WaPo Censors Cartoon That Depicts Hamas Accurately

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

It's not that the Washington Post deleted a cartoon that depicted the terrorist group Hamas with deadly accuracy. It's the way they went about it that makes me fear for civilization.


The cartoon came down after Washington Post staffers complained to Sally Busbee, executive editor of the Post. What exactly was there to complain about? Hamas using women and children as human shields? Check. Is it hypocritical for Hamas to accuse Israel of killing babies when Hamas does it too? Check.

Unfortunately, some Post staffers and readers didn't see it that way.

Washington Post:

On social media, several readers called it “in poor taste.” In a post on Instagram, Palestinian American poet Remi Kanazi wrote: “This is the Washington Post. This is the kind of anti-Palestinian racism that’s acceptable for publication.” Left-wing British activist Owen Jones called the cartoon an example of “racist dehumanization.”

Opinion Editor David Shipley made the decision to take down the drawing in the interest of "understanding the bonds that hold us together."


“The reaction to the image convinced me that I had missed something profound, and divisive, and I regret that,” wrote Shipley in a note atop letters from readers taking issue with the cartoon. “Our section is aimed at finding commonalities, understanding the bonds that hold us together, even in the darkest times. In this spirit, we have taken down the drawing.”

Reason's Nick Gillespie:

You might have thought mocking a governing authority that is considered a terrorist organization by the US govt, that has a long history of using human shields, and has in recent memory slaughtered innocent men, women, and children might be one of those commonalities that most Americans share. Apparently not at The Washington Post, which still insists that "Democracy Dies in Darkness" on its home page.

Yet the idea that this cartoon must be removed in the name of social comity or common decency or "the bonds that hold us together" is risible. If this sort of specific critique of Hamas is considered beyond the pale of public discussion by a newspaper that prides itself on speaking truth to power, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong in America. And it's not going to be fixed by memory-holing newspaper cartoons, even or especially in our "darkest times."


National Review interviewed two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Ramirez about the controversy.

“This was designed with specificity. It’s focused on one individual and represents one organization and their claims of victimhood,” Ramirez told NR. He said those who considered the cartoon racist are engaged in conflation and “just can’t look beyond Hamas and distinguish the difference between a known terrorist group and Palestinians.”

He told NR he believes the accusations of racism on his part stem from an inability to reckon with the tactics Hamas uses, like employing children as human shields, as he depicted in his drawing.

“When the intellectually indolent cannot defend the indefensible, they pull the race card,” he said.

Michael Ramirez only recently joined the Post in May, having won both his Pulitzer prizes as an editorial cartoonist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

That publication posted the same cartoon, and readers can still see it.


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member