Leunig slams Jews – and Lycra!

Michael Leunig,described as a poet, cartoonist and cultural commentator, was in 1999  declared an Australian Living Treasure. He started out drawing whimsical teapots and ducks, then turned his focus to attacking those who want to defend civilisation against barbarity – Israel being the number one target – thus ensuring his place as darling of the ABC and the chattering classes.

Leunig has published many cartoons offensive to the Jewish community, but one in particular caused such outrage that The Age refused to publish it, as it was seen as openly anti-Semitic, comparing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatent of Jews during the Holocaust. The cartoon achieved international notoriety after it was entered into an Iranian newspaper competition to find the ‘best’ cartoon about the Holocaust, supposedly as retaliation for the Danish Muhammad cartoons controversy – though what that had to do with Jews is puzzling! Leunig denied he had submitted the cartoon, decrying the act (but not the cartoon) as “malicious and horrible”. It later emerged that the cartoon had been entered as a prank by Richard Cooke, who writes for The Chaser.

Cooke said he received an email reply from an employee at the Iranian newspaper, Hamshahri, Davoud Kazemi, on Sunday saying: “Thanks a lot for sending us your nice cartoon … “

Leunig said he was dreading the next few weeks “because the spotlight has moved from this mischief to the content of the cartoon. I’m expecting hateful criticism”.


Leunig insisted it was “an anti-war cartoon not an anti-Semitic cartoon” HERE:

In 2006, Sharon Lapkin wrote in “Poison Pen: The hateful world of Michael Leunig”

In  2006, the Age published a drawing in which Leunig cast a moral equivalence between Ariel Sharon and the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. The cartoonist referred to Yassin as “an old Palestinian man in a wheelchair”, conveniently omitting the fact that the Sheikh had orchestrated the mass-murder of Israeli civilians through suicide bombings.

…Leunig defines Osama bin Laden and John Howard in morally equivalent terms. Both, he says are “notorious and elusive”. Although, our Prime Minister, he claims, is “drearier than Osama.”

Perhaps the most perverse drawing…was one which The Age editors toned down for fear of upsetting readers. But the unedited version constitutes a debauched attempt at irony where Leunig suggests Howard, Downer and Ruddock should be tortured to force them to tell the truth and in the process be made to “simulate bestial acts…”

Leunig’s cartoons are packed with Christian imagery – light, dark, wings, halos, prayers and clouds. He uses God et. al. as a device to assure his readers that he is morally superior to those he condemns. HERE:

Evan Jones added his voice in “Cartoonists and Israel — the heinous slander”

The calumnies perpetrated by cartoonists against the only democracy in the Middle East, surrounded by barbarous neighbours, increases daily

On 21 November 2012, Michael Leunig published a cartoon on Israel’s seemingly perennial victimisation of the Palestinian population:


The occasion was Israel’s belated disciplining of an uncontrite Gaza, under its neo-Cast Lead Pillar of Cloud/Defence operation — to teach the cursed Hamas a lesson.

It is not the first time that Leunig has broken the rules of decorum, of balance, and, indeed, of intelligence. Leunig has, indeed, has been a serial offender.

For instance, over eight years ago, Leunig fed us this ‘gem’:

           (Leunig, The Age, 12 March 2004.)

And on 25 March 2004, Leunig was again entirely unrepentant in The Age: HERE:


However, Leunig has his admirers; The International Committee of the Fourth International rushed to defend him:

 Zionists witch-hunt Australia’s leading cartoonist

Zionist commentators, aided and abetted by the Murdoch media, have seized on a malicious hoax to vilify Michael Leunig.

… his antiwar stance and hostility towards the Howard government and the so-called “war on terror” has become increasingly pronounced. His passionate opposition to Israeli repression of the Palestinian people has also made him a hate target of the local Zionist lobby.

Referring to Iran’s cartoon competition on the Holocaust:

Leunig’s cartoon… was drawn in May 2002… during the Israeli military’s bloody assault on the Palestinian towns of Jenin and Ramallah in the West Bank, which killed scores of innocent men, women and children, and its military blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Gawenda offered his own malevolent insinuations. He alleged that the cartoonist was not concerned about Hamshahri’s racist campaign and had “gone out of his way to praise the Iranians.” Leunig’s anger, according to Gawenda, was “beyond belief” because in reality he was “soft” on Islamic fundamentalism.

These baseless slanders against Leunig are based on a simple technique…If you reject the so-called “war on terror” and its associated war crimes then you are with the terrorists…if you oppose the Israeli dispossession and repression of the Palestinian people then you must, like Michael Leunig, support Islamic suicide bombers, Muslim fundamentalism and anti-Semitism.

