Another Tack: Krake Zuckerberg

 Krake Zuckerberg (Octopus Zuckerberg): its distinctive face makes sure that we don’t lose sight of Zuckerberg’s Jewishness.

Krake Zuckerberg (Octopus Zuckerberg): its distinctive face makes sure that we don’t lose sight of Zuckerberg’s Jewishness.

Most German publications no longer even pretend any wariness about coming off as anti-Jewish. Gone are the days when Germans had to at least appear a tad more cautious than their fellow Europeans. The latter reverted quickly enough to their old Jew-baiting habits but the Germans have willy-nilly caught up.

A cogent example is being consistently provided by Munich’ s left-liberalSueddeutsche Zeitung, which also happens to be Germany’s largest broadsheet daily. It recently featured a cartoon lampooning Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg after his outfit had acquired WhatsApp. The idea was to show Zuckerberg as a voracious octopus that swallows up everything around it. The caption at the bottom left-hand corner of the cartoon clearly read “Krake Zuckerberg” (German for Octopus Zuckerberg.) Up to this point, it’s tolerable criticism.

But the octopus, as drawn by cartoonist Burkhard Mohr, was also given quite a distinctive face. Its function, presumably, was to make sure we don’t lose sight of the fact that young Zuckerberg – innovative enough to have given the world a social network which millions of Germans also use – is a Jew. To that end, Mohr portrayed him with a preposterous hook-nose and thick fish-lips – as per the freakish stereotype sinisterly ascribed to Jews by their tormentors.

The most glaring example was Julius Streicher’s Nazi-era Der Stürmer which surpassed all competitors in caricaturing Jews as hook-nosed spiteful grotesques. However, while Der Stürmer was the worst, it wasn’t alone. In fact, it’s still seemingly unobjectionable all over the globe to gratuitously picture Jews in Der Stürmer style.

The Arab world, beloved by ardent liberals, has long specialized in this genre of demonizing and degrading misrepresentations of Jews.

Even in sterling democracies, like Britain and the US, we routinely see much of the same.  It’s as if this is the stock depiction of the Jew and nothing else will drive home the identity of the targeted individual and/or group. A Jew can be as dashingly handsome as the late Moshe Dayan was, but still be portrayed as a repulsive Der Stürmer Jew – lest there be any misapprehension.

And so, a baby-face like Zuckerberg, who looks nothing like Mohr’s hideous ogre, must be given the mandatory hook nose so no one misses the message.

Herein lies the crux of the problem.

Why was it essential to emphasize Zuckerberg’s ethnicity? Why did Zuckerberg have to be lambasted as the generic Jew? Was it even vaguely germane to the issue at hand?

The cartoonist’s response was as clichéd as his portraiture. He expressed astonishment at the fuss kicked up. In an email to the Jerusalem Post he insisted that he “did not deal with Mr. Zuckerberg, [but] rather Facebook.” That, doubtless, is the impression both he and Sueddeutsche Zeitung had attempted to impart after having replaced the “Krake Zuckerberg” caption with “Krake Facebook.”

Next came a quasi-apology: “I’m very sorry about this misunderstanding and any readers’ feelings I may have hurt,” Mohr wrote, stressing that “Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies that are totally alien to me.” Sigh of relief! Our minds have been put at ease.

We would expect no less. Most contemporary anti-Semites assiduously and resentfully deny even latent anti-Semitism. If anything, the most common present-day pose of anti-Semites is that of champions of justice, of human rights, of the downtrodden.

Of course, the goose-stepping forebears of today’s Germans would have been just as likely to proclaim the same honorable sentiments. It’s all just a matter of whom one casts as the enemies of justice, rights and the downtrodden.

Now as then, it’s cool to call the miscreants Jews. But whereas in Streicher’s time it was abrasively in-your-face, today it’s underhanded – as per the exacting diktats of political correctness.

Thus Mohr feigns surprise at what’s intimated as our hysteria. It’s quite a stretch to believe that he couldn’t conceivably have realized that there is a smidge more than a faint resemblance between his art and Der Stürmer’s – unless Mohr is really a just-landed Martian.

