Here we go again. Israel’s envoy to Norway complains that a cartoon goes “beyond free speech.” What the hell does that mean? Beyond good taste? Beyond acceptable discourse? Beyond what should be permitted in a free society? Where are these lines to be drawn and by whom? Why can’t the offended (Muslim or Israeli) protest offending images without calling for their censorship, either explicitly or (worse, because it is more insidious) implicitly? Maybe this kind of sloppy and censorious speech is worse than hate speech? From BBC News July 26:
Norway ‘Nazi cartoon’ irks Israel
Israel’s ambassador to Norway has complained to press regulators about a cartoon showing Israeli PM Ehud Olmert as a Nazi concentration camp commander.
Miryam Shomrat told the BBC the caricature in Oslo’s Dagbladet newspaper went beyond free speech.
Ms Shomrat said it would be open to prosecution in some European countries.
Dagbladet’s editor said the caricature was “within the bounds of freedom of expression,” according to Norway’s NRK state broadcaster.
Ms Shomrat made the official complaint to the Norwegian Press Trade Committee following the publication of the cartoon on 10 July.
In an interview with the BBC’s Europe Today, she said however that her protest could not be compared to the outcry in the Muslim world over the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
Lars Helle, Dagbladet’s acting editor-in-chief, said the newspaper was taking the complaint seriously.
“But I do not fear that Dagbladet will be found guilty,” Mr Helle told the NRK.
The cartoon shows Mr Olmert standing on a balcony in a prison camp.
He is holding a sniper’s rifle and a dead man is seen lying on the ground.
The drawing clearly alluded to the Hollywood film Schindler’s List, in which a sadistic Nazi commander shoots Jewish prisoners for fun, according to Dagbladet.