NYT editors endlessly cast Israel as force for evil - Dermer

After cartoon uproar, Israel’s US envoy calls NY Times a ‘cesspool of hostility’

Dermer claims newspaper has become ‘a safe-space for those who hate the Jewish state’; Trump says Times has apologized for cartoon, but hasn’t apologized to him for fake news

Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, speaks at an event in Detroit, on June 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya/File)
Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, speaks at an event in Detroit, on June 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya/File)

Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, in a speech Monday marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, attacked The New York Times in harsh terms, after it published a caricature that the paper has since acknowledged was anti-Semitic and for which it has apologized.

“We have… seen one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers become a cesspool of hostility towards Israel that goes well beyond any legitimate criticism of a fellow, imperfect democracy,” Dermer said.

“The same New York Times that a century ago mostly hid from their readers the Holocaust of the Jewish people has today made its pages a safe-space for those who hate the Jewish state. Through biased coverage, slanderous columns and anti-Semitic cartoons, its editors shamefully choose week after week to cast the Jewish state as a force for evil.”

US President Donald Trump on Monday lashed the Times as well, though he appeared to be focused chiefly on the newspaper’s attitude toward him.

“The New York Times has apologized for the terrible Anti-Semitic Cartoon, but they haven’t apologized to me for this or all of the Fake and Corrupt news they print on a daily basis.” he tweeted.

A caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump published in The New York Times’ international edition on April 25, 2019, which the paper later acknowledged “included anti-Semitic tropes.” (Courtesy)

“They have reached the lowest level of ‘journalism,’ and certainly a low point in @nytimes history!”

Trump has often singled out the Times as a target for his ire, repeatedly dubbing its reporting on his presidency as “fake news.”

The cartoon showed a blind, skullcap-sporting Trump being led by a dog-like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with a Star of David collar around the latter’s neck.

On Sunday, the paper said it was “deeply sorry” for printing the cartoon in its international edition last week. It attributed the misstep to a lack of oversight and vowed to revamp its editorial process to ensure “nothing like this happens again.”

It said, “Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism 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 processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”

It also published a column by its own columnist Bret Stephens who called the caricature “a textbook illustration” of anti-Semitism and said it “might have been published in the pages of [Nazi propaganda paper] Der Stürmer.”

He acknowledged that the cartoon’s printing was in error, but asserted that such an error could only occur because “torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper… has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry.”

Stephens also said the Times “owes the Israeli prime minister an apology,” though he did not say the same of Trump.

Bret Stephens. (Jason Smith via JTA)

The cartoon was previously condemned by US Vice President Mike Pence.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday said the drawing was “shocking and reminiscent of Nazi propaganda during the Holocaust.”

Israel’s Channel 13 news reported Saturday night that Danny Dayan, Israel’s consul-general in New York, had protested to the newspaper about the cartoon.

ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt told The Times of Israel on Saturday that the cartoon was “anti-Semitic propaganda of the most vile sort.”

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