Bufalo Jewish community demands "removal" of a cartoon it considers "anti-Semitic" and an apology from the newspaper


Death toll in Gaza. Leaky tap. Zyglis cartoon published on 26 December.

They know. If until now any criticism, even the most lukewarm, of Israel was branded as anti-Semitism, with the ongoing genocide the accusations are growing even more.

On this occasion, the Jewish community in Buffalo is upset and outraged by this cartoon by Adam Zyglis published on Tuesday in The Buffalo News in which Joe Biden and a toilet are depicted. They claim the cartoon is anti-Semitic and not a criticism of Israel.

Rabbi Mendy Labkowski of the Chabad Center For Jewish Life told WBEN radio that the cartoon, which depicts a sink with faucets with stars of David and bloody skulls coming out of the faucet, has caused deep distress in Buffalo's Jewish community. According to Lablowski: "The use of the Star of David, a symbol of Judaism, transforms this depiction into an anti-Semitic attack rather than a criticism of the Jewish state of Israel".

Labkowski says this is not an isolated case, as Zyglis has a history of publishing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons. "The Jewish Community perceives today's cartoon as a continuation of that trend, but also as reminiscent of the historical propaganda of the 1930s."

Labkowski, on behalf of the Jewish community, in addition to calling for the removal of the cartoon from the newspaper's website, advocates the following actions in a first statement:

A formal apology: We demand that The Buffalo News issue a formal apology, prominently featured in the paper, acknowledging the harm caused by the cartoon.

Aneditorial assessment: "Conduct a thorough review of editorial and creative processes to prevent the publication of anti-Semitic cartoons such as this one.

Three days later, a second statement was issued, again calling for the removal of the cartoon and an apology in Sunday's print version.

Bufalo Jewish community demands "removal" of a cartoon it considers "anti-Semitic" and an apology from the newspaper

According to WBEN, The Buffalo News has not yet responded to the community's requests.

What the newspaper has done is to call on its readers to comment on the image, assuring them that the response to the editorial cartoon has been overwhelming and "they want to know more".

The newspaper invites anyone who has anything to say about it to send their opinions to the newspaper through letters to the editor.

"We recognise the responsibility to hear what our readers have to say about this cartoon, as well as about the attack on Israel and Israel's response, and we will devote Sunday's letters page to the responses".

According to the paper, the cartoon is not intended to send an anti-Semitic message, explaining:

"The cartoon showed President Biden in bed oblivious to the deaths in Gaza, represented by a sink with faucets with the Star of David dripping skulls. It was a scathing commentary, intended as a political/social/military observation, and was not intended to be anti-Semitic in any way. Indeed, both Zyglis and our editorials have recently denounced the shocking rise of anti-Semitism."

About Adam Zyglis

A computer science, mathematics and fine arts graduate, he has been a Pulitzer Prize-winning staff editorial cartoonist at The Buffalo News since August 2004.

His cartoons are distributed internationally and have appeared in numerous publications around the world, including The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. He has also worked as a freelance book illustrator.

His work has also appeared in magazines such as The Week, Time and MAD Magazine. In 2013 he won the Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award from the National Press Foundation. In 2007, 2011 and 2015 he won the National Headliner Award, sponsored by the Atlantic City Press Club. In addition, in 2015 he received the Grambs Aronson Cartooning with a Conscience Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Sam Zyglis's personal website

Bufalo Jewish community demands "removal" of a cartoon it considers "anti-Semitic" and an apology from the newspaper

Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (III)
Cases of cartoonists who have had problems of some importance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have got into trouble for sharing them.

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