Photo Credit: NY Times Screenshot
NY Times anti-Semitic cartoon of Bibi as Trump's seeing eye dog.

The New York Times has, finally, gotten around to offering an apology for the sickening anti-Semitic political cartoon published last Thursday in the paper’s international print edition.

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The apology comes after a flood of criticism was directed at the venerable news outlet, slammed for a vicious cartoon that political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic said may have had a role in the deadly shooting attack on a Chabad synagogue this weekend.

Read: Update: Victim Identified, Rabbi Among Wounded in Shooting at Chabad Shul in Poway, California

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, was blunt in his response to the shooting attack at the Chabad synagogue: “The words, the demonstrators and the cartoons turn into shootings against worshipers in synagogues.”

Read: Danon: ‘This is the Time for Determined War’ Against Anti-Semitism

Vice President Mike Pence joined those who condemned the cartoon and made a point of naming The New York Times in his tweet.

The cartoon was supremely anti-Semitic, depicting President Trump as a blind man wearing a yarmulke and being led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the shape of a seeing eye dog wearing a collar adorned by a blue star of David.

Read: NY Times Acknowledges Running (Anti-Semitic) Cartoon Showing Netanyahu as Trump’s Dog

The apology was also sparse in taking responsibility for the vicious political caricature of two of the world’s most important leaders. “A single editor working without adequate oversight” may indeed have made the initial decision to include the cartoon on the Opinion page, as management wrote, but that bit of poison first passed before numerous sets of eyes at The New York Times news service before ever reaching that editor’s computer screen, and certainly was seen again by others within a very short time once negative – or positive – feedback began to roll in.

Moreover, the “apology” was not offered freely, but rather was published grudgingly and likely only once it became clear the paper would find no support from any of America’s leadership on either side of the aisle.

A prior New York Times Opinion Editors’ Note, which retracted the cartoon without offering an apology, was slated to appear in Monday’s international edition. It reads:

“A political cartoon in the international print edition of The New York Times on Thursday included anti-Semitic tropes, depicting the prime minister of Israel as a guide dog with a Star of David collar leading the president of the United States, shown wearing a skullcap. The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it. It was provided by The New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it.”

Clearly, The New York Times publishing company had eyes on the image long before it arrived at the editor’s desk. The New York Times Opinion Editors’ Note even admitted as much. And while it’s nice to acknowledge that the image “was offensive” and that the editor made “an error of judgment to publish it” this is not an apology. It clarifies that the powers that be at The New York Times saw nothing wrong with the cartoon; they simply recognized the potential for liability and took action. Smart, but sad. Not surprising, though. And not new.

A much better analysis of the anti-Semitic debacle at The New York Times was instead written by Bret Stephens. Surprisingly – and to their credit – the paper published it.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.