If there is something that journalists know what to do is insulting people. The good journalists know how to avoid that, including using racist terms, personal attacks and denigration of individuals. The bad journalists usually do not care about insulting people, thus contravening the professional ethics. The worse journalists, a group in which sometimes experts of this profession are found, hurt people voluntarily. And of these people, no one can offend so many people at once as a cartoonist.
In terms of potential for destruction, few journalistic elements could be compared to a poisonous cartoon. The fact that the anti-Semitist cartoons of the Nazi Stürmer still circulate in the Internet, 70 years after its creation, is an evidence of how powerful cartoons are. Over the last few years, a new form of anti-Semitist cartoons has started to circulate in Europe. But in our case in question, Semitists are not Jewish. The Danish drawings featuring the prophet Mohammed have roughly the same message: most of the Muslims are Arabs and the majority of Arabs are potential bombers.
This message is obscene and racist. It insults the faith of roughly one out of ten people worldwide. It profanes freedom of speech to turn it into the freedom to feed hatred. As a consequence, many rabbis have expressed their indignation about these cartoons. However, when issues regarding freedom of speech are debated, many Muslim commentators have not been able to avoid making reference against the Jewish. “It has been found in the West that the limits of moral tolerance vary and are not applied equally in different groups”, indicated the Pan Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. “If the Danish cartoons had featured a Jewish rabbi, they would have never been published”.
It is true that in the Middle East everybody promotes hatred against us. We, the Israelis, do the same thing in our country as our Muslim cousins do in their countries. But this issue regarding the cartoons has taught us a lesson: fire cannot be fought with phosphorous bombs. The insult of a newspaper burning the flag of its country cannot be erased, thus profaning the symbol of an entire people. It cannot be restored the honor of Islam and that of its prophet waving–as in London– banners calling for the massacre of those who make fun of Islam and wear kamikaze costumes.
It is fair and appropriate to point out the responsible for all of this, but holding a whole group responsible for the actions of a small number of people has a name: racism. The fact of being victim of racism does not immunize against this virus. On my part, I condemn the newspaper Die Welt, of Berlin, for having published these ignoble cartoons although I agree with the text attached to the cartoons: “We would attach more importance to Muslim criticisms if they were not so hypocritical. The imams did not say anything when the Syrian television, at prime time, presented the rabbis as blood-drinking cannibals.”

Ha&8217;aretz (Israel)
Reference newspaper for the Israeli intellectual left wing. Property of Schocken family. Circulation: 75 000 copies.

The New Anti-Semitism, cartoon division”, by Bradley Burston, Ha’aretz, February 6, 2006.