This week, the New York Times got itself into hot water for printing a blatantly Jew-hating cartoon in its international edition. The cartoon depicted Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an elongated dachshund, a Star of David hanging around his neck, leading a fat, blind, yarmulke-wearing Donald Trump through the streets. The implication: The nefarious, animalistic Jew is in control of the Jew-perverted president of the United States.
The image is nothing new. In 1940, the Lustige Blatter, a weekly German humor magazine, printed an image of a tall, ugly, bearded Hasidic Jew taking a tiny Winston Churchill by the hand and leading him across the surface of the globe.
So, what would tempt the New York Times to print an illustration directly from the mind of Julius Streicher? The fact that the Times, like many of today’s mainstream media outlets, has been completely and utterly willing to cover for and, indeed, engage in anti-Semitism, so long as it is disguised as anti-Zionism. Undoubtedly, the editors at the Times believed that the cartoon was merely a criticism of Israel, not a criticism of Jews. That excuse found its logical apotheosis in a 2014 German regional-court ruling that characterized a firebombing of a synagogue as merely a protest against Israel, rather than act of anti-Semitism.
The Times isn’t far behind that court. In the past few months alone, the Times ran a long piece praising the terrorist-backed Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel — a movement whose founders explicitly describe it as an economic attempt to destroy the Jewish state. The author of that piece, Nathan Thrall, had previously praised Hamas’s violence against Israel, calling its terrorism the “direct result of the choice by Israel and the West.” Unsurprisingly, the Washington Free Beacon has reported that Thrall is “tied to a large network of BDS supporters that are funded into the millions by the Qatari government.” The Times made no mention of his affiliation.
The Times ardently defended Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) against charges of anti-Semitism, even suggesting that her anti-Semitic attribution of American support for Israel to Jewish money was an important consciousness-raising exercise. Their headline: “Ilhan Omar’s Criticism Raises the Question: Is Aipac Too Powerful?”
The Times suggested that information about Palestinian payments to families of terrorists was “far-right conspiracy programming.” The Times simply ignored Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s calling U.S. ambassador David Friedman “son of a dog,” didn’t report Abbas’s comments about Jews “falsifying history,” and omitted coverage of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar telling Palestinians about to storm the Israeli border, “We will take down the border, and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies.”
Back in 2015, the New York Times printed a list of lawmakers who voted against the anti-Israel Iran deal — listing them by the percentage of Jews in their districts and noting which ones were Jewish themselves. Back in 2014, the publisher of the newspaper, Margaret Sullivan, had to remind her own reporters to cover the Palestinians as “more than just victims,” thanks to the paper’s insanely one-sided coverage.
The Times’ ugly record of anti-Semitism goes all the way back to 2000, when the newspaper printed a photo of a Jewish student beaten by Palestinian Arabs and defended by an Israeli soldier – but captioned the photo by labeling the beaten man an Arab.
In actuality, the Times cares about anti-Semitism only when it can be used as a political weapon. The Times admitted in November that it had neglected to cover anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City specifically because such anti-Semitism “refuses to conform to an easy narrative with a single ideological enemy,” explaining that “when a Hasidic man or woman is attacked by anyone in New York City, mainstream progressive advocacy groups do not typically send out emails calling for concern and fellowship and candlelight vigils in Union Square.”
The mainstream Left has engaged in self-flattering blindness when it comes to Jew-hatred. And all too often, that blindness veers into outright anti-Semitism.