May 20, 2019

Cartoonist Blames ‘Jewish Propaganda Machine’ for Criticism Over NYT Cartoon

Screenshot from Twitter.

António Moreira Antunes, the artist who drew the anti-Semitic cartoon in the New York Times, told CNN Wednesday that the outrage over his image came from the “Jewish propaganda machine.”

The cartoon depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog guiding a blind, yarmulke-wearing President Donald Trump. Myriad Jewish organizations and individuals, including Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris, condemned the cartoon as being anti-Semitic.

Antunes told CNN that his cartoon was a commentary on the relationship between Trump and Netanyahu and not intentionally anti-Semitic. He added, “the Jewish propaganda machine” spins any sort of criticism against Israel as stemming from “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,'” Antunes said.

The Times issued an apology on April 28 and on April 30 published an editorial highlighting the rise of anti-Semitism worldwide. In it, the editorial acknowledged that “anti-Zionism can clearly serve as a cover for anti-Semitism — and some criticism of Israel, as the cartoon demonstrated, is couched openly in anti-Semitic terms.”

Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger, sent a memo to staff members Wednesday stating disciplinary action would be taken against the production editor who greenlit the cartoon. The editor has not been publicly identified. Sulzberger added in the memo that the Times’ bias training will have a “direct focus on anti-Semitism” going forward.