jihad al khazin » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘jihad al khazin’
January 15, 2014 2

Ariel Sharon in the Middle East Media: Reviled In Death As In Life

Just as for­mer Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ariel Sharon was demo­nized in the Arab and Mus­lim media through­out his life, so it is fol­low­ing his death.  Fol­low­ing Sharon’s death on Jan­u­ary 11, news­pa­pers and web­sites across the Mid­dle East were flooded with arti­cles, opin­ion pieces and car­toons depict­ing him as a “killer,” “butcher,” “ter­ror­ist,” and “war criminal.”

In their look back at Sharon’s life, most opin­ion writ­ers have focused on what they con­sider to be his direct respon­si­bil­ity for the 1982 Sabra and Shatila mas­sacre in Lebanon. Oth­ers have accused him of being respon­si­ble for the US-led war in Iraq and for mas­ter­mind­ing an alleged assas­si­na­tion of Yasser Arafat.

Jihad Al-Khazin wrote in the London-based Al-Hayat, “….I hear he died and I hear that he is about to die, and I say ‘God, don’t send him back.’ He paid the price of his crimes on earth, and when he leaves he will be fire­wood for hell.”

Iron­i­cally, while the view from the street and the media is uni­formly neg­a­tive, many Arab lead­ers — qui­etly – are said to have had great respect for Sharon. While they may have dis­agreed with his poli­cies, many have said that they trusted his cred­i­bil­ity and viewed him as a leader who would always stand by his word.

Per­haps more than other Israeli leader, Sharon was vil­i­fied in the Arab media through­out his life. While op-eds fre­quently assigned to Sharon the worst human attrib­utes, it was through the more visual — and vis­ceral – edi­to­r­ial car­toons where the for­mer Prime Min­is­ter was por­trayed as a demonic fig­ure that was the embod­i­ment of human evil.

As high­lighted in ADL’s 2010 pub­li­ca­tion, Per­son­al­iz­ing the Con­flict: A Decade of Assault on Israel’s Pre­miers in the Arab Media, depic­tions of Sharon in car­toons included rivers of blood, images of the angel of death, var­i­ous mon­sters and ani­mals with demonic fea­tures, Nazi com­par­isons, and clas­si­cal anti-Semitic themes like alle­ga­tions of blood libels.

A favorite car­i­ca­ture of Sharon was of him eat­ing Pales­tin­ian chil­dren, drink­ing their blood and slaugh­ter­ing them.  Even fol­low­ing Sharon’s debil­i­tat­ing stroke in Jan­u­ary 2006, Arab news­pa­pers por­trayed him on his sick bed, intim­i­dat­ing the angel of death, who is afraid to take him.

After his death, the car­toons appear­ing in the Arab and Iran­ian media repeat these long-time images of Sharon as a devil, now eagerly awaited in hell.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,