Jordan cartoonist detained for ‘offensive’ drawing of UAE ruler after Israeli deal

Jordan cartoonist detained for ‘offensive’ drawing of UAE ruler after Israeli deal


From Middle East Monitor

Palestinian-Jordanian cartoonist, Emad Hajjaj, was arrested in Jordan three days ago after publishing a caricature insulting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed.

The CEO of the Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ), Nidal Mansour, said that Hajjaj was arrested in connection with a case published under the Cybercrime Law.

The cartoon which was published on his Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site depicts Bin Zayed being spat on by a dove of peace displaying the flag of Israel.

t Palestinian-Jordanian cartoonist, Emad Hajjaj

Hajjaj’s cartoon comes after a peace deal was announced between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington, earlier this month.

The UAE is the fourth Arab nation to reach such a deal with Israel, after Jordan, Egypt and Mauritania, although the latter halted relations with the occupation state as a result of its 2014 attack on Gaza.

Caricature insulting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed in light of UAE’s normalisation ties with Israel [Emad Hajjaj]

Hajjaj’s cartoon includes a caption that reads: “Israel asks America not to sell the UAE F-35 aircraft.”

The F-35 fighter jet has been a major target for Abu Dhabi. Getting its hands on such an advanced combat aircraft is believed to be one of the reasons why the UAE signed the peace deal.


Following his arrest, a number of journalists held a protest in solidarity with Hajjaj outside the Palace of Justice demanding his immediate release and calling for the charges against him to be dropped.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also demanded the release of Hajjaj, while calling on authorities not to use the Cybercrime Act to mute critical voices.

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Jordanian authorities to immediately release a cartoonist for drawing a satirical cartoon about a recent normalisation deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, reported by Anadolu Agency.

“Calling a satirical cartoon a terrorism offence only confirms that Jordan intends to muzzle citizens who speak freely,” Joe Stork, HRW’s deputy Middle East director, said in a statement.

“This arrest sends the message that Jordanian authorities would rather abuse the rights of their own citizens than risk offending a gulf leader’s feelings,” he said.

On Thursday, Hajjaj was referred to the State Security Court on a charge of “disturbing [Jordan’s] relations with a foreign state”

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Activists on social media shared the caricature that mocks UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as Israel refused to allow the UAE to buy F-35 warplanes from the US despite Abu Dhabi’s normalization deal with Tel Aviv.

The UAE cancelled a meeting last week with Israel and the US over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to provide the Gulf state with the US fighters F-35.

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On 13 August, the UAE and Israel announced a US-brokered agreement to normalise their relations, including opening embassies in each other’s territory.

Palestinian groups, including the Palestinian Authority, have denounced the UAE-Israel deal, saying it does not serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians.


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Gospa News editorial staff

Un pensiero su “Jordan cartoonist detained for ‘offensive’ drawing of UAE ruler after Israeli deal

  1. There is a good old saying : “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones”.
    The depiction is apt. Nothing wrong with that. If Jordan wants F-35s will America agree to the sale . Or gift. Since Jordan just cannot afford F-35s. Is the Jordanian leader dismayed by the Emirates deal ? Does Jordan not have a relationship with Israel. Israel / America will always spit on / shit on Muslims, particularly Arabs. If the Emirates is given F-35s the pilots WILL NOT BE Emirati. You be rest assured . They will be Americans, British or Israeli, ONLY. Do you think the F-16 pilots of the Saudi are Saudis ? Bombing the Yememi population, women and children ? Not a chance !
    Can we really blame the leader of Abu Dhabi for succumbing to Bibi pressure. They MUST follow orders. It is like blaming Saddam Hussein for throwing chemical bombs on the Kurds. You do not
    blame Rumsfeld. Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait in his frustration. The Americans then set fire to all Kuwaiti oil fields and said Saddam did it. The fate of the Emirates is nothing less. The ‘west’ does not feel good about all these developments in the Emirates. The latter will now be the target for false flags by the Mossad. The whole Israeli navy will dock at the ports in the Emirates , especially built with Emirati money. The whole Gulf will literally blow up. Gone are the good old days of peace and prosperity. The page of history has been turned !

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