On July 31, 2014, Legal Insurrection cartoonist A.F. Branco posted what was, by far, the most viral cartoon he’s done for us, Crash of Civilization.

It took place as the 2014 Gaza conflict was in full swing. Here were some of our posts in the days before the cartoon, including:

We also covered the generally high Israeli morale, Video: Israeli troops on break from fighting sing “The nation of Israel will never give up”.

But we also covered in the days prior to the cartoon the efforts of John Kerry to halt the fighting on balanced terms, which was favorable to Hamas which started the conflict by non-stop rocket firing:

Sure enough, Barak Ravid, a well-regarded reporter for the left-wing Israeli Haaretz newspaper presents a chilling tale of John Kerry’s complete incompetence in the Gaza ceasefire negotiations, Kerry’s latest cease-fire plan: What was he thinking?

The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers not only because it was the opposite of what Kerry told them less than 24 hours earlier, but mostly because it might as well have been penned by Khaled Meshal [the political head of Hamas who lives in Qatar]. It was everything Hamas could have hoped for.

The document recognized Hamas’ position in the Gaza Strip, promised the organization billions in donation funds and demanded no dismantling of rockets, tunnels or other heavy weaponry at Hamas’ disposal. The document placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.

It gets worse, as I suspected Kerry is seeking to make Hamas a post-war power, Ravid reports:

On Saturday, the State Department distributed photos of Kerry’s meeting with Qatar and Turkey’s foreign ministers in Paris. [See video above] The three appear jovial and happy-go-lucky. Other photographs show Kerry carousing romantically with the Turkish foreign minister in the pastoral grounds of the U.S. ambassador’s home in Paris, as if the Turkish official’s prime minister didn’t just say a few days ago that Israel is 10 times worse than Hitler.

The secretary of state’s draft empowered the most radical and problematic elements in the region – Qatar, Turkey, and Hamas – and was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.

…. Ravid at Haaretz notes that Kerry seems delusional (emphasis added):

Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he’s a true friend to Israel. But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.

The cartoon (featured image) captured Kerry’s delusional attitude precisely. It shows John Kerry mediating between Hamas and Bibi Netanyahu.

Hamas’s demand was Death to All Jews. That is an actual Hamas demand. The Hamas charter calls for killing all Jews, and Hamas Imams call for the same.

Kerry asked Bibi to at least meet Hamas half way.

The cartoon worked at so many levels, and it went viral.

It had over 100,000 shares on Facebook, and that’s only counting the direct shares. It probably was shared several times that if you count people who didn’t link to the original but just posted the image.

The cartoon was reposted at dozens (if not hundreds) of other websites. Scroll through this Google image search for page after page of posting of the cartoon.

People forwarded me the cartoon to call it to my attention, not realizing (despite the text in the upper left) that it was ours. On more than one occasion I heard people I didn’t know talking about it — and I of course interrupted, hey, that’s OUR cartoon.

Tony has had many great cartoons. But there is none other that has so captured the essence of a political and historical moment. In my humble opinion.