Hamas has been forced to apologize for a graphic cartoon depicting a Jew "raping" the "West Bank" (Judea and Samaria) – because it offended Arabs in the area.
The cartoon, which was highlighted and translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) incitement watchdog, once again underlined the ongoing culture of incitement within the Palestinian media, as well as the prevalence of anti-Semitism among Palestinian Arabs.
But it also highlights the ongoing tension between the rival Islamist Hamas and Arab-nationalist Fatah, who have been at loggerheads since Fatah's ouster from Gaza by Hamas in 2007.
The image, seen above, depicts a long-nosed Jew wearing black clothing raping an Arab woman wearing a yellow dress – the color of Fatah, which rules Judea-Samaria via the Palestinian Authority – while simultaneously shooting her young children. The woman is labeled "West Bank".
Next to the scene are two men; one, a member of the PA security forces, stands next to a sign saying "West Bank [Palestinian] Authority," smoking a cigar and ignoring the rape and murder. The other man – whose face is masked by a keffiyeh, stands behind a barbed wire fence next to a sign reading "Gaza", and is standing on a blood-drenched Israel army helmet. The man in Gaza is shouting to the woman "West Bank, get up and defend your honor and your children!" who responds "Yes, I would like to, but I have no permit."
The vulgar anti-Semitic cartoon was posted onto Hamas's Twitter account, and triggered an almost immediate outrage – not for its anti-Semitism, but for being perceived as an insult to Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria.
It was drawn by Palestinian cartoonist Baha Yassin, who regularly glorifies terrorism and other forms of violence against Jews in his graphic, often bloody caricatures.
Both Hamas and Yassin apologized for the cartoon and removed it from their social media pages.
Yassin also replaced the cartoon on his Facebook page with a second cartoon, which appears to be the next "scene" to the previous one.
In it, the "Jew" lies dead with stab wound in his back, while his killer, a woman labeled "West Bank" – but dressed in Hamas's color, green – towers over him, brandishing a knife dripping with blood. The knife-wielding woman is seen rebuking another woman, dressed in Fatah's colors, who is renamed "[Palestinian] Authority," telling her: "I will attain what my children deserve and what you deserve, [Palestinian] Authority of shame."
The police post is labeled "Security Cooperation Position," and a line of text accompanying the cartoon says "This is the West Bank that I know."
According to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi, widespread anger on social media "caused the Ministry of Interior in Gaza – run by the Hamas movement – to announce that it intends to 'take legal action against this caricaturist, who harms our people, its culture, its resistance, and its struggle.'"
Hamas's official Al-Risala website disassociated itself from cartoonist Yassin, while pan-Arab Al-Hayat Al-Jadida said the "Palestinian journalists' union expressed dismay" over the caricature, which it said "very severely harmed the holy sites of our people, its unity, and its symbols."
Unsurprisingly, both cartoon's blatant anti-Semitism went totally unremarked upon.
Such anti-Semitic caricatures and stereotypes are a staple feature of Palestinian Arab media, as PMW has regularly highlighted.