The witch-hunt against Leunig constitutes a fundamental attack on democratic rights…When asked to comment on the anti-Muslim cartoons, he correctly characterised them as deliberate “taunts” against “an aggrieved and traumatised spiritual community who feel at the mercy of the West’s contempt, ignorance and ruthless military might.”

In 2007, Andrew Bolt wrote:

The Australian Catholic University is awarding an honorary PhD to Age cartoonist Michael Leunig.

… I present here a list of the finest thoughts this great cartoonist has ever committed to paper in the service of fascism, terrorism, bigotry, hatred and ignorance, so often threatened by freedom and love.

Here’s his view on the terrorist whose followers have killed – or financed the killing of – more than 100 Australians:

Might we, can we, find a place in our heart for the humanity of Osama bin Laden and those others? On Christmas Day can we consider their suffering, their children and the possibility that they too have their goodness? It is a family day, and Osama is our relative.

Here’s his view of the Iranian editors who organised a cartoon competition to mock the Holocaust:

They were courteously apologising, they had been co-operative. They cared.

Here’s his view of his own civilisation:

Iraq lies mutilated, traumatised and chaotic. Western civilisation has once more created shit and derision in someone elses home. Has something gone wrong or has it all gone as guaranteed in the primal darkness of the great, white Western mind: this racist, relic treasure we’re told must be defended? 

Strange how Leunig can find a place in his heart for the humanity of Osama Bin Laden, but not for the humanity of those who support Western civilization!

The next year, Bolt reported:

 Leunig has been interviewed by Iran’s state-owned Press TV…this propaganda arm of the Iranian regime seeks another serve of rabid anti-Israeli propaganda… And Leunig delivers it in steamy barrow-loads:

Q:Why doesn’t the West exert pressure on certain regional countries which have nuclear arsenals?

A: I don’t know. I don’t understand. It is bewildering and a significant cause of despair in the world: this question of exceptionalism and two different sets of rules. This is naked, bold, arrogant hypocrisy it seems.

I think that racism is a huge factor. Certain nations have always felt entitled by their strange sense of genetic superiority to treat other nations badly. They feel entitled to privileges but this is just infantile greed converted into foreign policy and ideology.

Imperialism is very traditional – some historically imperialistic nations are very comfortable with it and think it’s normal and proper.

They don’t understand the pain and trauma they are causing.

 Racist, perverse, corrupted… A true friend of totalitarians, is Leunig, our “National Living Treasure”. What Lenin once called a “useful idiot”.

No prizes for guessing who he’s referring to when he mentions exceptionalism, racism and imperialism!

 Through Leunig’s distorted lens, Palestinians are innocent victims of Israeli aggression:

He rages:

“Israeli aircraft bombing Gaza – the tormented little punishment space of one-and-a-half million desperate and helpless Palestinian refugees, half of them children. The Palestinians were being crushed yet again in the most cynical and brutal way – and as if this was not appalling enough, the government of Israel was also trying to tell the world that this chaotic mire of blood and rubble and burnt human flesh was a legitimate and necessary procedure in the making of civilisation and a better world.”

He lambasts the West for fighting jihadis:

“Modern military conflict should not longer be called “warfare”. It is more like mass industrial killing than combat. It is coercive homicide posing as defence, and is radically uneven – or “asymmetrical” as the militarists like to say. In the Western calculation, it means that we do the killing and they do the dying. The children, the mothers, the elderly and the poor do the dying in particular: those not-quite-white people, born in distant unfortunate lands – they do all the wailing and the suffering.”

In 2009, Leunig spoke at a pro-Hamas rally for Gaza sponsored by Australians for Palestine.  Ignoring the fact that Israel was defending itself against a genocidal enemy, he declared:

Our Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have asked us to abandon conscience on the issue of the Gaza massacre and to submit to the idea that this crime against humanity is somehow appropriate.”

Leunig often attacks Israel, Jews and Christians, secure in the knowledge they are safe targets; however hurt and upset they feel, they will never threaten harm or revenge.

But the latest target of his anger –lycra – initially had me puzzled.


 Of course! Our new Prime Minister wears lycra, and he represents all that Leunig hates – Judaeo-Christian values, love of country, a desire to serve the people and to defend Australia against terrorists.

In fact, an affirmation of civilisational norms!


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  1. Whenever I see such passionate love for islam and islamists from ageing western males like the jew-hating Leunig, I feel the urge to call Child protection services…remembering that “emulating Mohamed” is a core endeavour among them and thinking of the age of Aisha when….

    And, that thing with the “Lycra body bag”: is this Leunig expressing his wish for our new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to die? (I think one way or another, with his drawings being of that fake child-like innocence, he is a dangerous influence on the younger ones).

    I think it would be an understatement to describe Leunig as an “unsavoury character”, although our – thankfully EX-foreign minister who hates the Jews just as much as Leunig does – would probably rather go for the “national living treasure”. Birds of a feather….and all that.

    • Hi Rita and welcome. I saw you’ve been busy in your email

    • Rita, I too find Leunig creepy and unsavoury. Why would a Western male be such a supporter of an ideology which abuses women and children? He has kids himself, from both marriages, and the younger ones are home schooled.

      He is also hypocritical, as he demands freedom to villify whoever he chooses, yet gets very offended if anyone dare criticise him.

      The thing I found most offensive in his lycra piece was his mention of the dog watching porn. Is he suggesting this is what Abbott does, that he is a pervert? He isn’t the first to try and smear Abbott in this way. Julian Burnside, another Israel-hater, notoriously tweeted “pedos in speedos” about Abbot.

      Yes I also wondered about the “Lycra body bag”, and whether Leunig was wishing Abbott dead.

  2. A celebrated male genitalia artist, Leunig has transitioned with ease into the world of politics simply because he’s got the balls to do whatever malarkey his head secretes.
    A simpleton of repute, he has been basking in the glory of drunken brainless festivities of the Aussie cultural “excellence”. Adorning panel beating workshops, dressing rooms in sporting clubs, prison cells and five star public toilets, Leunig’s art has been inspiring all those purveyors of harmonies of burps and human gas emissions, proud that a true blue has no moral fears, principles, reason and only rhymes where “mental sum” goes with “scum”.
    He does not give a rat’s who he offends, for his trade of choice is fame by shame.
    He would enjoy, however , seeing that his “skills” hurt his targets.
    Yet he is, in fact, of ABSOLUTELY no consequence at all in anything he delves into beyond the gallery of utter vulgarity, as we could safely consider Leunig himself a pseudo intellectual caricature. Most fitting, don’t yourze guys thinks so !!??

    • Otto, I disagree that he is of no consequence. His cartoons adorn staff rooms of schools and institutes of higher education. He is adored by many in academia, presumably because they are on the same page as him with regards to Israel. This makes his malicious cartoons especially dangerous, as these academics are in a position to influence generations of our kids. Propaganda, especially under the guise of cartoons, has always been highly effective.

      But I do agree that he would enjoy seeing his handiwork hurt his target.

      • I pity the man to be honest with you. I see him as mean and narrow minded if all he can do is pick on people. I see him as having a sick perverted mind.

        Kol Hakavod. Great article Pam. You really have quite a knack of writing about issues away from the norm.

  3. Pam

    beg to differ.
    Any genuine academic cannot be “inspired” by the works of a mere cartoonist. He may find Leunig’s work extracurricular entertaining, but I would like to see serious academic studies of phenomena related to political issues, ME or whatever, incl. Australian politics, where Leunig is used as study reference, except if the topic is “Political Cartoons etc. “.
    He is perverted alright for the simple reason that the only means of expression on extremely serious issues, of life as death, found in Leunig only repositories of ridicule and bile.
    His would not be an intellect of inspiration, but a source of vulgarity and diminution of real values. On serious issues he encourages the most elementary views, all debased of serious considerations. He encourages rage and hatred, he is, indeed, a sick man, yes, with a fairly high degree of financial success. So he has a few race horses, a winery, a boat in the harbor, and since chances are that he’s a typical Aussie piss pot, maybe one day he’ll be found beer guts up in the harbor, falling off the railings while laughing at the world, not knowing any better.
    Leunig is not worth the trouble of being looked on as a source of concern. We should just ridicule the clown.

    • Otto,
      ”Any genuine academic cannot be “inspired” by the works of a mere cartoonist.” Totally agree with you there, and I think therein lies the problem; many of today’s ‘academics’ in the humanities lack any academic rigour, as evidenced by the fact they are propagandists rather than true educators. I too would like to see serious academic studies of phenomena related to political issues, but so strong is the grip of political correctness that it will never happen.
      I believe Leunig is a source of concern because he is lionized by the educated (or should that be miseducated), who in turn wield a lot of influence. Interestingly, it is those who haven’t been bamboozled by a higher education who are far more intelligent and perceptive.
      And yes, Leunig does seem to be following in that dishonourable tradition of anti Semitic cartoons. Because he has tapped into an anti-Semitic strand in the national psyche, he has gained many followers, and also considerable financial success.

