New York, NY, January 20, 2014 … Saying the Economist “cannot repair the damage of publishing an anti-Semitic image with only half-measures,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the editors to issue a full-throated apology for an editorial cartoon depicting President Obama as hindered in his efforts to reach an agreement with Iran by the machinations of a United States Congress under the control of a nefarious Jewish lobby.
The cartoon by Peter Schrank added two Jewish Stars of David to the U.S. congressional shield, clearly suggesting Jewish or Israeli control over members of Congress. President Obama is shackled to the shield as he reaches an outstretched hand to Iranian leaders. The cartoon was run as an illustration to an article about the Iranian nuclear negotiations, and pulled later in the day in response to complaints from readers.
While the cartoon was removed from the article “A big gap to close,” Jan. 20, it still remained on the Economist’s Middle East and Africa landing page.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The Economist cannot repair the damage of publishing an anti-Semitic image with only half-measures. They owe their readers a full-throated apology, which not only acknowledges the offensive nature of the cartoon but explains to readers why this image implying Jewish control was so outrageous and hurtful.
This was nothing less than a visual representation of the age-old anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control. And it conjures up yet another classic anti-Semitic myth -- the accusation that Jews have “dual loyalty” and will act only on behalf of Israel to the detriment of their own country. This is the stuff of the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” recycled for a modern-day audience with a wink and a nod to Professors Mearsheimer and Walt and Jimmy Carter.
The Economist already has a credibility problem when it comes to Israel. The fact that this cartoon passed editorial muster without raising red flags raises serious questions about its editorial judgment and the possibility of a more deeply ingrained bias against the Jewish State.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
The Economist’s January 25, 2014 edition ran an editor’s note, which referred to the cartoon and said “….Some readers felt that the cartoon implied that Jews controlled congress. That is not what we intended to imply, nor what we believe. We apologise for any offence that was caused.”