(November 11, 2019 / JNS) The Center for the Study of the Middle East (CSME) at Indiana University Bloomington has issued an apology for featuring in its newsletter a flier consisting of an anti-Semitic cartoon.
“The cartoon featured the Republican and Democratic party symbols with the Israeli flag on their sleeve, seizing someone affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” reported The Indiana Daily Student.
The image, created by anti-Semitic Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, was on a flier for an event titled “Suppression of Free Speech on Palestinian Human Rights at IU and Beyond,” organized by the Palestine Solidarity Committee, which isn’t connected to CSME.
“We selected the image to include in the flier because we thought it accurately depicted both parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, their uncritical support for the State of Israel, as well as their shared antagonism towards the BDS movement,” said PSC president Bryce Greene.
CSME director Feisal al-Istrabadi apologized in an email to faculty, students and friends of CSME for circulating the flier, saying that the image wasn’t detected by his staff before sending out the newsletter. He said the cartoon in the newsletter was caught by a colleague.
“The context of the image is wrong for a center such as mine to be publishing,” said al-Istrabadi. “If I had seen it before it went out, it would never have gone out.”
“The image looks very much like a long line of anti-Semitic cartoons that have a long and unfortunate history in this country,” he added.
Greene told the Daily Student that he apologized for the image, even though he believed it’s not anti-Semitic.
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