NYT Cartoonist Doubles Down on Anti-Semitic Cartoon, Blames 'Jewish Propaganda Machine'


The cartoonist who created an anti-Semitic cartoon The New York Times apologized for publishing last week blamed the “Jewish propaganda machine” for the backlash his work generated.

António Moreira Antunes told CNN he was surprised by the outrage, saying his cartoon — which depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog leading a blind President Donald Trump wearing a yarmulke — was not meant to be anti-Semitic, but simply a political statement.

The Portuguese artist, who works for the weekly newspaper Expresso, said the charges were “made through the Jewish propaganda machine — which is, anytime there’s criticism it’s because there’s someone anti-Semitic on the other side, and that’s not the case.”

“The Jewish right doesn’t want to be criticized, and therefore, when criticized they say, ‘We are a persecuted people, we suffered a lot… this is anti-Semitism,'” he argued.

The Times apologized for publishing the cartoon on Sunday, saying it was an “error in judgement.”

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“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 statement read.

“Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable,” it continued.

The Times said one editor, without adequate supervision, made the decision.

“The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training,” the statement said. “We anticipate significant changes.”

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The American Jewish Committee responded to an earlier, shorter statement by The Times, tweeting, “Apology not accepted. How many @nytimes editors looked at a cartoon that would not have looked out of place on a white supremacist website and thought it met the paper’s editorial standards? What does this say about your processes or your decision makers? How are you fixing it?”

The ACJ added, “Naked antisemitism such as in this image is not ‘an error of judgment.’ We have to wonder if the @nytimes editors would’ve published a similar cartoon depicting any other country or people.”

The group’s CEO David Harris tweeted that he was “appalled” by the cartoon, adding, “While #Antisemitism is rising…synagogues are attacked & Jews killed…democratic #Israel is demonized…& Jewish institutions are forced to bolster security…The “paper of record” pours oil on the fire.”

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Antunes defended and explained the meaning of his cartoon in an email to The Jerusalem Post. “Trump’s erratic, destructive and often blind politics encouraged the expansionist radicalism of Netanyahu,” he wrote.

“To illustrate this situation, an analogy occurred to me with a blind man [Trump] led by a guide dog [Netanyahu] and, to help identify him, little known in Portugal, I added the Star of David, symbol of the State of Israel and central element of its flag.”

Antunes further questioned, “Why I cannot do a critique of Israeli policy without being immediately categorized as antisemitic? I have nothing against the Jews, but I have many things against the politics of Israel.”

In addition to The Times and the ACJ finding the cartoon offensive, so did several members of Congress and media figures, along with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, according to The Post.

Last week was not the first time that Antunes was accused of producing an anti-Semitic cartoon.

According to The Post, in 1983, he drew another work depicting Israeli Defense Forces soldiers as Nazis. The cartoon won him an international prize.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith