Cartoonist Vasco Gargalo targeted by threats and criticism for cartoon about Israel
Portuguese cartoonist Vasco Gargalo told the Portuguese news agency Lusa that he had received death threats, as well as accusations of anti-Semitism, because of a cartoon published in November, and stressed that he will continue to fight for freedom of expression.
"It is another sign that the Jewish community cannot be criticized. Every time this happens [it is] immediately accused of anti-Semitic.
It is a persecution to annihilate my work", lamented the cartoonist.
At stake is a cartoon, entitled "Crematorium", which Vasco Gargalo published 'online' on the Cartoon Movement platform on November 15, 2019 and which he republished last week, in a commentary on the peace plan for the Middle East presented by the States United.
The cartoon, which alludes to the Holocaust, shows the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pushing a coffin, covered with the Palestinian flag, to a crematorium where "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("Work liberates") is inscribed , replicating the phrase at the entrance to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz.
"It is my view on this attack. When I did the cartoon I knew it was strong, that I was going to touch on the issue of the victims of the Holocaust, but in fact I do not add anything to what I see. It is a comparison I made of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", said Vasco Gargalo.
The cartoonist talks about death threats and injuries, from people in the Jewish community in Portugal and abroad, about "enormous pressure on the media".