The New York Times is yanking daily political cartoons from its international edition after it stirred controversy by publishing a drawing deemed anti-Semitic.
The Gray Lady made the decision after suffering a black eye for publishing an April cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a Star of David-wearing guide dog leading a blind President Trump, who was wearing a kippah.
The image was especially egregious as it came during Passover, critics said.
“It runs a cartoon on #Passover deploying animalization of world leader, @netanyahu as a dog, replete with #StarofDavid leading @POTUS. Will @nytimes fire anyone or pat itself on the back for freedom of expression to denigrate Jews again,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted at the time.
The image was obtained from a syndication service, which the Times ceased using after issuing an apology for the distasteful drawing.
But beginning July 1, international editions will halt in-house cartoons as well, bringing those papers in line with the US edition, which does not print daily political funnies. The Times had been planning the move for a year, according to editor James Bennet.
The paper’s leading cartoonist, Patrick Chappatte, condemned the Netanyahu comic but cautioned against bowing to “moralistic mobs” on social media.
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“I’m putting down my pen, with a sigh: that’s a lot of years of work undone by a single cartoon — not even mine — that should never have run in the best newspaper of the world,” he wrote on his personal website.
“I’m afraid this is not just about cartoons, but about journalism and opinion in general,” he wrote, later continuing: “Maybe we should start worrying. And pushing back. Political cartoons were born with democracy. And they are challenged when freedom is.”
With Post wires