Puerto Rico newspaper apologizes for antisemitic column

ADL slams op-ed, says apology is not enough.

January 12, 2018 03:31
1 minute read.
Puerto Rico newspaper apologizes for antisemitic column

Man reads newspaper in frustration.. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

El Nuevo Dia newspaper in Puerto Rico has apologized for a column that speculated about the Jewish power over the island’s future.

On Monday, the Spanish-language news outlet published an op-ed by Wilda Rodriguez, titled “What does ‘the Jew’ want with the colony?” The column, which discusses the economic crisis facing the ravaged island, says that it is “the Jews who control Congress and that their itinerary is ‘loaded with wars and profits.’”

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The newspaper – which has the highest circulation of any daily publication in Puerto Rico – added “explanatory notes” from both the publisher and Rodriguez, but the Anti-Defamation League was far from satisfied.

The column, according to Monica Bauer, the ADL’s coordinator for Latino Community Relations, “is a collection of classic antisemitic assertions. The column falsely charges that the future of Puerto Rico is in the hands of the Jews who control power and wealth from the centers of power in Washington and Wall Street.”

Bauer added that the explanatory notes “leave much to be desired because publishing an article accusing the Jewish people of controlling governments to the detriment of the future of Puerto Rico is practically the definition of antisemitism.”

The note from the publisher said the newspaper “apologizes to the Jewish community and to the rest of our audience that has been offended.” The text of the column remained unchanged underneath the notes. In her note, Rodriguez wrote that she “regrets” that her “writing is interpreted as antisemitic.... I can understand the  reaction of some to the mere use of the word Jewish. But the intention is not to provoke offense, but to contribute to public discussion.”

Unconvinced, the ADL reiterated that the column “follows the worst legacies of antisemitic regimes that we would like to have left behind in the 20th century.”

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