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On Monday, The New York Times severed ties with one of its cartoon syndicates after it distributed two antisemitic cartoons, per The Daily Beast. It should be noted that Times‘ editorial did approve the comic before it appeared in last Thursday’s international print. The newspaper only acted after executive director of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, complained directly to management.
The cartoon in question was drawn by Portuguese artist António Moreira Antunes. It showed a blind Donald Trump wearing a yarmulke and being led by a dachshund with the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who wore a Star of David dog collar. The second antisemitic cartoon showed Netanyahu wearing sunglasses, descending a mountain while holding a selfie stick and a stone tablet marked with the Jewish star. In his complaint, Greenblatt rightly pointed out that the depiction propagates antisemitic rhetoric that Jewish men somehow control world leaders.
Greenblatt told The Daily Beast, “In an environment where anti-Semitism is on the rise… where people like the shooter this weekend are taking inspiration from these conspiracy theories that Jews have excessive control, that Jews manipulate events—to then see The New York Times publish a piece of propaganda that clearly communicates that Jews have excessive control, or that Jews manipulate events, is unconscionable.”
Publication of these cartoons took place less than a year after prominent Jewish philanthropist George Soros found a bomb in his home and only days after a gunman attacked a southern California synagogue.
What’s more, the NYT response didn’t initially include an apology. The decision was called “an error of judgement,” until public criticism forced an apology. Apparently, an unidentified editor “working without adequate oversight,” due to a “faulty process,” is to blame for the approval. Though that process is under review, the editor doesn’t seem to have faced any repercussions. A spokeswoman for the Times said, “We are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”
The Times apology ends on an odd note, quoting a 2015 interview with the cartoonist responsible: “The profession of cartoonist is a profession of risk. There is always fear, but there is no other option but to defend freedom of expression.” Having just published antisemitic cartoons, the Times opted to call for journalistic freedom.
Greenblatt puts it best in this interview statement: “I’m strongly encouraging [The New York Times] to do more. It’s overdue frankly. We’re going to continue to apply all that we can… There is a deep problem here, and it needs to be dealt with. Standing up to anti-Semitism isn’t something you should after the fact. It needs to happen before there’s an incident… I think the Times needs to take corrective action in advance to ensure that this never happens again.”

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17 COMMENTS

  1. It’s very difficult to speak against Isreali’s policies without acknowledging the fact that Jews are not low-status minorities with NO POLITICAL POWER.
    Regardless of their political leanings, Jews pretty much dominate American culture.
    American progressive politics owes A LOT to Jews.
    Neoconservatives had a lot of support from Zionist Jews.
    Many Christians support Isreal. It’s God’s will.
    Many secular progressives support Isreal because of how long Jews have been oppressed by non-Jews.
    What Jews went through made the American slave trade seem like a picnic.
    They are the uber-victims.
    You owe them.
    Regarding the story, there are probably several liberal, atheist Jews–who are only Jews in name at the NYT. That is why this cartoon probably got through. They are upset with Isreali’s ethnocentric policies.

  2. Gosh, you know who else owes the Jews…?
    The entire comic book industry. The super-hero. The characters and their continuity that fuels pop culture today. Created majorly by Jewish artists in the 30s’, 40s’, 50s’, and 60s’. Let no comic fan ever forget.

  3. If trump was not in bed with Nitanyahu and hsd he not moved the capitil to Iarael showimg fsvortism and hostility to Palestine nine of this would have happened. He us the direct cause.

  4. Agree with the comments we are now never allowed to say a word about jews or israel. Now hear this – I owe jews or trump NOTHING. They did not create me and these men are no friends to women so again I say this is is trumspeak!! Not buying it.

  5. It is possible to criticize Israel without being antisemitic. It’s even technically possible to be anti-Zionist without being antisemitic. But it’s really difficult and no one on the Left is policing that line,
    And for those on the Left, what’s the difference between the Netanyahu-as-dog cartoon and a cartoon showing Maxine Waters as a monkey throwing poop at Donald Trump?
    Mike

  6. “Agree with the comments we are now never allowed to say a word about jews or israel.”
    Future generations are going to be fascinated by the Left’s support and adoration for profoundly anti-liberal Muslims. There isn’t a single Western critic of Israel who who rather live in Egypt, Turkey, or any Muslim-majority country than Israel.
    Mike

  7. The moment you say “Jews” the way some here have, you’ve (rightly) lost the argument. Criticize Israel. Criticize its policies, but don’t conflate Jews and Israel. I realize the Netanyahu government complicates this because of its combination of nationalism and religious/ethnic identity, but the distinction remains important. Not all Jews are Israelis, and not all Israelis are Jews. Not all Jews support Israel’s problematic policies regarding Palestinians. Not even all Israelis support Israel’s policies regarding Palestine. And be careful that justifiable criticisms don’t draw upon unjustifiable anti-Semitic tropes. The argument against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands is worth winning, but it won’t be a victory if it reinforces an anti-Semitism that’s still far too real despite centuries of pogroms than culminated in a Holocaust.