But Mohr’s response isn’t the only disingenuous one. The newspaper which features his output is likewise serially surprised. It regrets what it habitually refers to as “misunderstandings.” Last July 2, it chose to accompany book reviews hostile to Israel with an illustration of a rapacious horned monster with overlarge fangs, ready to devour its grub.

The macabre illustration, lifted from a cookbook, had no remote connection to the topic. Nonetheless, the caption read: “Germany is serving. Israel has been given weapons for decades – and partly free of charge. Israel’s enemies think it is a ravenous Moloch.”

In this context the image was exploited, again Stürmer-style, to dehumanize the Jew and picture him as a fiendish parasite. There was no unavoidable necessity to juxtapose an unrelated graphic with the text, to say nothing of inserting the Moloch allusion.

A day later, the paper dismissed the hullaballoo as a “misunderstanding.” This word appears all the rage on the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

This is also the newspaper that in 2012 featured Günter Grass’s polemic poem accusing Israel of no less than seeking to exterminate 80 million Iranians.

The cumulative effect of these and numerous more such “misunderstandings” whips up an unfavorable public opinion. The upshot is that German opinion, with fast disappearing complexes vis-à-vis the Jewish state, is nowadays as antagonistic to Israel as is opinion in any European country.

The Germans had rid themselves of the discomfiture of coming out stridently against us. Not only did they not lose thereby, but they actually gained.

Notable mid-Twentieth Century scholars, who explored the enduring and mutating nature of anti-Semitism and anti-Semites, concluded that there’s a flush of empowerment in joining the dominant groupthink.

Distress arising from given disadvantages can be diluted by subscribing to prevailing prejudices against others. Moreover, the more vocal and aggressive the display of solidarity with whatever excites majority fervor, the more accepted or equal the dubious recruit to the cause feels.

This sense of empowerment, it was thought, accounted for certain manifestations of black anti-Semitism.

But it also explains a whole lot about the “New Germany.” That famous “Other Germany” now derives reinvigorated confidence from resonating Europe’s ever-amplified anti-Jewish theme.

To be sure, Germans hardly needed to convert to the anti-Semitism of others. They themselves coined the very term. Back in 1881 German agitator and publicist Wilhelm Marr popularized the pseudo-scientific sounding euphemism for what was straightforwardly till then known as judenhass (Jew-hatred).

Anti-Semitism’s poisonous seed flourished, not coincidentally, in Germany’s ultra-fertile soil. Not too long after Marr’s linguistic inventiveness, German anti-Semitism burgeoned into the Holocaust – history’s greatest-ever premeditated atrocity.

For the first years thereafter, Germans had to pose as penitents. They experienced far more angst about their blemished reputation than they harbored sincere remorse for the innocent souls they tortured, the blood they spilled and the future generations they obliterated. Their inner anti-Semite may have persisted but it was inadvisable to utter telltale hints to that effect.

The shifting shapes of anti-Semitism, though, liberated Germans from the moral burdens of the horrific plot to exterminate every single individual of Jewish lineage, down to compulsively hunting for every last hidden Jewish baby. Europe’s new anti-Semitism – the one pro forma directed solely against the Jewish state – made it possible to ditch self-serving postwar circumspection and be free to loath again with the rest of Europe.

This is deluxe loathing that draws its legitimacy from the mock denial of loathing.

Latter-day Judeophobes indignantly rebuff accusations of Judeophobia. To hear them, they aren’t touched by judenhass but preach against the sins they lustfully attribute to the Jewish state. They claim it isn’t an ancient bigotry that atavistically inflames them but the policies of the Jewish collective in Israel.

The Zuckerberg incident indisputably exposes the charade – he isn’t Israeli.

Yet the very fact that Germans now feel disembarrassed enough to broadcast their anti-Israelism as boldly as the rest of Europe, allows them to bask in smug ostensible righteousness. They thereby catapult themselves – in their own eyes obviously – onto the moral high-ground. They had dutifully performed the perfunctory breast-beating, learned to recite standard liberal banalities and, having invested all that effort, now feel spotless and irreproachable. Indeed they aren’t only vindicated, they are morally superior.

