The Israeli Embassy in Norway has in the last few days strongly protested a widely-distributed Norwegian newspaper’s decision to publish a short comic strip that compared Israel to Nazi Germany and North Korea and referred to it as a nation of murderers.
The leftmost panel of the strip, published in Dagbladet, shows a character standing in front of an organic food store. “Organic food, huh?” says the text. “But what’s the point if the food is produced unethically?”
The next panel shows a woman holding an orange and saying: “These oranges are from Israel. You are supporting murderers.”
She is then seen holding a box sand saying: “This macaroni was manufactured in North Korea? How did you even get this?”
In the final strip, the character holds a frozen pizza box marked with a swastika, with a “Made in Nazi Germany” label, and the character says: “And this pizza is from N… what is this store, anyway??”
The newspaper’s editor refused to apologize, saying it was “only a cartoon” and that the Israeli reaction was overblown.
The Israeli embassy complained that the comic suggests that purchasing Israeli goods means the customer supports murderers. The embassy also argued that the comic was dangerous, as it could “lead certain people to commit violent acts”.
“There is a fine line between freedom of speech and hate speech,” said the embassy in its complaint, “and this cartoon crossed that line.”