Editorial Cartoon In Hamilton Spectator & Waterloo Record Depicts Bloodied Benjamin Netanyahu Throwing American-Made Bombs On Hungry Palestinian Civilians

March 21, 2024

UPDATE: On March 24, the Hamilton Spectator and Waterloo Record published the following oped:

On the heels of La Presse’s publishing a blood libel editorial cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a blood-sucking vampire, a caricature replete with antisemitic tropes and which was ultimately removed by the publication who also issued a formal apology, now and only one day later, two English-language newspapers have published caricatures by that feature their cartoonist’s poisonous pen against Israel.

Torstar papers The Hamilton Spectator and The Waterloo Record, both published an editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay on March 21 depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a blood-soaked tie, lobbing American-made bombs at innocent and hungry Palestinian civilians (holding bowls reading “Feed Us”), juxtaposed with Russian President Vladimir Putin throwing bombs at Ukraine.

In response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is shown holding a box, labeled “Arms to Israel,” and saying “No more for you,” to Netanyahu. Below, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is shown with his hands outstretched.

Although convoluted, the message of the cartoon is clear: that Israel is massacring innocent Palestinian civilians, and that Canada will no longer send weapons to Israel as a result, but to Ukraine.

Although editorial cartoons are exaggerated for effect, MacKay’s contribution was simply absurd and mendacious.

Five months after Hamas, the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic terrorist organization dedicated to the violent destruction of Israel, perpetrated the biggest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, Israel is fighting not just Hamas, but for its survival.

Although media coverage may not depict the full story, Hamas is just one tentacle of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which arms, funds and trains Hamas, alongside other jihadist groups like Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, and Ansar Allah, commonly known as the Houthi movement, based in Yemen.

Hezbollah, for its part, has an estimated 150,000 rockets, many of which are precision-guided missiles, pointed at Israel, and the group’s targets are not limited to Israel. Hezbollah has carried out deadly attacks in Lebanon, killing hundreds of American soldiers, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Despite the genocidal threat faced by Iran and its proxies, Israel has achieved a lower proportion of civilians killed in war than virtually any other combatant in memory, a fact that rarely, if ever, receives mention in the news media.

As for the Gazans holding empty bowls, there are currently more food trucks entering Gaza on a daily basis now than before October 7, when Hamas carried out its unprovoked attack on Israel. If there is starvation in Gaza, it is not because there is a shortage of food entering the coastal territory; it is because supplies are subsequently being stolen by Hamas, redirected from the people and towards Hamas fighters. Once again, this detail is widely ignored in media coverage of the ongoing war.

The Russo-Ukrainian War, now in its third year, has been exploited by anti-Israel detractors, eager to jump onto any bandwagon in their goal to demonize Israel in every available arena. Anti-Israel activists have sought to draw a parallel between Ukraine and Palestinians, but this is entirely false, ignoring and whitewashing the deadly threat posed by genocidal Palestinian terrorist groups seeking the violent destruction of Israel.

The March 21 editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay published in The Hamilton Spectator and The Waterloo Record, is a no-holds barred assault on the truth, showing little respect for the reality faced by Israel and instead putting ideology ahead of facts.

HonestReporting Canada has filed a complaint directly with both publications and we encourage you to call on these Torstar papers to apologize for publishing an editorial cartoon depicting Israel as committing state-sponsored terrorism against innocent Palestinian civilians. Send emails to: letters@thespec.com and letters@therecord.com.

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