The New York Times was forced to apologize after publishing an explicitly anti-Semitic cartoon. The illustration depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog being held on a leash by a blind President Donald Trump.
The Times issued a clearer apology after initially only stating that it was wrong to publish a cartoon that contained “anti-Semitic tropes.”
“We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again,” the publication said in a statement, according to CNN.
“Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable,” the paper added.
The Times noted that the decision to publish such an offensive cartoon was taken by a single editor who was not under adequate supervision.
“The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training,” their statement added. “We anticipate significant changes.”
Fit for a “white supremacist website”
The American Jewish Committee trounced the Times over its decision to run the offensive piece, adding that the cartoon “would not have looked out of place on a white supremacist website.”
One of the paper’s own columnists even penned a scathing piece slamming his own employer for publishing such a detestable image.
In his article titled, “A Despicable Cartoon,” writer Bret Stephens raged that the media’s “torrential criticism of Israel” and “mainstreaming of anti-Zionism” is a result of its “inherent bigotry” and intrinsic anti-Semitic sentiments.
“The paper owes the Israeli prime minister an apology,” he added. “It owes itself some serious reflection as to how it came to publish that cartoon — and how its publication came, to many longtime readers, as a shock but not a surprise.”
The Bible shows us that Jewish people are prone to persecution
Jewish people have always faced persecution as a people and as a religious group. Looking through the pages of Scripture, it becomes apparent that this is a people who have been through seasons of perpetual trial and existential difficulty.
From slavery to exile, the Jews have always been a nomadic people who are determined to reach their promised land of Israel, as God intended. Unfortunately, in the midst of their bid to reach such a place of spiritual significance, this “chosen people” has suffered greatly.
From the echoing anti-Semitic attitudes of the early the church, to the forthright political persecution of the few hundred years following the death of Christ, Jews have been constantly harassed, marginalized and scapegoated.
However, though the filth of anti-Jewish sentiment may have occurred among Christian and secular society at the time, nothing could come close to the murderous plan of Nazi Germany — the demonic outworking of decades-old anti-Semitic sentiment that resulted in the deaths of six million Jews.
As Professor Gerard R. Sloyan notes, the Roman Empire’s “infringements of civil and social liberty never approached the point of the elimination of the Jewish people entirely,” which he described as a “terrifying first from the Nazi era.”
This was persecution on a whole new level, and it was the antithesis of everything Christian and Christ-centered. It was evil, Satanic and vile — and, as such, any anti-Semitic depiction that evokes imagery similar to that time should be swiftly condemned.
Simply put, this illustration, published in one of the most popular and long-established newspapers in America, resembled the anti-Semitic propaganda cartoons published in the Nazi-era tabloid “Der Stürmer” — cartoons that stoked the German people’s hatred of Jews and directly contributed to the mass slaughter of the Holocaust.
God will protect Israel until the end
Despite all the death and suffering that has plagued the Jewish people over the centuries, God’s promise to them still remains.
While there is a lot of split opinion over the Jewish people’s eternal relationship with the triune Christian God, very few dispute the words of promise spoken by that same God to this special people group — prophetic words of protection and ultimate spiritual security.
Look at these words that the Old Testament prophet Isaiah spoke over the Jewish people in Isaiah 41:11-12:
“Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all.”
If the Old Testament isn’t enough for you, how about these words from the Apostle Paul himself in Romans 11:1-2:
“I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. ”
Paul, like most biblically literate Christians, knew the spiritual significance of the Jewish people and understood God’s unique and manifest care for them.
As such, those who adhere to the Christian faith should reject and condemn anti-Semitism of all forms and must pray for the Jews — the chosen people of Israel.