Economist pulls ‘hurtful’ and ‘outrageous’ cartoon

By Marcus Dysch, January 23, 2014
Peter Schrank’s cartoon implying Jewish control of US policy towards Iran

Peter Schrank’s cartoon implying Jewish control of US policy towards Iran

The Economist has removed from its website a cartoon which appeared to show Barack Obama shackled by an Israel-controlled US Congress.

There had been immediate criticism of the cartoon from Jewish and pro-Israel groups in the United States.

The image was used to illustrate an article which investigated the possibilities of a deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

It showed President Obama attempting to reach out and shake hands with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. But Mr Obama was depicted as shackled by a Congress emblem featuring two Star of David insignia.

The cartoon was published on Saturday, with the image being changed online on Monday following the complaints.

Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman called for the Economist to make 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.

“This was nothing less than a visual representation of the age-old antisemitic canard of Jewish control. This is the stuff of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, recycled for a modern-day audience.”

After removing the cartoon from its website, the Economist posted an editor’s note explaining: “The print edition of this story had a cartoon which inadvertently caused offence to some readers, so we have replaced it with a photograph”.

The illustration was drawn by Peter Schrank, a political cartoonist whose work appears in the Independent on Sunday in Britain.

Last updated: 4:45pm, January 23 2014