And so, the offspring of arch-murderers (and of greedy robbers, of heartless bureaucrats and of callous know-nothings) now haughtily chastise the offspring of the victims (both victims put to unspeakably cruel deaths and victims who survived through unspeakable suffering).

It’s a topsy-turvy world in which Germany can boastfully bond with the supercilious family of nations by having a go at the Jewish state. This in our day is the badge of enlightenment.

By lecturing Israel, Germany can recoup its credentials as a moral force in the world. The more it berates maliciously maligned Israel, the farther Germany flees from its dark shadows. Accentuating alleged Israeli lapses is good for Germany.

So when Martin Schultz, the German president of the European parliament, accuses Israel of withholding water from oppressed Palestinians, it matters diddley that he never checked his statistics and that his figures as well as his conclusions are dead wrong. The nature of mud-slinging is that, once slung, the filth sticks – especially if it’s aimed at hook-nosed demons that Europe can’t detest enough.

But Europe, not to forget, no longer approves of the word hate. Europeans don’t hate. Europeans sermonize with accomplished sanctimony. All Israelis need do is submit to Europe’s unerring wisdom. Otherwise it’s all our fault. Europeans after all, know what’s best for us and invariably know better than we do.  As Schultz averred, with the same affected innocence as Mohr, he is Israel’s best friend.

Such is the current friendship of all too many Germans – unwaveringly at the ready to look down their perfect (and ever so virtuous) noses at our existential hang-ups and ridicule our stereo-typically misshapen schnozzles.

We have come a long way since days when Der Stürmer molded German public opinion. But the Zuckerbergs – regardless of their actual character or achievements and with no relevant link to vilified Israel – are forever first and foremost perceived as Jews. As such, they therefore – regardless of their actual looks – must be accorded that requisite “Jewish nose” to set them apart from Europe’s beautiful people.


27 thoughts on “Another Tack: Krake Zuckerberg

  1. This is truly disturbing, and the analysis is spot-on. As Sarah points out, Zuckerberg is not Israeli, and these disingenuous “apologies” to the effect of “we are sorry if any individual’s misunderstanding based on their own faulty comprehension resulted in a baseless feeling of offense” add an extra coating of vileness to the whole scenario. The filth of mud-slinging does stick, and it is unconscionable for people in positions of authority to spew a skewed narrative devoid of accurate facts.
    The observation that the prevailing attitude is that “all Israelis need do is submit to Europe’s unerring wisdom” brings to mind the remark made by American tv personality Stephen Colbert upon hearing that the European Union had won the Nobel Peace Prize: “Congratulations, Europe, you gave yourself the Peace Prize…after all, it’s been 13 years since your last genocide.” This was accompanied by a picture of a sign saying “Welcome to Kosovo, 4860 Days Without An Ethnic Cleansing!”
    Dark days ahead.

  2. The pendulum of history teaches us that a leopard never changes it’s spots – excuse the cliches, with the exception of the left wing liberal “kumbaya”rabble within and without our ranks in Israel and the diaspora. The lid is being lifted and I fear that the Germans et al will agree to forget their transgressions against us and llow their natural antisemitism to declare itself in deed, word ad action.

    Excellent article Sarah

  3. Though I generally am sympathetic to what Sarah writes about, these words leave me empty. Sarah is painting a picture of Germans with a very broad brush. I realize that antisemitism is on the rise in Europe and worldwide really, yet it is not so bad as to assume an entire nation or continent is completely hate filled.
    I live in the USA and am a Christian. We are supposed to support be big supporters of Isreal but when I attempt to discuss or share subjects from your articles I am always shocked by the lack of any real concern shown. Though they may go to an”Isreal Night”to hear a speaker of some renown , they hold no concern large enough to desire a real life knowledge of what is really going on. I imagine this pathetic state of being is true for Europe as well.
    It is a sorry place we are at Sarah that most people do not think of themselves as anti Jewish, they are simply too busy, too lazy, too UNCONCERNED , to seek out the truth of what is reported as news in this world. Though I do not believe the majority of any nation is hate filled, I do believe they are lacking in simple caring.

