Father of WTC Victim Blasts Haaretz Over Cartoon Showing Netanyahu as 9/11 Terrorist
The father of a young New Yorker who was murdered during the September 11, 2001 terrorist atrocity at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan has sharply criticized the Israeli newspaper Haaretz for a cartoon published today that displays the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, piloting a plane marked with the word “Israel” into a skyscraper flying the American flag.
Roman Gertsberg, whose 25 year-old daughter Marina was inside the World Trade Center complex when Al Qaeda terrorists crashed two planes into the twin towers, told The Algemeiner, “If this cartoon shows that Israel flies the plane into the World Trade Center, then it is the most ridiculous display I’ve ever seen. Nobody in their right mind should associate Israel with flying a plane into the WTC . It it very offensive to 9/11 families to distort the historical events of that tragic day in order to bring attention to one political statement or another.”
Gertsberg emphasized: “We know who the perpetrators were – Al Qaeda and all their supporters.”
The cartoon, by resident Haaretz artist Amos Biderman, has drawn an angry response since being posted online this morning. Many critics expressed surprise and dismay that an Israeli newspaper would fuel the myth that Israel had a role in the 9/11 atrocity, a favored theme of the so-called “9/11 Truth” movement.
One commenter on the Haaretz website said: “It’s simply unbelievable that you don’t have any shame in comparing Netanyahu to the mass murderers of 9/11.” Another added: “You’re allowed to incite against the sitting prime minister in a much worse way than there was before the assassination of [prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin.”
The cartoon’s publication comes during a week when Israeli-US relations have hit rock bottom, following the revelations by Atlantic journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that anonymous Obama Administration officials described Netanyahu as a “chickenshit” and a “coward.”
Anne Herzberg, a legal advisor to the Jerusalem-based organization NGO Monitor, told The Blaze: “Haaretz is well-known for its extreme antagonism towards the Netanyahu government, but that does not excuse unprofessional editorial decisions.”
“It appears that the cartoon is a play on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories blaming ‘Zionists’ for 9/11, equating Bibi [Netanyahu] to Al Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers, responsible for the murder of more than 3,000 innocent people,” Herzberg said.
Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement: “Not only does [the cartoon] completely misrepresent any tensions which may current exist between the U.S. government and Mr. Netanyahu, it disrespects the memories of thousands of innocent Americans and others who tragically perished on 9/11, and the deep pain and trauma caused by the horrific attacks.”
One London-based Israeli artist turned the tables on Haaretz by revising the offending image. Orit Ko’s widely tweeted image shows a plane marked with the Hebrew for “Haaretz” flying into a skyscraper bearing the Israeli flag.
Biderman, the artist behind the Haaretz cartoon, has jumped to the defense of the image, saying, ‘The message is that Bibi is arrogantly and wantonly destroying Israel’s ties with the U.S. and leading us to a disaster on the scale of 9/11.”
Biderman added: “It was certainly not my intention to insult or upset anyone. I wasn’t sufficiently aware of the great sensitivity that 9/11 holds for Americans.”