Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, on Sunday slammed the “anti-Semitic caricature” published by the New York Times on Thursday and called for those responsible for its publication to be fired.
The cartoon, carried in the paper’s international edition, showed Netanyahu as a guide dog wearing a Star of David on his collar leading a blind US President Donald Trump seen wearing a skullcap.
The Times acknowledged on Saturday that the cartoon “included anti-Semitic tropes” and “was offensive,” and called its use an “error of judgment.” The paper did not, however, explicitly apologize for its publication.
“The anti-Semitic caricature published by the New York Times is shocking and reminiscent of Nazi propaganda during the Holocaust,” Erdan said.
“We expect anyone who truly fights racism and hatred of Jews to demand an apology from the newspaper and fire those responsible for publishing a Nazi-style cartoon in the newspaper.”
The cartoon was drawn by António Moreira Antunes, 66, a well-known and sometimes controversial Portuguese political cartoonist for the Lisbon-based Expresso weekly who has published caricatures critical of Israel in the past.
One 2006 cartoon shows a bloodied Star of David as the spur of the American boot in the Middle East.
Both leaders’ sons also slammed the Times over the Thursday cartoon. Netanyahu’s son Yair linked the caricature to the paper’s coverage of the Holocaust itself during the 1940s.
“You’re an anti-Semitic newspaper!” he tweeted. “The New York Times intentionally hid the news of the annihilation of millions of Jews in Europe during World War II!”
The younger Netanyahu also linked the cartoon to the deadly shooting attack Saturday at a synagogue in California.
Some reports say that the shooter of the Chabad synagogue in CA was saying that Trump is the slave of the Jews. I’m sure this cartoon in the NYT have nothing to do with it pic.twitter.com/BZ9xG6ItrZ
— Yair Netanyahu ???????? (@YairNetanyahu) April 28, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. called the cartoon “Disgusting.”
He tweeted: “I have no words for flagrant anti-Semitism on display here. Imagine this was in something other than a leftist newspaper?”
An Editors' Note to appear in Monday’s international edition. pic.twitter.com/1rl2vXoTB3
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) April 27, 2019
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.
Earlier this year Brazilian Jews filed a lawsuit against a cartoonist over a drawing they said was anti-Semitic. The cartoon featured Netanyahu and Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro in a hug with their arms held in the shape of a swastika. The image by cartoonist Aroeira was published in the O Dia newspaper.
Similarly, in August of 2018, Israel’s ambassador to Norway complained over a Norwegian daily’s use of a cartoon of Netanyahu, which he criticized as anti-Semitic.
That caricature showed Netanyahu, whose body is in the form of a swastika, punching a member of Israel’s Druze minority off a bench reading “whites only.”
Today in @dagbladet, an example of the most repulsive imaginable #antisemitic imagery, with Israeli PM portrayed as a Nazi swastika punching off a Druze Israeli from a ‘whites only’ bench.
We demand dagbladet to remove this sickening image and apologize! pic.twitter.com/zy3OSuLJcu
— Raphael Schutz ???????? (@RafiSchutz) August 7, 2018
The image was apparently commenting on recently passed legislation defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.