Thursday, May 2, 2019

Is This Really Anti-Semitic?

By Robert Wenzel

The New York Times is falling all over itself with apologies for recently publishing in its international edition the above cartoon which is alleged by most of mainstream media to be anti-semitic.

Sunday's NYT apology statement said "a single editor" picked the cartoon "because of a faulty process."

On Wednesday, James Bennet, the editor in charge of NYT's Opinion section, published an editorial criticizing the cartoon which appeared in the Opinion section under his control!

"Apologies are important," the editorial said, "but the deeper obligation of The Times is to focus on leading through unblinking journalism and the clear editorial expression of its values."

Later in the day, NYT publisher A.G. Sulzberger wrote in an internal memo that "we are taking disciplinary steps" with the editor involved, and making a series of procedural changes to "ensure adequate oversight."

"Our journalists work hard every day to help people understand a vast and diverse world and ensure prejudices of any kind do not make it into our report," he said in the memo. "Though I've been assured there was no malice involved in this mistake, we fell far short of our standards and values in this case."

There's been more apologizing this week by NYT then probably the total amount of wailing that goes on in a week at the Wailing Wall.

But is the cartoon really anti-semitic?

It shows a blind Trump being led around by Israeli President Netanyahu as the seeing eye dog.

This does not strike me as anti-semitic but as a portrayal by the cartoonist of the view that Netanyahu is leading Trump around (for the benefit of Israel).

Indeed, the Portuguese artist António Moreira Antunes, who drew the cartoon, told CNN that he does not believe the image evoked hateful anti-Jewish stereotypes in any way.

Bottom line: This appears to be an example of the situation that the U.S.-Israeli relationship can not be discussed openly in a negative fashion without charges of anti-Semitism being hurled, when it may simply be the case of an observer appreciating the advice of George Washington that the U.S. should not meddle in the affairs of any foreign country, never mind the hornet's nest that is the Middle East.

It is a sad day when even the publisher of the most powerful establishment newspaper in America is afraid to buck the incorrect charge of anti-Semitism.

It means one thing, instead of Netanyahu being portrayed as a guide dog leading Trump, perhaps he should be portrayed as a mechanical rabbit at the race track with the entire U.S. establishment chasing him.



  1. It's not anti semitic. It just triggers fears of Der Sturmer. Jews have an emergency button since the holocaust that makes us freak out whenever we something even vaguely similar to 1930's Germany. I'm not saying there are any actual similarities, other than that both Der Strumer antisemitic cartoons and this cartoon featured Jews and Jewish symbolism in cartoons. Just roll your eyes and move on. It's a hypersensitivity that won't be changed. We're too holocaust-centered, especially American Jews.

  2. Mr Wenzel, are you being serious or playing dumb? Everyone paying attention to MSM knows that anti-Semitism is now defined as saying anything critical of anyone of Jewish ancestry.

    "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

  3. Florida has passed a law, or is in the process of, that makes a crime out of criticizing Israel. At least that’s what I have read. And the governor is going to sign the bill into law in Jerusalem? Do you have any insite on this law RW? If it’s true it’s amazing. Might make a good article.

  4. I don't know about antisemetic, but it certainly is accurate.

  5. It was similar under Obama. Any criticism of Obama or his policies was racist. Now we are getting the same thing with Israel. Any criticism of Israel or Aipac is anti Semitic. I think more and more people are waking up to this scam. As for the cartoon, I'd say the it is spot on. Trump has gone from God Emperor to Israel's bitch in just two years.

    1. Perhaps Bibi should have been drawn as a Borzoi instead of a dachshund.

  6. Socialism, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism and anti-Semitism have almost always been deeply intertwined. This does not mean that there are no exceptions to this, but right from the beginning their beginnings socialism and socialist anti-imperialism (Proudhon, et al.) were explicitly anti-Semitic. That imagery is still with us. I suspect that anti-imperialists are frequently using explicitly anti-semitic imagery without realizing any of this.