Earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the choice of Martin Indyk as special envoy to the recently re-started Israel-Palestinian peace talks. It seems, though, that one Israeli organization, the right-wing ultranationalist group Im Tirzu, is displeased with the choice, and chose to express its displeasure by posting a blatantly anti-Semitic caricature of Indyk on its Facebook page:
Raised in Australia, Indyk began his U.S. career as a researcher with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and in 1985 became one of founders of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a conservative pro-Israel think tank. Indyk held a number of positions in the Clinton administration, including serving as U.S. ambassador to Israel, and later became head of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center.
“He’s not a peacenik and he’s also not a Likudnik,” an Israeli official who worked closely with Indyk in the past two decades told the Forward. “He is a mainstream two-state solution guy.”
Not really the resume of an Israel-hater. But what’s got Im Tirzu worked up is the fact Indyk recently sat on the board of the New Israel Fund, a progressive pro-Israel organization that supports a number of Israeli human rights groups that have been critical of Israeli policy. According to Im Tirzu, this makes him an enemy of Israel. (The writing on the hand working the Indyk puppet above says “New Israel Fund” in Hebrew.)
These kinds of “puppet master” images shown above in Im Tirzu’s Facebook photo are generally understood to carry strong anti-Semitic undertones. For comparison, here are some similar cartoons, the first from Nazi Germany, the second from Saudi Arabia:
This isn’t the first time Im Tirzu has deployed offensive propaganda against its political opponents. Back in 2010, the group launched an attack on NIF President Naomi Chazan, a three-term Member of the Israeli Knesset and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, which included posters naming her as an “informant” and picturing her with a horn growing out of her head:
Im Tirzu’s ads were deemed so offensive that they were criticized even by their right-wing supporters. A spokesperson for the U.S. group Christians United For Israel said, “Although we are often demonized by our critics, CUFI never demonizes those with whom we disagree, and we object when anyone does.”
This post originally stated that Christians United for Israel (CUFI) was one of Im Tirzu’s funders. The funds actually came from John Hagee Ministries, named for the founder of CUFI. John Hagee Ministries ceased funding Im Tirzu in 2010, with a spokesman saying that Im Tirzu had “misrepresented its focus.”