WaPo Takes Down Cartoon Depicting Hamas Terrorist Using Human Shields After Anti-Israel Staffers, Readers Cry ‘Racism’
“However, the reaction to the image convinced me that I had missed something profound, and divisive, and I regret that. Our section is aimed at finding commonalities, understanding the bonds that hold us together, even in the darkest times.” – WaPo editorial page editor David Shipley
In February 2017, a month after Donald Trump was sworn into office, the Washington Post proudly announced a change in its online masthead, with it reading “Democracy dies in darkness.”
These days, democracy is dying in anti-Semitism thanks to the Post‘s cowardly decision to yank a cartoon done by Las Vegas Journal-Review cartoonist Michael Ramirez, which was originally published Monday, because it sparked an outcry among triggered anti-Israel staffers, readers, and other assorted Useful Idiots who claimed it was “racist” and allegedly unfairly put the lion’s share of the blame for civilian deaths in Gaza on Hamas terrorists and not Israel.
The cartoon depicted a man labeled “Hamas” with a woman and children strapped to him, asking “How dare Israel attack civilians…” pic.twitter.com/mOB6wt4DQf
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) November 9, 2023
You had it right the first time.
But taking it down is just an act of utter cowardice and acquiescence to these Hamas jihadist terrorists! pic.twitter.com/w6K7ing1t7
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) November 9, 2023
The Washington Post has taken down an editorial cartoon about the Israel-Gaza war, after criticism that it was racist and dehumanizing towards Palestinians. https://t.co/4WzjrKkQW2
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) November 9, 2023
In a note to readers, editorial page editor David Shipley wrote about his “regret” over his decision to publish the cartoon, claiming the paper missed an opportunity to find “commonalities” and “bonds that hold us together”:
A cartoon we published by Michael Ramirez on the war in Gaza, a cartoon whose publication I approved, was seen by many readers as racist. This was not my intent. I saw the drawing as a caricature of a specific individual, the Hamas spokesperson who celebrated the attacks on unarmed civilians in Israel.
However, the reaction to the image convinced me that I had missed something profound, and divisive, and I regret that. Our section is aimed at finding commonalities, understanding the bonds that hold us together, even in the darkest times.
The Hamas spokesperson in question was Hamas official Ghazi Hamad, who has explicitly stated that Hamas won’t rest until Israel is “annihilated,” and that they will commit many more October 7ths to get the job done if necessary.
It should be noted that the cartoon depiction of Hamad and Hamad himself look strikingly similar:
That’s also what ghazi hamad looks like! pic.twitter.com/giijZF1kE1
— Sallah Shabati (@kodkod87) November 10, 2023
Despite that inconvenient fact, among the complaints from some of the Post‘s readers was how the cartoon allegedly exaggerated Hamad’s features:
The caricatures employ racial stereotypes that were offensive and disturbing. Depicting Arabs with exaggerated features and portraying women in derogatory, stereotypical roles perpetuates racism and gender bias, which is wholly unacceptable.
Before the Holocaust, Jews were portrayed as irrational and evil, with physical features that made them appear akin to cockroaches and rats. These images dehumanized Jews to justify their mass extermination.
Now, the western press is doing the same to Palestinians. Exhibit A 👇 pic.twitter.com/IQ0k9bG9Wj
— matnashed (@matnashed) November 8, 2023
Staffers in the WaPo newsroom were also reassured by executive editor Sally Buzbee that their “deep concerns” about the cartoon were being recognized by Shipley:
Given the many deep concerns and conversations today in our newsroom, I wanted to ensure everyone saw the notes sent out tonight by The Post’s opinions editor, David Shipley, to Post readers and to his staff in opinions.
My best, Sally
Leading the campaign to have the cartoon pulled (and Ramirez canceled in the process) was anti-Semitic self-described poet Remi Kanazi, a Palestinian-American who is a proponent of the anti-Semitic BDS movement and who once made a veiled call for the eradication of Jewish people:
“I don’t want to coexist. I want to exist as a human being. And justice will take care of the rest.”
Here’s what Kanazi wrote about the Ramirez Hamas cartoon:
This is the @washingtonpost
This is the kind of anti-Palestinian racism that they think is acceptable for publication pic.twitter.com/nd6FYc4cb0
— Remi Kanazi (@Remroum) November 8, 2023
In another tweet, he took issue with another “racist” Ramirez cartoon related to the same issue:
More racist BS from this artist after 10,000 Palestinians were massacred by Israel, including 4500 children pic.twitter.com/2uwzVkaI03
— Remi Kanazi (@Remroum) November 8, 2023
The Post was also called “Islamophobic” for running the Human Shields cartoon, and was accused of “racist dehumanization”:
While I detest Hamas and its tactics, I find this cartoon, published in the Washington Post @washingtonpost, extremely disgraceful.
A sick attempt to stop you from feeling outraged by the killing of 160 children EVERYDAY by #Israeli forces in #Gaza while also being Islamophobic.… pic.twitter.com/R4IhdEgrf0
— Rim Turkmani (@Rim_Turkmani) November 8, 2023
This is a cartoon in the Washington Post.
It's not even subtle in its racism.
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) November 8, 2023
Others suggested that not even Ramirez’s diverse heritage could save him from his alleged racism:
The weird part about that Michael Ramirez cartoonist guy and his terribly racist cartoons is that he is the son of a Mexican father, and a Japanese mother. He was born in japan. Tells you that no amount of ethnic exposure can change a piece of shit. https://t.co/63CUbvhFue
— Jibby (@JibbyD) November 9, 2023
There were also calls to cancel the Ramirez and the editors involved in allowing the cartoon to get published:
Michael Ramirez of the Washington Post should NEVER be allowed to feel comfortable again. EVERY American, and certainly every subscriber to the Post should demand his firing, and whichever editor approved this. I have never seen this level of racist bullshit in a major paper. https://t.co/1cNauqSYl6
— Anne Arkest (@AnneArkest) November 8, 2023
.@washingtonpost opinion editor's non apology about hateful racist cartoon. Insufficient. Michael Ramirez should never publish another cartoon there, and editor @davidjshipley must go. Inciting hatred against Palestinians and Muslims is WRONG! Resign! https://t.co/wdh5L4mzTi pic.twitter.com/1lrj4rGfy2
— Tikun Olam (@richards1052) November 10, 2023
Though the Post removed the Ramirez cartoon from their website, the one at the Las Vegas Review-Journal is still up as of this writing.
My .02 is that maybe these people should spend less time hyperventilating over a cartoon and more time condemning Hamas for hiding behind women and children in the first place. But that assumes they even disagree with the barbaric tactic, which is a rather generous assumption to make considering their obvious hate for Israel.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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