Mu­nich honors an­ti­semitic car­toon­ist who trashed PM

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By BEN­JAMIN WEINTHAL

Mu­nich is slated to present an award to the al­leged an­ti­semitic car­toon­ist Di­eter Han­itzsch in Jan­uary, who was sacked last May for stok­ing ha­tred of the Jewish state in a Nazi-like way.

The Mu­nich-based news­pa­per Süd­deutsche Zeitung’s ed­i­torin-chief Wolf­gang Kach said the car­toon used “an­ti­semitic cliches” when it showed Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu in the at­tire of Is­raeli Euro­vi­sion en­trant Netta Barzi­lai, who won the 2018 con­test. He said that pub­lish­ing the car­toon in the May 15 is­sue of the daily was a mis­take and he apol­o­gized to read­ers.

As a re­sult, the coun­try’s largest broad­sheet dis­missed the car­toon­ist last May.

A who’s who of Mu­nich’s po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural elites will honor Han­itzsch in Jan­uary, in­clud­ing Chris­tian Ude, who served as Mu­nich’s so­cial demo­cratic mayor from 1993 to 2014, and who will de­liver a speech prais­ing Han­itzsch. The 85-year-old car­toon­ist will be awarded the Ernst Hoferichter Prize for “com­bin­ing orig­i­nal­ity with world open­ness and hu­mor.” The prize amount is 5,000 eu­ros.

The car­toon by Han­itzsch shows Ne­tanyahu cel­e­brat­ing on the Euro­vi­sion song stage in Netta’s at­tire while hold­ing a mis­sile with a Star of David im­posed on it. He is de­picted singing with a speech bub­ble that says, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Felix Klein, the Ger­man fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s com­mis­sioner charged with com­bat­ing an­tisemitism, told the mass-cir­cu­la­tion Bild at the time that “here, asso­ciations are re­vived with the in­tol­er­a­ble car­toons of Na­tional So­cial­ist pro­pa­ganda.”

The car­toon de­picts Ne­tanyahu in mil­i­tary boots and be­hind him on the stage, the words “Euro­vi­sion song con­test.” The car­toon­ist re­placed the “v” in “Euro­vi­sion” with a Star of David.

Han­itzsch’s use of the Star of David to ridicule Is­rael’s self-de­fense mea­sures against Ha­mas-en­gi­neered at­tempts to en­ter Is­raeli ter­ri­tory sparked wide­spread out­rage on so­cial me­dia at the time. Crit­ics also say that the draw­ing con­jures the Nazi an­ti­semitic ac­cu­sa­tion that Jews are war­mon­ger­ing.

On the web­site of the city of Mu­nich, a posted state­ment from the Ernst Hoferichter Prize foun­da­tion jury states that Han­itzsch has mas­tered car­toon il­lus­tra­tions: “Quite ex­cel­lent... which (al­most) ev­ery­one ap­pre­ci­ates in this coun­try.”

The or­ga­ni­za­tion Mu­nich Ci­ti­zens against An­tisemitism and Ha­tred of Is­rael launched a let­ter cam­paign on Jan­uary 5 to re­scind the award to Han­itzsch. The let­ter took so­cial demo­cratic politi­cians to task for hypocrisy.

“And it is even more ir­ri­tat­ing when such politi­cians make im­pres­sive speeches against an­tisemitism at of­fi­cial events, such as on Novem­ber 9, but now par­tic­i­pate in this award cer­e­mony,” said the group. Novem­ber 9 is the date that Ger­mans com­mem­o­rate the Nazi state-spon­sored pogroms against Ger­man Jews in 1938.

The Frank­furt-based Anne Frank Ed­u­ca­tional Cen­ter termed the car­toon as “Is­rael-re­lated an­tisemitism” on its Twit­ter feed in 2018.

The car­toon­ist said he wanted to crit­i­cize Ne­tanyahu’s ex­ploita­tion of the Euro­vi­sion con­test for his own pur­poses and ac­cused Ne­tanyahu of abus­ing the singer’s vic­tory.

Han­itzsch told Ger­man on­line news provider t-on­line. de that he had been treated un­fairly. He said the news­pa­per’s edi­tors had ap­proved a draft he sub­mit­ted be­fore they com­mis­sioned the car­toon, and then wel­comed the fi­nal prod­uct.


CAR­TOON SHOWS Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu in Netta Barzi­lai’s at­tire from the Euro­vi­sion song con­test, while hold­ing a mis­sile which has a Star of David im­posed on it.

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