'NY Times' apologizes for antisemitic cartoon, blames 'single editor'

New York Times columnist and former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Bret Stephens wrote an opinion piece on Sunday slamming his paper's decision to run the cartoon.

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May 3, 2019 00:06
2 minute read.
New York Police officers are seen deployed outside the New York Times building following a fatal sho

New York Police officers are seen deployed outside the New York Times building following a fatal shooting at a Maryland newspaper, in New York City, U.S., June 28, 2018. . (photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

The New York Times apologized on Sunday for publishing an antisemitic cartoon in its International Edition on Thursday, blaming “a single editor” for authorizing the use of the offensive imagery.

The cartoon depicted US President Donald Trump wearing a kippah and being led by a seeing-eye dog with the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and wearing a leash with a Star of David.


“We are deeply sorry for the publication of an antisemitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States,” the newspaper wrote. “We are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again.

“Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when antisemitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable. We have investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page.
“The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal process and training. We anticipate significant changes.”

An earlier response by the Times to the cartoon was published on Twitter on Saturday, in which the paper pledged to print an Editor’s Note in Monday’s edition.

That response did not directly apologize for publishing the cartoon, but said it included “antisemitic tropes,” was “offensive,” and it was an “error of judgment to publish it.”


Times columnist and former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Bret Stephens wrote an opinion piece on Sunday slamming his paper’s decision to run the cartoon.

“Here was an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer,” he wrote, referencing the infamous Nazi propaganda weekly tabloid. “The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap.”

Stephens corroborated that a single “mid-level editor” had made the decision to include the cartoon “right before the paper went to print,” and added that the problem showed not willful antisemitism, but “an astonishing act of ignorance of antisemitism.”

Nonetheless, he also chalked the publishing of the cartoon up to the “almost torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism” by the Times and others, and that as long as “antisemitic arguments or images are framed... as commentary about Israel, there will be a tendency to view them as a form of political opinion, not ethnic prejudice.”


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