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August 7, 2015 5:11 pm

Jewish Groups Say Cartoon Could ‘Stimulate Renewed Violent Attacks Against French Jews’

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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French cartoonist Plantu posted this drawing on his Facebook page. Photo:  SWC.

French cartoonist Plantu posted this drawing on his Facebook page. Photo: SWC.

Two Jewish groups on Friday blasted French cartoonist Plantu after he published a drawing on Facebook which they said may incite further violence against the French Jewish community.

Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director for International Relations, and Sammy Ghozlan, director of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) in France, criticized “the continual provocations” of the artist, “whose notorious attacks on Orthodox Jews and Israelis have crossed a new threshold.”

Ghozlan said that Plantu “abuses the French constitutional right to freedom of expression” and that “what he calls anti-Zionism has an inevitable stimulus on French antisemitic jihadists to renew violent attacks on French Jews.”

Plantu, a political cartoonist for the French publication Le Monde, posted the image on Sunday. It depicts an Israeli soldier shooting at Palestinian civilians while a bearded stereotypical religious Jew stands behind him saying, “Look! Shoot faster! I am in a rush to move in.” The Jewish figure is holding a suitcase tagged “New Colonies.” Plantu captioned the image, “Israeli settlements.”

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Samuels also called on Le Monde‘s Director Jérôme Fenoglio to reconsider the publication’s relationship with the artist and insist he make a public apology for his “offence to the Jewish People.” Failing to do so may result in Le Monde being viewed as co-responsible for any attacks against Jews that are inspired by Plantu’s “provocations,” Samuels continued.

After the infamous massacre in January at the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo in Paris, Plantu was given a three-man security detail for protection. Samuels argued that the measures were unnecessary, saying, “In light of his constant support of Palestinian delegitimization of Israel, he has bought himself a lifetime insurance against any jihadist attack. ”

The French cartoonist was invited last February to Israel as a speaker at the Holon International Caricaturist Exhibition. Samuels said he was shocked by the invitation in light of Plantu’s “ideological hostility to Israel,” and urged exhibition organizers to blacklist him from future events.

Antisemitic attacks have been a growing trend in France, and Europe as a whole. Following the Charlie Hebdo attack in January, an Islamist gunman seized a Kosher supermarket in Paris and killed four Jewish hostages. Just a few weeks later, a security guard was killed in Copenhagen when a lone gunman opened fire in front of the city’s Great Synagogue.

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  • Nibs

    “Antisemitic attacks have been a growing trend in France, and Europe as a whole. ”

    This is quite simply FALSE.

    As for the rest of the article, what happened to:

    JE SUIS CHARLIE ???

    Double standards, as always with Israel.

    • Joseph Feld

      Judging by the number of French Jews moving to London and Israel, the situation has continued to worsen. The ones I meet in London say there is no comparison between a civilised city like London and the Islamist influence in Paris. Paris is losing well educated, talented and hard-working people because of Islamist violence.

  • Lauren Goldman

    France, which would just a soon be ‘Juis’-free. Yes, there are demonstrations when something like Charlie Hebdo happens, but the daily reality is that being identified as a Jew can have catastrophic, if not fatal, consequences. The French government offers to have security forces at Jewish buildings and properties, but the attacks are taking place on the street against individuals, in broad daylight, and the cost of even the current protective forces will become prohibitive and that level of safety will evaporate. I could not live in that atmosphere of tension, never knowing if or when I could be assaulted. My mother visited Paris about 15 years ago but, sadly, I will never set foot in Europistan. Should anyone be attacked and it can be proven that Planu’s cartoons were the impetus which inspired it, he should be prosecuted for incitement to violence and conspiracy.

  • This man clearly knows that his drawing will promote anti-Semitism and violence wherever it is seen, he’s drawn it for that purpose. There must be a legal precedent set which holds these people accountable should anything untoward happen to either the Jewish population or their businesses… and it needs to be harsh enough to dissuade so called copycats or imbeciles- whichever take your pick!

  • Pamela Geller thinks that cartoonists have every right to their trade without concern of inciting violence. It is the violent person who is in the wrong according to Pamela.

    Even if people are going to die because of it – the cartoonist should be supported – according to Pamela Geller.

    I happen to disagree with her.

  • Julian Clovelley

    The cartoon is offensive but the settlements aren’t?

    Huh?

    • Joseph Feld

      Although the media have their slants, Israel has tended to support those settlements that Bush referred to as ‘facts on the ground’. ‘Illegal’ settlements have been torn down without much fanfare. The West Bank of the Jordan River is the heartland of Biblical Israel and most Jews expected the Jewish national home set out in the League of Nations Mandate to include the West Bank, while 77% was given to create the Arab Kingdom of Jordan on the East Bank. There is no place on earth more deeply Jewish than Jerusalem, followed by Hebron [Cave of the Patriarchs] and Bethlehem [Tomb of Rachel, City of King David].

  • Daniel

    So… Cartoons against mohammed result in muslim violence, and cartoons against the jews also result in mulim violence.
    There’s something wrong here, and it has nothing to do with the cartoons.

  • Paul Grad

    French Jews should be allowed to own Uzis, since the government can’t or isn’t willing to protect their lives, and the Israeli Army should supply them and training. In America, Jews can own guns, but not in Europe.

  • Hillel

    What do you really expect from Europeans. Jew hatred is in their mitcondria even if they risk Islamic annihilation. Like having a good beer, belching and sprawling out in sheer ecstasy.

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