Student newspaper editors at the University of California, Berkeley apologized for an “anti-Semitic” cartoon of lawyer, author, and commentator Alan Dershowitz a week after publishing it.
Editors at the The Daily Californian apologized Wednesday for the “pain and anger” caused by an Oct. 18 cartoon featuring the former Harvard professor, Fox News Channel reported.
The cartoon depicts people looking at a board displaying “the liberal case for Israel” — referring to a speech Dershowitz delivered earlier this month at Berkeley—out of which poked Dershowitz’s head.
An Israel Defense Forces officer stands with a firearm over a dead body behind the board on what appears to be the author’s hand, while Dershowitz’s foot crushes a man holding the Palestinian flag.
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“It is shocking that this vile depiction was published in Berkeley’s paper of record,” Dershowitz said in a letter to the editor. “The cartoon resembles the grotesque anti-Semitic blood libel propaganda splashed across Der Stürmer in the 1930s, which depicted Jews drinking the blood of gentile children.”
Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor and former colleague , supported Dershowitz, as well as did Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.
“I cannot recall anything similar in The Daily Californian, and I call on the paper’s editors to reflect on whether they would sanction a similar assault on other ethnic or religious groups,” Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said, condemning the cartoon in a letter published by The Daily Wire.
The editors of The Daily Californian apologized a week after publishing the cartoon.
“The artist’s intent was to argue that the contents of civil liberties lawyer and professor emeritus at Harvard Law School Alan Dershowitz’s recent lecture at UC Berkeley were hypocritical,” said Karim Doumar, editor-in-chief. “We regret that the artistic rendering distracted from the discussion the artist was trying to start.”
Doumar pledged that the newspaper’s staff would develop a better understanding of anti-Semitism.
“The best response to bigotry is the opposite of censorship: It is exposure and shaming in the court of public opinion,” Dershowitz said. “It should be widely circulated along with the names prominently displayed of the person who drew it and the bigoted editors who decided to publish it. Every potential employer or admissions officer should ask them to justify their bigotry.”
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