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B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:

B’nai B’rith International praises the response of the Anti-Defamation Commission to cartoonist Michael Leunig’s extremely offensive cartoon that compares Israelis to Nazis and his defense of the cartoon the following day.

Leunig drew a political cartoon for The Age, a Melbourne, Australia, publication, in which he used his own variation of Martin Niemöller’s famous anti-Nazi poem “First they came…” to express his anti-Semitic views. The cartoon essentially equates Israel’s defense of its people against Hamas rocket fire to the Nazis’ genocide of the Jewish people. As if this weren’t farcical enough, the following day he defended his drawing on the op-ed pages and attacked those who rightfully objected to his work.

The comparison of Israel’s defense policies to systematic murder of millions is truly deplorable. We applaud the ADC and Dvir Abramovich for identifying and admonishing Leunig for his work. We hope others in Australia and around the world will recognize that this kind of hate-speech should not be tolerated and must be combated.