  4. Nothing changes under heaven. The eternal Jew remains eternally hated, the virus of Jew-hatred mutating from time to time while always remaining as hardy and infectious as ever. We should not be surprised at Germans’ shameless disclosure of their hatred. This people traces its lineage to Edom, an ancient enemy of the Jewish people, and the visceral hatred felt throughout Germany for Jewry seems to have found its natural expression once again after many of its proponents laid low for a while. While this filthy virus emerging resurgent in Germany once again is eternal, so are we, the Jewish nation resurgent in our land, also eternal. May our land and our people only go from strength to strength. Netzach Yisrael lo Yishaker.
    Moshe (Melbourne)

    PS. Dear Sarah, a number of Honigs lived in Melbourne over the years. My late parents, who were dovrei Ivrit, spoke Hebrew to the late Mr Yehuda Honig, and my teacher at Bialik kindergarten in the late forties in Melbourne was Ms ( we called her g’veret ) Rena Honig who still lives in Melbourne. Are you mishpacha? May I say Kol Hakavod to you for your superb advocacy and work on behalf of Israel and Am Yisrael. We are all great fans of yours. May you continue in good health ad 120!
    Best wishes,

  5. Excellent article, Sarah.
    While we should be alert to the resurgence of anti-Semitism and do all we can to rebuff it, we should be aware that there are good people everywhere and be sure not to paint them with the same brush.

  6. A bear hug for You dear Sarah, you speak out of my own heart !
    Your description of the “new” Germans is right on target !
    Antisemitism seems to be a genetic disorder, rampant in Germany.
    Maybe it should be mentioned, how many of them can also be described as arrogant cowards.
    Those scumbags are only their own best friends.
    I just feel contempt for them.
    Talking about handsome Jews…what’s about Elizabeth Taylor or Paul Newman…oh well…
    By the way, I recently sent a pic of mine to a Jewish friend in Tel Aviv and she said, that I have a Jewish nose…I already thought so.

    • I understand your intentions, but the suggestion of a large nose in your comments indicates yet again a stereotypical perception.

      p.s. There are many nations who proboscises are larger – yet no one associates them with religion or race.

      • Dear Dr. David Uri,

        I understand your desire to whitewash the “big nose”. I wish you were right. A better tack would be to read some of the newer books on anti-semitism which point out that “anti-semitism” has very little to do with actual Jews or Israelis, good or bad, and more to do with the deep seated structural use of Jewish and Jew to connote every thing bad in the world. I recommend you read some reviews of new books on antisemitism to better understand the issues here.
        Two recent books, “The Devil that Never Dies” and “Anti-Judaism”.
        G-d bless you!

      • I respect your different opinion to which I disagree. I have read the books in question, and i must admit was not greatly enamoured with the propositions and gestalt continued therein. Ultimately I come to the same conclusions and beliefs that I had before reading them.
        Your argument about Jews and Israelis being a metaphor for explaining all ills in the world is as far as I’m concerned fantasy and an intellectual excuse. Unyielding and relentless hatred of our people has been a historical constant. Twas ever thus.
        Somehow I don’t think your average “Wahabi, Sunni, Shiite or Iranian Arabs et al see the argument against Israel and Jews as merely an extension for all the worlds ills.
        In the politest way I know how, I seriously suggest you consider the realities of antisemitism based on proven history and consequences, and re-evaluate intellectual theory with pragmatic realism and result.

      • Dear Dr. David Uri,

        Anti-semitism is indeed a horrifying phenomenon, and not all people who criticize Jews or Israelis are anti-semites. But I can’t see how you can deny it functioning in this instance regarding the Octopus like greedy Big Nose and Zuckerberg.

        And by the way its not about Zuckerberg being Jewish. It’s about Nazi and European and now Arabic stereotypes of Jews and everything Jewish as being evil and greedy and bad and to be eliminiated.

      • Please re read and understand my answer again, and hopefully you’ll see the intention of my reply to your original comment.

    • Elizabeth Taylor was a convert to Judaism. You don’t get Jewish big-nose genes that way. I don’t know about Paul Newman, but take note of all our Arab cousins– yep! they’ve got them too! Somehow that gets lost in the perception.

      PS: My name is NOT copen blue. It is Marcella Wachtel

      • Elizabeth Taylors mother was Jewish…Paul Newman had a Jewish father.

