Likud minister links New York Times to Nazis over Netanyahu cartoon
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Likud minister links New York Times to Nazis over Netanyahu cartoon

Gilad Erdan urges dismissal of those responsible for caricature of Trump and PM; leaders’ sons Yair and Don Jr. lash ‘anti-Semitic’ drawing

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)
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)

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.

Public Security Gilad Erdan speaks at Besheva conference in Jerusalem on February 11, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

“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.

A 2006 cartoon by Portuguese cartoonist António Moreira Antunes shows a bloodied Star of David as America’s spur in the Middle East. (Social media screen shot)

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.

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?”

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.

A cartoon by Brazilian artist Aroeira published in January 2019 in the O Dia newspaper, featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, in a hug with their arms held in the shape of a swastika. (Facebook via JTA)

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.”

The image was apparently commenting on recently passed legislation defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

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