(Washington, D.C., April 29, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
The anti-Semitic editorial cartoon in Thursday’s international edition of the New York Times was an outrage. Drawn with great technical skill and conceived with great ignorance, if not hate, this piece was simply a reflection of the Times’ long-standing bias against Israel. The symbolism used was vintage Nazi Germany.
This cartoon punctuated yet another shocking weekend of hatred toward Jews. How anti-Semitic commentary has made it into the mainstream of public opinion is beyond comprehension in modern times. In this case, this incident is the exclamation point about media today. Editors have virtually disappeared as the marketplace of ideas flourishes with unchecked sources and little, if any, corroboration of information. What seems to matter most is being first to market with a thought rather than exercising discretion, a penchant for accuracy and news judgment.
Given the nature and rules of engagement of today’s media world, we are frankly surprised that people are so shocked by this editorial illustration. It simply reflects the opinion and biased coverage of Israel, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, Palestinian leadership, the peace process, false narratives advanced through anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations, United Nations Human Rights Council and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization by the Times. The Times proves over and over again that, with few exceptions, it is giving forces who operate without a free and scrutinizing press — Israel’s adversaries — a free pass. Such a shame. Journalism is badly, maybe irreparably, damaged.
While we acknowledge that the Times has issued apologies for the cartoon, merely apologizing is not enough. We call on the paper to review and revise its editorial processes so that blatantly anti-Semitic and racist content will not be given a platform by one of the most widely read newspapers in the world. The artist who created the cartoon and the editors who approved its publication must be held accountable.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org