      • “Interestingly, it is those who haven’t been bamboozled by a higher education who are far more intelligent and perceptive.” He he, that means me!! I knew there must be a reason why I’m so intelligent and perceptive (no, really!) lol. However I’ll have to explain that to my mother who never really forgave me for not becoming a doctor or a lawyer….

        “he has gained many followers, and also considerable financial success.” So as always, everything is motivated by the almighty dollar .. if there’s a buck to be made, who cares whether by fair means or foul…..

  4. Pam. hats off to you .. brilliantly researched and written! Inspires me to hate Leunig even more than I already did…. if it was Islam that he was lambasting with such vitriolic repetitive ease they would’ve put a fatwa on his head long ago… he’s the kind of man I could easily see dead with no qualms whatsoever.

    • I totally agree with that sentiment

    • Sabra 2010 and Shirlee,
      Thank you so much for your comments, which mean a lot to me. I believe it’s important to expose those like Leunig who are inciting hatred against Israel and Jews, under the cover of concern for human rights.

      Sabra, yes, he carefully avoids attacking Islam, as he knows there could well be violent repercussions. With Judaism and Christianity, he can attack them with impunity, as the worst that will happen is they write a few letters to the media expressing their hurt.

  5. A few Years ago Michael Leunig joined federal MP Sussan Ley then chairwoman of the Palestine group in the Federal Parliament , Palestinian activist Dora McPhee from Women for Palestine lobby group and Islamic communities go to man,supporter of Antony Loewenstein JUlian Burnside to promote a United Arab Emirates Palestinian propaganda art exhibition.
    At least Luenig doesn’t hide his love of Hamas and their people and his disdain for those pesky Jews.

  6. The only credit I am willing to afford this clown, Leunig, is that he seems to have studied fairly seriously the vast “literature” of anti Semitic cartoons. Spanning literally ages, traversing such seminal “cultures” as Nazism and, then, Soviet inspired anti Zionism ( the famous Kukrynitzky team of cartoonists), then delving into the more recent Islamic school of graphic hate, our top bloke has had ample opportunities to dig into ridiculing what he reckons ( and could be partly right ) is the popular target of idiotic vilification, prejudiced cretinism, the perennial JEW.
    That’s all his brain power can fathom, a pitiful product of the guts of the gutter.

  7. geoff dickson

    Thanks Pam for that walk down memory lane.
    I had hoped that Leunig had moved on (as Julia Gillard has done), but no, he still clings to his hatred of all things Israel. No doubt he gets his information from such luminous sources as Al-Age and SBS.
    I was not surprised that ACU awarded a PhD to Leunig as it has lost its moral compass.
    In 2007, the Australian Catholic University allowed Fethullah Gulen to “buy” a chair at the university in Islamic Studies and Muslim Catholic Relations, headed by Ismail Albayrak.
    Can you imagine Al-Azhar university in Egypt awarding a chair to the Pope?
    Fethullah Gulen is on record as saying that western democracies can be destroyed from within by infiltrating all levels of government (echoes of the Muslim Brotherhood Project).
    One of the greatest challenges and threats to our future is the undermining of our Judeo-Christian heritage and values by the Saudis and Fethullah Gulen who are spending billions to subvert our schools and universities.
    No doubt our education system will spawn many more Leunigs unless we can reverse the trend.

  8. leunig is a fine, thoughtful, open-minded and caring human trying to do his bit to redress imbalance in a pathetically fearful, greedy and uncivilised world which increasingly lacks compassion. We need more like him. Moses would agree. As would Jesu, Mohammed and contemporaries like Ghandi and the Dhalai Lama.
    I understand your fear, paranoia and demand for contol that results from the horrific attempted genocide of the Jewish people – these symptoms of massive trauma last for generations. But they are in most cases unfortunately destructive and ultimately unhealthy…for you personally, your family, your people and humanity.

    Help those worse off than yourself instead of building walls which become your own prison.

    • Please keep you antisemitic comments to yourself. If you think otherwise take a good long look at your comment

      “leunig is a fine, thoughtful, open-minded and caring human”

      ” fear, paranoia and demand for contol that results from the horrific attempted genocide of the Jewish people”

      The last line is the biggest insult of them all

      “Help those worse off than yourself instead of building walls which become your own prison.”