It was “launched” due to a very scathing cartoon about Benjamin Netanyahu following Israel’s retaliation against the Palestinian Gaza Strip in response to the deadly Hamas attack on October 7. This is what happened in the United Kingdom to Steve Bell, the 72-year-old historic pen of The Guardian, according to what he himself denounces: accusing the progressive British newspaper of actually firing him on the basis of a “false” suspicion of “anti-Semitism.”
The Guardian denies this, claiming that Bale’s contract had in fact “expired” after “40 years of work” and highly regarded publications. But the content does not change in the interpretation of other newspapers on the island, which have paid great attention to the event since the weekend.
The cartoon depicts the Israeli Prime Minister wearing boxing gloves, drawing a map of Gaza on his stomach and ordering the besieged residents of the Strip to leave “now”: a formula reminiscent of the “seconds out” of boxing.
The cartoon has been criticized in recent days in particular by political representatives of the Conservative Party, who in the past have raised doubts about some of Bell’s cartoons, particularly relating to Israel, which raise alleged anti-Semitic overtones; While there are those who interpreted the features attributed to Netanyahu, starting with the features of the nose, as a subconscious reference to William Shakespeare’s novel The Merchant of Venice and the anti-Jewish prejudices of the time.
This is an accusation that the cartoonist categorically rejected, describing it as “false” and baseless in its subject matter. Noting that a reference in any way to The Merchant of Venice would have been beside the point, specifying that it was instead inspired by a popular American cartoon denouncing the war in Vietnam: in which then-President Lyndon Johnson was depicted wearing Asian gloves and clothing. A map of the country is drawn on it.
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