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Cape Town - Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro stuck to his anti-Zionist views on Tuesday after a public spat with a pro-Israel supporter.
Addressing the Cape Town Press Club, Shapiro criticised South Africa-Israel Public Affairs Committee chairman David Hersch, who also attended the event.
Hersch challenged the cartoonist, otherwise known as Zapiro, for depicting anti-Zionist views in his caricatures.
“You are an anti-Zionist, aren't you? Why do you do this while you send your children to Herzlea (a Jewish day school)?” he asked.
Zapiro told Hersch to leave his children out of the debate.
“This is classic, classic intimidatory tactics. Do not ever bring up my children again,” retorted an angry Shapiro.
Zapiro later said he was indeed against political Zionism.
“I think that whatever notions of religious Zionism existed in the 19th century were already perverted by Theodore Herzl and company in order to ethnic-cleanse a land that had a lot of people, who were living there over a period of hundreds of years.”
Zapiro said he was, therefore, not in agreement with the way Israel was formed.
“That's not true,” Hersch shouted from his chair.
Zapiro silenced him with the words: “No, it is true and I've got the mike now. You had your chance... give back the occupied land and let Palestine become a country, become a nation; and also, abide by (United Nations) resolutions,” Zapiro said.
Theodore Herzl was the founder of modern political Zionism, in effect the state of Israel.
The UN recently upgraded the Palestinians' status from that of observer to non-member observer state with a vote of 138 in favour, nine against and 41 abstentions. The United States and Israel were among the countries which voted against the move. - Sapa