  7. Oh, well…
    It’s sad, of course. But frankly, I (Israeli citizen, an immigrant from the former USSR) don’t really care much about European judenhass, as long as my nation is safe and secure here in Israel.
    The regrettable fact that Jew-hatred exists in Europe is not going to change my sympathetic attitude towards European culture and friendly Europeans. Simply because I want the Western civilization to survive and prosper. It’s my civilization too, after all …

      • Oh, well… It’s sad, of course. But frankly, I (Israeli citizen, an immigrant from the former USSR) don’t really care much about European judenhass, as long as my nation is safe and secure here in Israel. The regrettable fact that Jew-hatred exists in Europe is not going to change my sympathetic attitude towards European culture […]

        You don’t care about European Judenhass as long as your nation is safe and secure in Israel.!! Are you for real or just kidding? What nation do you think you imagine you belong to Abigail? There is only one Jewish nation, with some living in Israel with commensurate nationality and others in the diaspora with alternative citizenship. Fact is that at the end of the day, that we are all part of the Jewish nation. The reality is that we are not part of a “pick and mix” to suit ourselves People.

        Your reference to European culture is a I think a red herring (or a get out of jail card) that evades the issue. Nobody is decrying European culture, and European culture is not an issue in terms or art,music or literature in relation to Sarah Honig’s article. Of course there are and were artists, musicians and writers who were and are anti-semitic. I love parts of European culture and am involved in and with it. Culture in relations to your original metaphor for Jews being targeted as a metaphor for the world’s ills has nothing to do with your sympathetic attitude to European culture.
        What I do take exception to is your use of the word regrettable —

        “The regrettable fact that Jew hatred exists in Europe”.

        It arguably smacks of arrogance and suggests an attitude of superior ignorance of the realistic history of our people in Europe. Furthermore I find that it cheapens the memory, suffering and demise of our antecedents. Perhaps the words disastrous or catastrophic might have been more appropriate.

        I repeat, I urge you to wise up on the true history of our people and see events in their true light.

      • Who says or even suggested that we’re hating back?. I suggest you consider that when surrounded by enemies today ( and enemies in yesteryear) who publicly declared their desire for our annihilation to the last man woman and child, it behoves us to be cautious and reticent in our choice of trusted friends – and even a little distant at the outset.

        Abigail!! First you write about the Jews being a symbol or metaphor for the worlds ills. Then you move on and write about your European cultural issues and what appears to your seeming disassociation and / or disinterest in “regrettable”Jewish European historical events.And now you’re banging on about hatred!!!!. You’re going from one thing to another and not completing or justifying your position.

        If you want to continue expressing your viewpoint, please put together a cogent and coherent argument that the readers can follow, and preferably based less on emotional whimsy and more on a structured argument. Otherwise there is no point in continuing to debate the issue at large.

  8. Thanks Sarah! You were right all along.

    I think I understand better what is happening now. In their intellectual backwardness (inability to examine their own premises) that have internalized certain archetypal stereotypes, where they are the good guys, and Jews are the bad guys. Due to their lack of ability for self-examination, they actually perceive the world in that way, by projecting those stereotypes on others, and are unable to understand that what they are seeing is just their own projection, not something real.

    • Right Sarah Admirer! you have perfectly grasped the situation. And of course not everyone is so ignorant and blind. And yes there are many people who never bought the anti-semitic ideology or have divested themselves of it through education or contact with real Jews and history Both Jews and non-Jews.
      The sad part of all of this is that real Jews do have to understand and master this situation in order to stand tall and strong in the world.

      Its a complex subject and not easy to grasp. And yes there have been many Jews, caught up in the European zeitgeist, who have promoted the anti-Jewish causes, Marx and Hannah Arendt come to mind because they are quoted in the “The Imaginary Jew” a review of the new book “The Devil that Never Sleeps”.

