The New York Times has apologized for publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon depicting a skull cap-wearing Donald Trump leading Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was shown as a dog on a leash.
The cartoon ran in Saturday’s international edition of the newspaper, drawing immediate controversy and prompting an apology from the newspaper, which acknowledged the anti-Semitic imagery. The cartoon showed Netanyahu with the Star of David while Trump had sunglasses as if he were blind and being led by Netanyahu.
“A political cartoon in the international print edition of The New York Times on Thursday included anti-Semitic tropes,” read an editor’s note that the newspaper shared on Twitter.
“The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it. It was provided by The New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it.”
The image drew widespread criticism online, including from CNN anchor Jake Tapper who said on Twitter that it looked indistinguishable from neo-Nazi or ISIS propaganda.
The newspaper’s apology also rang hollow for many, especially as it was published at a time when acts of anti-Semitism have been on the rise. On the same day the cartoon was published, a gunman entered a synagogue outside of San Diego and opened fire on congregants gathered to celebrate Passover, killing one and injuring several others.
While there was no indication that the cartoon had any influence on the alleged gunman, there have been other high-profile acts of anti-Semitism including an attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh exactly six months to the day that the cartoon was published. That shooting, which left 11 people dead and several others injured, was allegedly committed by a man who was inspired by anti-Jewish conspiracy theories that wealthy Jewish individuals were funding the migrant caravan headed from Central America to the United States.
2. Here’s the anti-Semitic cartoon that the NYT published pic.twitter.com/ucLCLIyTgJ— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) April 27, 2019
The American Jewish Committee, a Jewish advocacy organization, wrote on Twitter that the apology from the New York Times was “not accepted” and noted that it would have gone through the review of several editors who should have noticed that it was a cartoon that “would not have looked out of place on a white supremacist website.”
The New York Times cartoon also comes at a time of sharp political debate over anti-Semitism, with Republicans accusing some Democrats of promoting anti-Semitism through their criticism of the Jewish political lobby and influence it carries in Congress. Some Democrats have pushed back, saying the criticism is a political one and not based in hatred.