NEWLANDS. 03.12.12. Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro aka Zapiro addresses the Cape Town Press Club at Kelvin Grove on Tuesday, 03.12.12.

Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro stuck to his guns yesterday after a heated exchange with a pro-Israel supporter. Addressing the Cape Town Press Club, Shapiro criticised SA-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 Herzlia [a Jewish school]?” he said.

“This is classic, classic intimidatory tactics. Do not ever bring up my children again,” retorted an angry Shapiro.

He 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.”

Shapiro said he was, therefore, not in agreement with the way Israel was formed. “That’s not true,” Hersch shouted from his chair. Shapiro 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 [UN] resolutions,” Shapiro said.

Theodore Herzl was the founder of modern political Zionism. – Sapa