The New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger sent out a memo Wednesday outlining a number of steps the paper was taking after having published an anti-Semitic cartoon in their paper last week.
The cartoon in question, which appeared in the international version of last Thursday’s New York Times, featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dachshund with a Star of David collar leading a blind Trump, who is wearing a yarmulke. There was no caption or text alongside the caricature.
Sulzberger outlined five specific points by which they were addressing the cartoon. They are:
We are changing our production processes to ensure adequate oversight and address issues with the international Opinion pages that enabled this mistake.
We have stopped running all syndicated cartoons, which are created by those with no direct ties to The Times and thus give us limited editorial control.
We have canceled our contract with CartoonArts International, the syndicate that provided the cartoon and defended its release.
We are taking disciplinary steps with the production editor who selected the cartoon for publication.
We are updating our unconscious bias training to ensure it includes a direct focus on anti-Semitism.
António Moreira Antunes, a Portuguese cartoonist who created the one in question, defended it in an interview with CNN. He said that the accusations of anti-Semitism were “made through the Jewish propaganda machine, which is, anytime there’s criticism it’s because there’s someone anti-Semitic on the other side, and that’s not the case.”
“The Jewish right doesn’t want to be criticized, and therefore, when criticized they say ‘We are a persecuted people, we suffered a lot… this is anti-Semitism,'” he added. “[The Times] should see that here it’s a political issue and not religious.” (RELATED: NYT Editorial Blames Trump For Paper’s Decision To Publish Anti-Semitic Cartoon)
The New York Times issued two separate editor’s notes Saturday and Sunday following the backlash. They also published an editorial Tuesday acknowledging that the cartoon was “bigoted” and “appalling.”
If an openly anti-Semitic cartoon makes it into the international edition of @nytimes, you know how far Jew-hate has creeped back into the mainstream. This cartoon was handpicked, signed off, published. Not an honest mistake. pic.twitter.com/YBYwwlaaSF
— Julie Lenarz (@MsJulieLenarz) April 27, 2019
It says in part, “We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again.”
Since then, the Times published another cartoon of Netanyahu, which depicted a blind Netanyahu holding a tombstone that has an Israeli flag drawn on it.