quoted from the book.
The 1945 novella revolves around the story of farm animals, which revolted against their human owners to fight for animal rights but soon changed their course to become authoritarians.
The comparison between the politicians and the novel characters comes after protests against Israel giving more rights to Jews than the country’s minorities.
Orwell’s work was inspired by the totalitarian rule of Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union.
The pigs initially promised to work for equal rights for all the animals but once in power, they declared themselves as privileged species, much like Israel claiming to be Jewish state, ignoring a big chunk of its citizens.
The comparison is starkly accurate to Israel’s new law. However, upon expressing his views, Katz’s was fired from the publication he had worked for over 30 years.
“Avi Katz is a cartoonist who worked as a freelancer at the Jerusalem Post and in accordance with editorial considerations, it was decided not to continue the relationship with him,” it said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel.
The cartoon garnered both positive and negative reviews on social media.
Many commended Katz for speaking up for Israeli minorities, while others condemned the prime minister’s depiction as a pig. Pigs are considered impure in Judaism.
According to The Guardian, Katz thought his firing was “idiotic.” He “thought the cartoon was relatively mild and my firing was idiotic, but I’m delighted to see the enormous support I’ve received over the last couple of days”.
Katz has also received support from his fellow journalists, with one of them handing in his resignation.
Haim Watzman, a Jerusalem Report short fiction writer, slammed the publication for firing the cartoonist.
“Journalism, when done well, always angers some readers, and it is the duty of the newspaper or magazine’s editors and managers to stand by writers and other members of the staff when readers complain about the analysis and opinions expressed by its staff,” he wrote.
A crowd funding page for Katz has already collected over $21,000 for the cartoonist.
Banner / Thumbnail : Gali Tibbon/Pool via Reuters