  9. Interesting excerpt here, quite relevant to the “Vampire Squid” or KRAKE variously alluded to, re; Zuckerberg FACEBOOK
    “Hanging by the neck, every detail of your vulnerable, recumbent psyche is revealed for the all-pervasive, incessant inspection. Submitted to the speculum, each part of your private life is subjected to the invasive, groping mind that squirms inside you with intrusive tentacles sucking personal data directly out of the hidden arteries of your fibre-optic underbelly. Observing every communication, Facebook delves more deeply into your private life than ever did the NSA, using techniques modelled on hunts for money launderers, child pornographers, groomers and stalkers, including blanket surveillance and picture tagging as a method of facial recognition. Which leaves the matter of knowing who people are, deducing what time you go to sleep, the hour you wake up, the type of news you read, so that an outline of your life is recorded in every detail, to be studied, investigated, leered at, distorted, or – as someone else has suggested – used in evidence against you. What’s worse, the Virtual State has the means to know exactly what you’re likely to do next, or when, to whom and, conceivably also why.
    The journalist Matt Taibbi has already expressed himself on a similar point in his now famous description of Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
    From the frying pan into the fire!
    Facebook is a textbook case, a perfect metaphor, linking the basic laws of biology to statistical data, or what could figuratively be described as a virus whose only objective it is to replicate, using human minds as its host. Indeed, it is a biological fact that what is known as a bacteriophage will insinuate its DNA into a microorganism and then multiply until it takes over. For once submitted to the network, this particular ‘virus’ will survive indefinitely, gradually killing its host. It’s a classic case of infectious growth. A kind of ‘killer virus’, in other words, that can spread between continents like a flu pandemic, polluting those whose psychological immunity is already weakened, or who are under some measure of psychological stress, and for whom the effects may be terminal.
    You will never know when your number is up.
    In fact, a virus can multiply only by invading a host cell and taking over its biochemical functions, which is why ‘crowdsourcing’ is an altogether inadequate expression to describe the designs against an entire society” etc.
    from Malleus Maleficus, The Ganzfeld Memorandum p 152 ff

  10. To Dr. David Uri
    You said, that Jew hatred has been a historical constant.
    I TOTALLY agree !
    That historical constant is based one ONE historical fact, the anti-Jewish narrative of the Christian religion, as formulated in the “New Testament”.
    Christian Antisemitism is the SOLE historical root cause of Jew hatred and all other INVENTED causes are only it’s SYMPTOMS.
    Hitler was a Christian…he actually accused the Jews of being the killers of Christ, his race madness was merely a symptom of that ancient ideology of hate.
    He even took the swastika from a clergyman, who had been his religions teacher.
    Hitlers swastika is the CHRISTIAN cross.
    Of course, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and had been non-Christian enemies of the Jews, BUT the Romans hadn’t been Antisemites, they also destroyed Carthago and fought the Germans.

  11. Sarah,
    Please bring to the attention of the editors of the Jerusalem Post that they, too, are guilty of using stupid racial stereotypes in the same March 7th edition. In Metro there is an article (p. 18) “Racing for two states”, and in the first paragraph Ahmed Helou is described as “a burly man … contrasted with the group, with his olive skin and hooked nose”.
    A glance at the photo on p.20 shows that, apart from possibly being “burly”, there is no similarity to this description. Just as you, rightly, protest at the use of anti-Jewish stereotypes in German newspapers, I expect you to protest at this kind of stupid stereotype, too.
    Yehoshua Sivan

  12. Chris Rettenmoser, it is either ignorant or disingenuous to call Hitler a Christian.
    Hitler rewrote the Bible to remove references to Jesus as a Jew and inserted his own “commandments” in place of the “Ten Commandments,” including “Honor your fuhrer and master.” He edited the Lord’s Prayer to reference himself and had school children sing a hymn, “For Hitler we live, For Hitler we die.”

    The Nazi Master Plan called for the persecution of the Christian Churches. The plan included jailing and killing leaders, re-indoctrinating the faithful and taking over churches from within, Hitler only put on a religious (Christian) facade until he became powerful.

    Furthermore, it was the Romans who started the Jew hatred due to the Jews’ refusal to worship the Roman gods. The Romans thought that Judaism was a silly superstitution.

    Hitler had originally planned to send the Jews to Palastine; that is, until he met the Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem, whose Jew hatred was based on Islamic teaching in the Qur’an and aHadith (sayings of Muhammad, the founder of Islam).

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