(Washington, D.C., Feb. 4, 2020)— B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith is calling for the dismissal of Portuguese newsmagazine Sábado cartoonist Vasco Gargalo, who published anti-Semitic images in the month before International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
“Demonization of the State of Israel is not acceptable political or social commentary, it is in fact modern day anti-Semitism, and the images of a crucifixion on the Star of David perpetuate the world’s oldest hate,” we wrote in our letter to the publication.
The cartoons demonized Israel by comparing the Jewish State to Nazi Germany and invoking Nazi imagery to characterize Israelis, both of which fall under the internationally accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of anti-Semitism.
In the first cartoon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing a coffin with a Palestinian Authority flag into an oven. The German phrase “Arbeit macht frei,” which translates to “Work sets you free,” was infamously inscribed on the gates of Auschwitz. Gargalo’s second cartoon showed a Black politician being crucified on the Star of David.
We fully respect freedom of expression and free speech, but these age-old anti-Semitic tropes — blood libels — are hateful and shameful. No more!
Read our full letter here.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org