  8. It is easy for Jews to feel they are hearing anti-Semitism because they all DO hear it. I and my father claim no religious beliefs, but his parents were from Jewish families and he was born in 1931, long before racism became a quiet, private, practice. From both Jews and Christians he learned exactly were “Hebrews” stood in the social hierachy. I was raised amidst echoes of that.
    When I read the entries above mine I find nothing I feel is untrue and nothing I know is anti-semetic. But my stomache keeps telling me the anti-semtism is there. Whether it is or sin’t, I have “that feeling”.
    I can totally see how editors at NYT can see those cartoons in the context of their news jobs and say “run ’em!”. But I can feel how some functionary of an anti-semitism watchdog group would feel those cartoons like a smack in the face.
    And criticizing Israel doesn’t automatically make one anti-semetic. Rod Taylor, above, explains that wonderfully.
    “some people did some things” in Europe, 1933-1945. A coalition of world governments deemed that these events should be compensated for. Part of that compensation was the gift of land historically precious to the victims with which to build a refuge country. The land this White-led coalition so graciously doled out was fully populated with a thriving Arab/Muslim population at that time.Decades later both populations are locked in a cage-match situation created by plans that were laid by neither Muslims nor Jews. For either side to practice morality over brutality is to risk their lives. And we in The West perpetually wring our hands and complain about “The Middle East Situation”.
    MBunge: Being anti modern Isreal doesn’t automatically equate with being pro-Muslim. To paraphrase our illustrious leader, there are terrible people on both sides.

  9. ” A coalition of world governments deemed that these events should be compensated for. Part of that compensation was the gift of land historically precious to the victims with which to build a refuge country. The land this White-led coalition ”
    Rather than pointing out that the religious beliefs of Jews are behind Isreal’s policies–the blame is laid on “white people.”
    Ashkenazi Jews, the only group of Jews that matter, have been advocating for an Israeli state long before the Holocaust. It doesn’t really matter if secular, athiest, feminist , etc non-practicing-Jews disagree with them, the secular, atheist, feminist , etc Jews don’t have much credibility politically–because all the Zionists have to do is say “They don’t think the Jewish people have a right to their ancestral home”.
    “Now hear this – I owe jews nothing”
    You owe Jews everything.
    They were oppressed. They deserve an ethnostate where they can be safe from oppression.
    You have to pay for the sins of your ancestors and help Isreali defend itself.
    You don’t have a choice.

  10. You should be able to criticize Netanyahu and the Israeli government’s policies without being accused of anti-Semitism. A lot of American Jews are uncomfortable with the man and his policies
    Trump and “Bidi” get along great because they’re both authoritarians with a “my way or the highway” attitude. Netanyahu treated Barack Obama with open contempt, so I’m fine with people showing open contempt for him.
    During the Obama years, I would sometimes listen to conservative talk radio and hear the hosts praising Bidi like he was an infallible god; you would have assumed he was the real U.S. president. He ranks with Churchill as the American right’s favorite foreign leader.

  11. Jewish stereotypes in the media used to be even cruder — as in this since redrawn and revoiced scene from a famous 1933 cartoon:

  12. Some prominent rabbis complained about that “Three Little Pigs” scene in ’33, but Disney offered the usual excuse (“Some of my best friends are Jewish!”) and refused to alter it. Eventually it was altered, but I don’t know if that happened before or after Walt’s death.
    Today, the Disney company is committed to erasing anything “problematic” from its past, so it can pretend it has never done anything racist or controversial. So “Song of the South’ stays locked in a vault (where it’s been since 1986), the crows scene from the original “Dumbo” is removed, Donald Duck in a Nazi uniform (in the anti-Nazi cartoon “Der Fuehrer’s Face”) is suppressed, etc.
    Film scholars who want to chronicle Disney’s history may run into a brick wall — unless they resort to pirated prints, which can be found if you look around.

  13. “Today, the Disney company is committed to erasing anything “problematic” from its past, so it can pretend it has never done anything racist or controversial.”
    that’s not why the past is being erased. Disney is erasing its past because the people working at it are very liberal and look at the time as a period of exclusion for marginalized groups.
    The past is when the dominant groups ruled over the marginalized groups. They want to erase the history of the dominant group(s) in order to diminish the power of the dominant groups. Erasing the offensive stuff from the past is just part of their objective.
    BTW, did you know that Shakesphere was an African black man?

  14. Every movie studio is now run by liberals. Only Disney is erasing its past by reediting or suppressing “problematic” movies.

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