The Jewish Chronicle

Steve Bell ‘trope’ cartoon rejection rant


IN AN email to all the paper’s journalist­s, Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell has attacked his editors’ refusal to run his latest cartoon, suggesting it is due to “some mysterious editorial line” about antisemiti­sm.

In the latest submission by Mr Bell, whose cartoons have appeared in the paper since 1981, Labour deputy leader Tom Watson is depicted as an “antisemite finder general” for being critical of Jew-hate in the party.

The cartoon depicts Mr Watson encounteri­ng Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and calling him an “antisemiti­c trope”.

Mr Netanyahu replies: “You! Put your hands in the air!”

“After our bizarre telephone conversati­on yesterday, I feared you might not publish today’s strip,” Mr Bell wrote to an editor, copying in every journalist The cartoon created by Bell, whose rejection by Guardian editors he blamed on a ‘mysterious editorial line’

on the paper. You said the ‘lawyers are concerned’ but about what?

“It’s not antisemiti­c nor is it libellous...

“I suspect the real cause is it contravene­s

some mysterious editorial line that has been drawn around the subject of antisemiti­sm and the infernal subject of antisemiti­c tropes.

“In some ways this is even more

worrying than the specious charges of antisemiti­sm. Does the Guardian no longer tolerate content that runs counter to its editorial line?”

It not the first time Mr Bell has emailed all Guardian journalist­s to complain about allegation­s of antisemiti­sm.

Last June, said he felt “unfairly traduced and censored” after the paper would not run his cartoon of Theresa May meeting Benjamin Netanyahu while Palestinia­n Razan al-Najjar, who had been shot and killed by an Israeli soldier, burned in the fireplace behind.

He accused Guardian editor Kath Viner of not speaking to him because she “did not really have an argument” for spiking the cartoon.

In November 2012, his cartoon that depicted Mr Netanyahu as a puppeteer prompted many complaints to the press regulator.

‘Does the

not tolerate content that counters its editorial line?’


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