As a decent law-abiding dachshund of liberal outlook, I was disgusted by the caricature recently published in the New York Times showing the face of Benyamin Netanyahu on my body. As an expression of how Donald Trump is being led alone by Netanyahu, I couldn’t see anything wrong with it. It tried to convey the nature of their relationship, so the accusation of ‘anti-semite!’ struck me as being no more than manufactured outrage coming from the usual sources.
At the same time, I did find it anti-canine, anti-dachshund and extremely unfair, generally speaking. Why should we dachshunds be saddled with Benyamin Netanyahu’s appearance and his views which, as someone of progressive views who is friendly to all human beings (and indeed the so-called ‘pet’ of one), offend me immensely?
Not just that – and here my vanity might be speaking for me – but we have admirable bodies, long and lean and finished off with a sloping face, affectionate brown eyes and velvet-soft floppy ears humans just can’t help stroking. Yet look at what that cartoonist sticks on a dachshund’s body – a pudgy human face, with fat jowls and crafty eyes I’ve never seen on any dog.
I can’t speak for other dogs but generally speaking, we dachshunds are a friendly bunch. We don’t plot and scheme. We defend ourselves if attacked but we don’t unnecessarily hurt other dogs. We are trusting and enjoy nothing more than a long walk in the company of our human family. We know when we’re being teased and we love it. We don’t make distinctions between any humans as long as they treat us with the affection and respect we deserve. Naturally, if we are mistreated we can turn nasty. From what I know humans beings are just the same.
We canines share that saying that ‘the eyes are the window to the soul.’ Look into our eyes and you’ll see love and trust. Look into Netanyahu’s eyes you see cunning and deceit so why stick his head on our body?
I know it’s common for humans to depict humans they don’t like as ‘animals’ or insects. Humans are animals too but don’t like admitting it. They seem to think they are superior to all other animal species when from our perspective they are just about at the bottom of the ladder. After all, who else does anyone think is ruining the planet for themselves and the rest of us?
I don’t know what rats think about this unfair labeling by humans but I can imagine them objecting violently to that expression ‘you dirty rat’ when it’s a human being they’re talking about.
And then there are the snakes and a whole range of insects, beginning with the cockroaches that some of Netanyahu’s allies use to describe people they don’t like. We need to reverse all of this. A snake likes a quiet life and a cockroach doesn’t do much more than mate or scrabble around the floor looking for food so why hang the ugly attitudes and brutal behavior of human beings around their necks? (Not sure that snakes and cockroaches have necks but you’ll get the point).
Neither did I appreciate the way the cartoon was reworked by one of Netanyahu’s people to show a blind Trump being led along by a dog with a BDS tag around his or her neck.
It took me some time to work this out. What could these initials mean? Benjamin Does Salsa? Benyamin’s Dirty Secrets? I really didn’t know until it suddenly came to me – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions program. Of course! Why didn’t it come to me in the first place?
As a liberal thinker, I support BDS. When I have to put up with the worn aluminum dog tag I have to wear every day of my life because of a council regulation I would voluntarily wear a BDS badge with pride.
I’m sure dogs of that prison called the Gaza Strip feel the same. Their lives are constructed just like the humans and when the enemy attacks with his planes and missiles they are just as likely to die. So are the cats and the budgies singing in their cages in the apartment buildings being bombed?
They all get it in the neck. On the West Bank, canine life is more comfortable because the settlers and soldiers wouldn’t treat a dog the way they treat the humans whose land they occupy.
Finally, Donald Trump is the first American president ever not to keep a dog as a ‘pet’ (ugh!) in the White House and he’s not blind anyway. Having a canine Netanyahu leading him along lets him off the hook because Trump can see perfectly well where he’s going. Thankfully, you humans have to put up with them, not we canines, so please – keep us out of this even in your cartoons.