(April 29, 2019 / JNS) Jewish and pro-Israel groups have condemned The New York Times for publishing anti-Semitic cartoons in its international edition on April 25 and over the weekend.
Thursday’s cartoon featured U.S. President Donald Trump wearing a yarmulke, sporting dark-tinted glasses and being led by a dog with the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a large blue Star of David hanging from its collar.
The weekend image by Norwegian cartoonist Roar Hagen depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with sinister eyes taking a picture of himself with a selfie-stick, carrying in what appears to be an empty desert with a tablet featuring the Israeli flag painted on it.
“Untimely bad move by the The New York Times showing an ominous-looking cartoon featuring the Star of David and Israel’s prime minister again, right after apologizing for the first cartoon and promising to prevent similar cases of anti-Semitism in the future,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told JNS. “All of us must hold them accountable to their promises. Enough is enough.”
“The anti-Semitic editorial cartoon in Thursday’s international edition of The New York Times was an outrage. Drawn with great technical skill and conceived with great ignorance, if not hate, this piece was simply a reflection of the Times’ long-standing bias against Israel. The symbolism used was vintage Nazi Germany,”said B’nai B’rith International president Charles Kaufman and CEO Daniel Mariaschin in a statement.
“This cartoon punctuated yet another shocking weekend of hatred toward Jews. How anti-Semitic commentary has made it into the mainstream of public opinion is beyond comprehension in modern times,” they continued. “In this case, this incident is the exclamation point about media today. Editors have virtually disappeared as the marketplace of ideas flourishes with unchecked sources and little, if any, corroboration of information. What seems to matter most is being first to market with a thought rather than exercising discretion, a penchant for accuracy and news judgment.”
The Times apologized on Sunday, and said that “investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”
Kaufman and Mariaschin said that “while we acknowledge that the Times has issued apologies for the cartoon, merely apologizing is not enough.”
“We call on the paper to review and revise its editorial processes so that blatantly anti-Semitic and racist content will not be given a platform by one of the most widely read newspapers in the world,” they continued. “The artist who created the cartoon and the editors who approved its publication must be held accountable.”
B’nai B’rith International did not make Mariaschin available to comment on the weekend cartoon.
“Whatever your interpretation of this particular image, we can only conclude that The New York Times is deliberately giving the Jewish community the proverbial finger even while it apologizes for its other cartoon,” tweeted HonestReporting, a non-governmental organization that monitors anti-Israel media bias, regarding the weekend cartoon.
This appeared in @nytimes international edition this weekend. Whatever your interpretation of this particular image, we can only conclude that the New York Times is deliberately giving the Jewish community the proverbial finger even while it apologizes for its other cartoon. pic.twitter.com/PrX0TC1ffk
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) April 29, 2019
Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, told JNS that “sometimes, a perfunctory ‘apology’ does not really cut it.”
“Obviously, the ‘apology’ for last Thursday’s deeply offensive cartoon, did not penetrate with the editors of The New York Times enough to prevent them from printing yet another, equally vile anti-Semitic cartoon in [the weekend] edition,” she said.
“One must ask why they are so obsessed with Israel and with Prime Minister Netanyahu? The problem is that anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Netanyahu statements have become so acceptable in today’s society that the ‘respectable’ editors of The New York Times do not recognize that they, themselves are guilty of committing, over and over again, classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and offenses.”
Andrea Levin, president and executive director of CAMERA, told JNS that is “striking” that the Times would publish another cartoon that denigrates Netanyahu just days after the latest firestorm.
“In the midst of a firestorm of criticism about the Times publishing an antisemitic cartoon on April 25, it’s striking that three days later editors choose to publish yet another image that caricatures and denigrates Israel’s prime minister and links the message to Judaism [italics intended],” she said.
“The second cartoon may not sink to the same level of Der Stürmer-like bigotry as the first but its publication points to the Times’ obsession with smearing Israel and, in particular, to its continuous expressions of contempt for the nation’s elected leader. It also points to the contempt of the media giant toward public concerns regarding biased depictions of Israel and Jewish issues.”
“At a moment when readers might expect greater sensitivity in coverage of these issues, the message appears to be more in the vein of a crude expletive than a reassurance,” said Levin.