« An Appended Correction "From The Straits of Gibraltar to the Cairo Pass"? | Main | Latest NY Times Anti-Israel Hit Piece Requires Corrections »

January 21, 2014

The Economist Publishes - Then Pulls - Anti-Semitic Cartoon

CAMERA’s sister organization CiF Watch wrote about a shocking cartoon that was published in The Economist on January 18:

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the czarist forgery purporting to reveal a Jewish conspiracy to control the world, may not, argued Andrew Baker of the American Jewish Committee, “be acceptable dinner conversation any more�?. However, he added, “repackage the sentiment as criticism of Israel, and say that the Jewish lobby controls U.S. foreign policy against ‘true’ American interests, and voilà, you are no longer dabbling in nasty old tropes about sinister Jewish power, but in bold political analysis.�?


Political cartoons represent an efficient way to transmit such prejudices, and often have a more immediate impact in reinforcing negative stereotypes about Jews than lengthy essays. And, though the largest output of antisemitic cartoons nowadays come from the Arab and Muslim world, antisemitic motifs advancing canards about Jewish power also appear in Western, putatively liberal, publications.

Cartoonist Peter Schrank inserts the Star of David into the seal of the Congress of the United States, suggesting that Israel, the pro-Israel lobby, and/or Jews control Congress and are holding President Obama back from achieving an agreement between the U.S. and Iran.

Economist cartoon.jpg

After receiving much criticism, The Economist pulled the cartoon and posted a statement:

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.

This is a positive development. However, one still has to ask how this cartoon was conceived and approved in the first place. Why is it so easy for journalists to fall back on this antisemitic meme? Sadly, The Economist cartoon is part of a terrible tradition of antisemitic imagery, echoing the very themes featured in Der Stürmer, the infamous Nazi propaganda organ:

economist cartoon 10.jpg
Title: The Economy and Jewry Source: Der Stürmer, November 1937 (Issue #47)
This issue accuses Jews of every manner of economic misdeed. The cartoon is titled “Demon Money.�? A Jewish monster, engraved with the Star of David and the symbols for the American dollar and British pound has its claws on the planet.

economist cartoon 9.jpg
Source: Der Stürmer, November 1939 “Business is business! It makes no difference whether it has to do with the crowning of a king or incitement to war.�? The fat-cat Jew with his Jewish money controls the government of the United Kingdom.

CAMERA has reported in the past on problematic coverage in The Economist and troubling cartoons. We can only hope this is the last time we will have to address either.

Posted by SC at January 21, 2014 02:00 PM


As an Economist subscriber who routinely recommends the magazine to hundreds of people a year in his classes, I have some leverage. I think Schrank snuck that tiny Star of David onto the US Seal. I didn't spot it at first myself. The Economist may very well be angry with him. I can send an email to someone you have spoken with there and suggest they avoid him. His attempt is so revealing, we may be sure there is more to come. I looked at his website. His problem is that he is no cartoonist, no wit, merely an illustrator specializing in the grotesque, which half the kids in art school can do. He tries to make up for his lack of inspiration through extra orthodoxy.

Posted by: Prof. George Leonard at January 30, 2014 01:54 PM

Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)