A Guest Post by AKUS
Bill Clinton worked tirelessly trying to bring a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Hilary Clinton may go down as one of the most successful and influential Secretaries of State the US has known and has also worked hard – and as fruitlessly – to try to bring some closure to that conflict. Their daughter is married to a Jewish man, son of friends of theirs.
But this week, they and the branch of the US administration that Hillary heads have failed the Jewish community in the UK, and, indeed, around the world.
When some Muslims rioted across the world following the 2005 publication (in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten) of Mohammed cartoons, Bill Clinton was swift to respond, and absurdly compared cartoons depicting Mohammed to deadly anti-Semitic cartoons depicting Jews:
DOHA (AFP) – Former US president Bill Clinton warned of rising anti-Islamic prejudice, comparing it to historic anti-Semitism as he condemned the publishing of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper.
“So now what are we going to do? … Replace the anti-Semitic prejudice with anti-Islamic prejudice?” he said at an economic conference in the Qatari capital of Doha.
“In Europe, most of the struggles we’ve had in the past 50 years have been to fight prejudices against Jews, to fight against anti-Semitism,” he said.
Clinton described as “appalling” the 12 cartoons published in a Danish newspaper in September depicting Prophet Mohammed and causing uproar in the Muslim world.
“None of us are totally free of stereotypes about people of different races, different ethnic groups, and different religions … there was this appalling example in northern Europe, in Denmark … these totally outrageous cartoons against Islam,” he said.
The (George W. Bush-era) State Department also weighed in on the Europeans’ cartoon controversy. It too hastened to reference anti-Semitism and claimed equivalence with the horrendously anti-Semitic cartoons that appear daily in Arab media:
The Muslim world erupted in anger on Friday over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in Europe while the Bush administration offered the protesters support, saying of the cartoons, ”We find them offensive, and we certainly understand why Muslims would find these images offensive.”
… The State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, reading the government’s statement on the controversy, said, ”Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images,” which are routinely published in the Arab press, ”as anti-Christian images, or any other religious belief.”
Still, the United States defended the right of the Danish and French newspapers to publish the cartoons. ”We vigorously defend the right of individuals to express points of view,” Mr. McCormack added.
When some Muslims rioted over a film made by an Egyptian born Copt living in America that mocked Islam, Hillary Clinton showed understanding for their anger:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday called the film that helped provoke protestors to riot “disgusting and reprehensible.”
“Let me state very clearly — and I hope it is obvious — The United States government had nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message,” Clinton said in a statement at a State Department.
Clinton said that the video’s intended purpose seemed to be inciting violence.
So now I ask – where is the condemnation from either Bill or Hillary Clinton or the US State Department that Hillary heads over the rabidly anti-Semitic cartoon that appeared in the UK’s Sunday Times on no other day than Holocaust Memorial Day?
Even if we agree that the concept of freedom of speech means that Scarfe can create and the Sunday Times publish anti-Semitism, why has Bill not found time to say something like this?
“None of us are totally free of stereotypes about people of different races, different ethnic groups, and different religions … there was this appalling example in Europe, in Great Britain … this totally outrageous cartoon directed at the Jewish people.”
Why hasn’t the State Department’s issued a statement with criticism such as this?
”We find the Sunday Times cartoon offensive, and we certainly understand why Jews would find these images offensive … anti-Semitic images are unacceptable.”
Why has Hillary not found the time to “absolutely reject” Scarfe’s cartoon as “disgusting and reprehensible … with the intent of inciting violence”?
Hillary – if it takes a village to raise a child properly, what does it take in our global village to get your attention to the increasing anti-Semitism that has become such a staple of European media and as weighty a condemnation of this “typically robust cartoon” by Gerald Scarfe” as Bill, you, and the State Department have found for other cartoons and a poorly made and initially widely ignored film promo?
- Outrage over a cartoon…and yet no one died (cifwatch.com)