Canadian journal apologizes for publishing antisemitic cartoon

Last week, the Jewish Federation of Edmonton called on the paper to publicly apologize for the cartoon and its antisemitic tropes.

August 13, 2019 20:46
3 minute read.
The Edmonton Journal building in Canada.

The Edmonton Journal building in Canada.. (photo credit: VERNE EQUINOX/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The Edmonton Journal, a Canadian newspaper, has apologized for the printing of an antisemitic cartoon it published earlier this month.

The cartoon, drawn by Malcolm Mayes, depicts a Jewish-looking man with a large nose – similar to antisemitic caricatures used by Joseph Goebbels and Nazi Germany during to the Holocaust – sitting inside a wallet at his laptop which has the words “data hacker” written on it; a Capital One credit card is also in the wallet.

It was drawn and published in connection with the recent Capital One bank-hacking incident. However, the hacker is allegedly a non-Jewish young woman.

The cartoon was not published online.

In the apology published online this week, the Edmonton Journal wrote that “last week, on Aug[ust] 1, the Edmonton Journal ran an editorial cartoon depicting a shadowy figure in a wallet next to the words “Data hacker” in relation to the breach of customer information at Capital One.

In the apology published online this week, the Edmonton Journal wrote in a statement that “It has since been pointed out that the image of the person bears resemblance to antisemitic tropes prevalent in some anti-Jewish propaganda. This resemblance was entirely unintentional, but given that association, the Edmonton Journal apologizes for the publication of the cartoon.”

It added that it was re-examining the procedures “we have in place to vet editorial content to avoid future such occurrences.”

The paper came under fire following the cartoon’s publication.

World-renown antisemitism expert and historian Deborah Lipstadt tweeted a picture of the cartoon with the caption: “Blatant antisemitism. Doesn’t get much clearer than this. Not in Poland or France but Canada...”

Honest Reporting Canada also tweeted the cartoon saying “The only thing missing from this cartoon is a Star of David and a yarmulke to play off the age-old #antisemitic trope and Jewish conspiracy theory.”

Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the paper’s decision to run the antisemitic cartoon.

“The hacker depicted in this cartoon is very similar in appearance to drawings of Jews Nazis used in their propaganda,” said FSWC president and CEO Avi Benlolo. “This antisemitic cartoon is uncalled for and the paper’s editorial staff should not have allowed it to make its way to print.”

In a letter to the paper last week, the Jewish Federation of Edmonton called on the paper to publicly apologize for the cartoon.

“We do not understand the connection Mr. Mayes is trying to make by using antisemitic tropes in his cartoon,” the Jewish Federation of Edmonton’s president Steven Shafir said. “We are disgusted with Mr. Mayes’ cartoon, with your tacit approval of it in your willingness to publish it, or, alternatively, we are astonished by your willful blindness if you did not see the harm that this cartoon would cause.”

Shafir noted “Mayes is no stranger to us,” saying that it had written to the newspaper on May 15, 2018 “regarding a cartoon that Mr. Mayes had drawn that was also antisemitic and anti-Israel.

“While our letter at that time was published by you, our request to meet with you went unanswered,” he wrote. “It is unfortunate and sad that the Edmonton Journal, a nationally recognized newspaper, is being used by Mr. Mayes to spread antisemitism.”

The Jewish organization also requested a meeting with the paper.

Following the weekend apology from the paper, the Jewish Federation of Edmonton thanked “the Edmonton Journal for their apology for publishing the recent antisemitic cartoon.

“We remain deeply disturbed that it was published and promise to both work with the Edmonton Journal to ensure it does not happen again and to hold everyone to account should something similar occur in the future,” it said in a Facebook statement. “We thank members of the community and CIJA [The Center for Jewish Affairs] for their support throughout this.”

The Federation concluded that it was scheduled to meet with the Edmonton Journal this week.

Related Content

A MEMBER of a neo-Nazi party gives a salute outside a speech by Richard Spencer on the campus of Mic
August 20, 2019
California high school students preform Nazi Salute in award ceremony


Cookie Settings