German city honours antisemitic cartoonist

The city of Munich is to present an award to the alleged antisemitic cartoonist Dieter Hanitzsch in January, who was sacked last May for stoking hatred of the Jewish state.

The Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung’s editor-in-chief Wolfgang Kach said the cartoon used “antisemitic cliches” when it showed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the attire of Israeli Eurovision entrant Netta Barzilai, who won the 2018 contest. He said that publishing the cartoon in the May 15 issue of the daily was a mistake and he apologised to readers.

As a result, the country’s largest broadsheet dismissed the cartoonist last May.

A who’s who of Munich’s political and cultural elites will honour Hanitzsch in January, including Christian Ude, who served as Munich’s social democratic mayor from 1993 to 2014, and who will deliver a speech praising Hanitzsch. The 85-year-old cartoonist will be awarded the Ernst Hoferichter Prize for “combining originality with world openness and humour.” The prize amount is 5,000 euros.

The cartoon by Hanitzsch shows Netanyahu celebrating on the Eurovision song stage in Netta’s attire while holding a missile with a Star of David imposed on it. He is depicted singing with a speech bubble that says, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Felix Klein, the German federal government’s commissioner charged with combating antisemitism, told the mass-circulation Bild at the time that “here, associations are revived with the intolerable cartoons of National Socialist propaganda.”

The cartoon depicts Netanyahu in military boots and behind him on the stage, the words “Eurovision song contest.” The cartoonist replaced the “v” in “Eurovision” with a Star of David.


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