Protesters gathered outside of the offices of The New York Times in Manhattan Monday evening, condemning the publication of an anti-Semitic cartoon last week.
Chanting “shame on you” and waving American and Israeli flags, demanding the paper take action against employees responsible for the publication of a caricature portraying Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a dog wearing a Star of David collar and leading a blind President Donald Trump who is depicted wearing a kippah.
Jurist and former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz spoke at the rally, alongside former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a former New York State government official and Principal at Bernstein Global Wealth Management.
Dershowitz said the anti-Semitic cartoon was reminiscent “of a very dark time in Jewish history,” and hit the paper for its coverage of Israel and Jewish-related stories.
“It is very painful for me. I have written many, many dozens articles for The New York Times. I have probably written more legally-oriented op-eds than anyone else who doesn’t work for The New York Times. I’ve been in the book review. I’ve been in the magazine. I’ve been in the magazine. I’ve been a strong supporter of The New York Times. But when I saw that cartoon yesterday, it just put me in mind of a very dark time in Jewish history. And I asked myself, ‘How could it have happened?’”
“The New York Times has been wrong so often when it comes to Israel, when it comes to the Jewish people. The only good thing The New York Times has ever done for the Jewish people is that it put a lie to the notion that the Jews control the media and use it to support their own interests.”
Former State Assemblyman Dov Hikind excoriated the Times for permitting the publication of the cartoon, noting the stereotypical depiction of Netanyahu with a large nose.
“On a leash is the Prime Minister of Israel with a big nose. I know personally the prime minister does not have a big nose…with a Star of David around his neck. This is the worst kind of anti-Semitism imaginable. Shame on you!”
Hikind later said his first reaction to seeing the cartoon had been “shock, disbelief.”
“It’s like waking up from a bad dream. It can’t be. Not The New York Times, the most progressive-liberal newspaper in the world, maybe the greatest paper in the world, indulging in pure, unadulterated anti-Semitism, vile anti-Semitism.”
Earlier on Monday, Dershowitz published an article in The Hill comparing the NYT cartoon to Nazi propaganda.
“One of the weapons of hate against Jews deployed by Nazi Germany were cartoons and caricatures that depicted Jews as subhuman animals, often as dogs or spiders. So when The New York Times international edition published a cartoon over the weekend portraying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog wearing a Star of David, its editors should not have been surprised at the outraged reaction to the controversy.”
The cartoon was widely condemned and, on Saturday, The New York Times published an apology on its Twitter account, describing the cartoon as having "included anti-Semitic tropes".
A day later, on Sunday, the newspaper said that the anti-Semitic cartoon was the work of a single editor who was working “without adequate oversight”.
Days after the first cartoon, however, the paper came under fire again when it published a second caricature of Prime Minister Netanyahu, this time showing Netanyahu descending a mountain with a selfie-stick in one hand and a stone tablet with a Star of David in the other hand. Like the first cartoon, the second caricature appeared in the paper’s international edition.