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CULTURE

New York Times Slammed for Publishing Anti-Semitic Cartoon

The headquarters of the New York Times. (Peter Dutton)
The headquarters of the New York Times. (Peter Dutton)

The New York Times has drawn a growing list of condemnations after posting a cartoon that was deemed anti-Semitic April 25.

The New York Times published in the April 25 print edition a political cartoon featuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog wearing a Star of David collar and leading a blind, yarmulke-wearing U.S. President Donald Trump by a leash. Printed at the end of Passover, it did not garner much attention until Friday night. The paper removed it online on Saturday. The award-winning Portuguese cartoonist Antonio Antunes Moreira drew the cartoon.

Although the Times issued an apology on Saturday, conceding that the cartoon bore “anti-Semitic tropes” and publishing it was an “error of judgment,” several high-profile figures in journalism and politics don’t believe it’s enough.

Negative Reaction

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell called the cartoon “despicable,” while Harry Cherry of The Jewish Voice wrote: “This apology isn’t enough.” The American Jewish Committee said it was “naked anti-Semitism” and claimed the cartoon would not have looked out of place on a white supremacist website.

Several critics pointed out the cartoon’s publication was an example of how antisemitism can appear on either side of the political aisle, given that many consider The New York Times skews left.

“Antisemitism does not come from one direction: it’s on the Right and the Left. If you only see it in the opposite side of where you stand politically then you are blind in at least one eye and turning the fight against it into a political weapon,” wrote Holocaust expert Deborah Lipstadt. Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) opined that “even if unintentional, the Left has normalized antisemitism under the guise of criticizing U.S.-Israel foreign policy.”

Overall, the general response has been The New York Times is skirting responsibility over the gaffe and should exhibit more remorse and transparency about how its error of judgment could possibly have occurred.

Antisemitism Is on the Rise

The cartoon appeared at a time where there has been a notable rise in anti-Semitic crimes around the world. Saturday April 28, a deadly attack at a San Diego synagogue killed one person and left three others wounded. In October a man with a history of posting anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant social media messages opened fire at a temple in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people and wounding six more.

The Anti-Defamation league has reported that anti-Semitic crimes have increased in recent years, with a noticeable spike in 2018. The FBI has also confirmed that hate crimes have gone up overall in the past two years, motivated by racism and anti-Semitism.

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1 Comment

  1. Kate Walter April 30, 2019

    Or, Mr. Crenshaw, it could also be that criticism of U.S./Israel policy is condemned under the guise of antisemitism.

    Reply

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