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Ed Driscoll

Economist Publishes Anti-Semitic Cartoon

January 20th, 2014 - 3:20 pm


On Saturday, the Economist published a cartoon “that many observers criticized as anti-Semitic,” the Washington Free Beacon reports:

The cartoon in questions was published alongside an article focused on the challenges of reaching a final nuclear deal with Tehran.

It featured President Obama in leg shackles towing a ball labeled “U.S. Congress.” Embedded in the image of Congress are two Jewish Stars of David, which observers saw as a reference to the anti-Semitic canard that Jewish people control Congress.

The Economist removed the image on Monday following backlash from readers.

At Honest, Simon Plosker notes:

The cartoon is clearly meant to imply that both U.S. President Obama and Iranian President Rohani are being constrained in their efforts to reach out to each other. In the case of Obama, the U.S. Congress is portrayed as the proverbial ball and chain.

antisemitic_economist_cartooon_closeup_1-20-14-1But take a closer look. Two Stars of David appear, one in the outer rim and the other located directly over the eagle symbol.

Note that this is not an Israeli flag but a Jewish symbol. Is the cartoonist implying that Congress is under Jewish control?

Jewish control over governments, the media and the international financial system is a classic feature of anti-Semitism and the cartoon is, wittingly or unwittingly, promoting this trope.

As Plosker goes on to write, “This falls firmly under the working definitions of anti-Semitism from both the U.S. State Department and the EU.” He zoomed in to create a close-up of the image; working from this larger copy of the cartoon, I did the same thing, enlarged slightly, and with a little unsharp mask added to bring out the Star of Davids in the Congressional seal the Economist’s cartoonist drew.

And as the Weekly Standard adds, “The cartoon remains on the Economist‘s Middle East & Africa landing page, where the Iran story is the top featured article.” Here’s a screencap of that page. The Middle East is rife with conspiracy theories; something that the Obama-supporting Economist is well aware of, however, the publication certainly doesn’t seem to mind adding fuel to the fire in that region.


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"Jewish control over governments, the media and the international financial system is a classic feature of anti-Semitism..."

Oh puuuuleeese. I am so sick of people getting the vapors from seeing antisemitism in cartoons, their breakfast cereal and everywhere else (for example in another series on this website). Getting a magnifying glass out and searching for secret Nazi messages in old media if pathetic.

Complaining about supposed super subtle anti-jewish messages obscures the real point which is that American foreign policy is so bat-doodoo insane as to defy belief. A cartoon that really reflected US policy would have Obama handing an Ayatollah a pack of rubbers while Joe Biden and susan rice twerk up against a guy in a suicide vest.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
We can interpret the cartoon in a number of ways. Is congress keeping the naive Obama from being pulled into the Iranian Abyss? The caricatures of the Iranians are hardly flattering, what with their hooked noses (typical in anti-Semitic cartoons showing Jews) and the burning American flag we might see the cartoon as anti-Iranian. And some might see a reasonable Obama and reasonable Iranians being kept apart by the Jews in control of congress. To my eye the later interpretation seems the least likely, but Americans seem keen on finding ethnic slurs under every rock.

And what are we to make of the Great Seal of the United States and its explicit Jewish symbolism?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's a race between whether we're repeating 1914 or 1939 ... or perhaps a brilliant combination of both.

Great. Just what I wanted to live through. Guns of August AND Kristallnacht. (Cuomo's already got a head start on the Katholischefrei protocols.)

13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can someone tell me what happened to the Economist? In the 1980s it was a respectable pro-free market & pro-West magazine, but now I keep reading stories like this.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
And they endorsed Obama.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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