web analytics
August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Brush Up your Shakespeare: Tribune Apologizes to ADL for Shylock Clue

It's official: the word "Jew" is an ethnic slur.
Al Pachino as Shylock.

Al Pachino as Shylock.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Friday called on the editors of Tribune Media Services to apologize for a clue in a crossword puzzle that used the clue “Shylock, e.g.” to elicit a three-letter response, with the correct answer being “Jew.”

It’s official, then, the word “Jew” is a racial slur. Much as if they were to use the clue, say, “Othello, e.g.” for the five-letter word “Black” (could also work with “Louis, e.g.”

The syndicated crossword puzzle included a clue with the name “Shylock,” which, according to the ADL, “is a reference to the grotesque stereotypic fictional Jewish character from Shakespeare’s play, ‘The Merchant of Venice.’”

Now, it’s true that many have opted to play Shylock as a grotesque, diaspora Jew, but I’ve seen many who played him as an angry, vengeful man, who doesn’t take insults from anybody:

He has disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated my enemies; and what’s his reason? I am a Jew.

Has not a Jew eyes? Has not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

This is the single most coveted bit of text in the entire history of Theater—or, at least on anyone’s top 10 list. Now the ADL is saying to associate Shylock with the universal image of a Jew is… racist.

Honestly? What’s more natural than that in a puzzle clue? This is the same as those repulsive PC boards of education who censor the word “nigger” out of Huck Fin. What’s wrong with these people? Have they no sense of cultural history? When you prick them, do they censor the P word?

In a letter to Tribune Media Services, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said:

“Perhaps the puzzle authors were unaware of the use of Shakespeare’s Shylock character throughout the years as a vehicle for antisemitism. Selecting Shylock to elicit the answer ‘Jew’ demonstrates cultural ignorance and an extreme lack of sensitivity. Even if done inadvertently, such a linkage perpetuates classic antisemitic stereotypes of Jews as evil and money-hungry.”

ADL urged Tribune Media Services to print an apology and refrain from using clues that reinforce negative stereotypes about Jews or other groups in the future.

And, according to JTA, Tribune Media Services apologized for using Shylock as a clue.

The media syndicate said in its apology that appeared in newspapers on Sunday, that the puzzle “should not have been distributed with that clue.”

Tribune Media added that it “is very sensitive to racial or cultural references in the content we distribute and regret that this slipped through.”

Where do you get off this crazy planet? Seriously, crossword puzzles depict the most common bits of data, things we all know because we picked it up sometime along our drudge-course of organized education. It’s a little late to pick a fight over the Bard’s artistic choices now – and, unlike the ADL, he described his Jewish character with nuance and depth, with graceful notes alongside notes of rage.


About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Brush Up your Shakespeare: Tribune Apologizes to ADL for Shylock Clue”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh waves to Hamas supporters during a Hamas rally in  Gaza City, August 27, 2014.
Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh Hospitalized
Latest Blogs Stories
A Jewish wedding.

Is it because of corrupt values and lack of meeting opportunities that we have a shidduch crisis?

Islamic Law

Israel is fighting the war that none of the Western world has the ability or courage to fight.

netanyahu-phone.jpg

Finish the job! Sayyem et a missima!סיים את המסימה!

Doug Goldstein

Life after 50? You better believe it! Tips on how to prepare and enjoy life after retirement.

While I am no fan of the two-state solution, I think I have a solution for the Gaza strip. Let me make it perfectly clear that in no way do I believe a Palestinian people, nation or Arab State ever existed in the history of the world and certainly was not occupied by Israel. If […]

Hamas targeted the Erez Crossing when it knew that Gazans and Israeli Arabs would be there, out in the open…

Does it really take Jewish innovation to come up with this idea?

If you don’t know who’s behind The terror in your mind The answer’s not hard to find, Blame the Jews

If feminism is mentioned at all, it is usually to condemn it as an anti Torah ideal.

“…people making jokes about turning this into a shelter rave, taking #bombshelterselfies…”

Marriage is not just about emotional fidelity but about financial fidelity as well.

So you want to blame Israel? First answer these 5 simple questions, and see if you even have a leg to stand on…

Hamas’s online Jihadi supporters and groupies are desperately trying to differentiate between their support for Hamas and supporting ISIS.

We all got degrees. We got married. We had families. We worked. We and were Koveih Itim

But the real culprit is William Schabas, who by comparison makes Richard Goldstone look like a saint

“The Jewish board of deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye.”

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/brush-up-your-shakespeare-tribune-apologizes-to-adl-for-shylock-clue/2013/07/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: