Age bans cartoon critical of Israel

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BY BUSTER SOUTHERLY

ABC TV's Media Watch on May 6 revealed that the Melbourne Age refused to publish a cartoon drawn by Michael Leunig that was critical of Israel's war against the Palestinians.

The first panel of the cartoon shows a Jewish person gazing at a concentration camp emblazoned with the great lie of the Nazi's death camps: "work brings freedom". The second panel shows an Israeli soldier in 2002 confronting what Leunig sees as Israel's great lie: "War brings peace".

The Age's editor Michael Gawenda told Media Watch that he did not run the cartoon because, "I think it's just inappropriate. Anyone seeing that cartoon would think it inappropriate". Gawenda said it went "beyond the limits" he sets for discussion of the Middle East.

"Michael Gawenda just didn't get it", Leunig told Media Watch. "I think the drawing is sympathetic to all Jews who ever suffered but sympathy is not always expressed with sugar."

The banned cartoon has been posted on the Media Watch web site at <http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/stories/popups/060502_s5f1.htm>.

From Green Left Weekly, May 15, 2002.
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