Anti-Defamation League Demands Apology from Economist

Economist under fire for anti-Semitic cartoon
A picture of the cartoon from the Jan. 18 print issue of The Economist

A picture of the cartoon from the Jan. 18 print issue of The Economist


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is demanding that the Economist magazine offer a “full throated apology” for publishing a cartoon that many deemed anti-Semitic.

The magazine came under fire over the weekend for publishing—and then deleting yesterday—a cartoon that depicted the U.S. Congress as being controlled by Jewish people.

While the image was deleted on Monday from a story focusing on Iran, it still remained published on a separate area of the Economist’s website. However, by Tuesday afternoon that too had been deleted.

An “editor’s note” was appended to the bottom of the original article where the cartoon was published.

“Editor’s note: The print edition of this story had a cartoon which inadvertently caused offence to some readers, so we have replaced it with a photograph,” read a statement posted at the bottom of the article.

The ADL said on Tuesday that the Economist had not gone far enough and “already has a credibility problem when it comes to Israel.”

“The Economist cannot repair the damage of publishing an anti-Semitic image with only half-measures,” the watchdog group said in a statement. “They owe their readers a full-throated apology, which not only acknowledges the offensive nature of the cartoon but explains to readers why this image implying Jewish control was so outrageous and hurtful.”

The ADL added:

This was nothing less than a visual representation of the age-old anti-Semitic canard of Jewish control. And it conjures up yet another classic anti-Semitic myth—the accusation that Jews have “dual loyalty” and will act only on behalf of Israel to the detriment of their own country.  This is the stuff of the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” recycled for a modern-day audience with a wink and a nod to Professors Mearsheimer and Walt and Jimmy Carter.

The Economist already has a credibility problem when it comes to Israel. The fact that this cartoon passed editorial muster without raising red flags raises serious questions about its editorial judgment and the possibility of a more deeply ingrained bias against the Jewish state.