Recently the New York Times printed a cartoon that depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as President Donald Trump’s seeing eye dog, bearing exaggerated “Jewish” features and wearing a Star of David Necklace.
Trump wears dark glasses and a Jewish skull cap. That the cartoon was anti-Semitic on several levels is to put the matter mildly.
To be fair, the Times, once it had been pointed out how vile the cartoon was, published an apology and a piece by Bret Stephens pointing out how despicable the image was.
However, the wonder is how one of the most prestigious newspaper on the planet came to print a cartoon that previously could only have appeared in a newspaper published in Nazi Germany.
Once upon a time, anti-Semitism was, if not entirely acceptable, practiced tacitly in the United States.
President Franklin Roosevelt, of all people, often expressed anti-Jewish sentiments in private, according to the LA Times.
Sometimes the president’s anti-Semitism manifest itself in policy, limiting the number of German Jewish refugees who could enter the United States and refusing to take military action against the infrastructure of the Holocaust, such as bombing the gas chambers.
Even before he was president, Roosevelt sat on the board of directors at Harvard University and moved to limit the number of Jews admitted.
Anti-Semitism became far less socially acceptable in the wake of World War II and the revelations of the Nazi Holocaust.
However, the disease revived to some extent, disguised as “anti-Zionism” or “legitimate criticism of Israel’s human rights policies.
The BDS or Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement is a case in point.
BDS claims that its economic war against the State of Israel is simply a campaign for Palestinian rights.
However, as the Center for Security Policy points out, BDS seeks to undermine and eventually destroy the State of Israel by forcing it to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines and to ease its security measures against Palestinian terrorism.
The strategy of economic war against Israel dates to one waged by the Arab League starting in 1945, before the Jewish state was even created.
One can even suggest that BDS shares certain characteristics with the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.
Needless to say, BDS and its supporters are silent about the horrendous human rights practices by some other countries in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia and Iran.
But, of course, the point is not human rights, it is the Jews.
Let us not forget some of the obnoxious things that Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota said, claiming that supporters of Israel have been paid off by the Jewish state.
While she was condemned by both sides of the aisle, the Democratic run House was not able to pass a resolution specifically condemning Omar or her remarks.
She has suffered no real consequences for her statements.
Sometimes modern anti-Semitism has manifested in bloodshed.
In October 2018 a man entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 people, wounding several others.
More recently, another man entered a synagogue in San Diego and kill one person and wounded four, including the rabbi.
Many more may have been killed had it not been for the actions of an army vet and an off-duty Border Patrol officer.
Some political partisans have blamed President Donald Trump for the upsurge in anti-Semitism, as Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California did.
The accusation is rather bold considering that the president is a warm supporter of Israel and has a Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.
Trump was quick to condemn both synagogue shootings and made an effort to speak with the rabbis of both congregations.
Of course, some Trump haters believe that a bird does not fall from the sky that the president is somehow responsible for.
“Denormalizing” anti-Semitism is going to take a lot of work.
A lot of people are confused about what it is and what it is not.
The form of bigotry has to become as unacceptable as saying the “N word” in public.
The New York Times demonstrated how difficult the effort will be.
Days after apologizing for one anti-Semitic cartoon, it published another, depicting Benjamin Netanyahu wearing robes, carrying a stone tablet with the Star of David in one hand and a selfie stick in another.
The Times has clearly not learned its lesson.