The Washington Post has issued an apology after a cartoon depicting a Hamas terrorist was widely criticized for being racist and insulting.
On Wednesday, the newspaper ran a cartoon by Michael Ramirez, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. In the cartoon, a Hamas terrorist is seen tied to an Arab woman and her children.
The speech bubble says, “How dare Israelis attack innocent civilians.”
The inference is apparent and highly accurate: Hamas purposefully endangers Palestinian civilians by deploying them as human shields and, after that, holds Israel accountable for their deaths. The picture and its reaction perfectly demonstrate how the deaths of civilians help Hamas in the court of public opinion, even while the terrorist group physically stops people from leaving to safety.
No matter how accurate the cartoon was, it still infuriated many Washington Post readers.
A reader complained that the comic’s promotion of racism and bigotry was inappropriate. Racial stereotypes were judged to be both disrespectful and horrifying in the comic.
According to one reader, it’s inaccurate to blame Hamas for the deaths of Palestinian people rather than the actual perpetrators- Israel.
Another reader argues that the author’s use of 19th-century imperialist perspectives is neither informative, insightful, or thought-provoking.
Washington Post, whose slogan is “democracy dies in darkness,” decided not to publish the cartoon, implying that it was not valid.
In his explanation, the newspaper’s editorial editor, David Shipley, explained that he had misunderstood the cartoon to be a depiction of a specific individual, a Hamas spokesperson who had encouraged assaults on unarmed people in Israel. He said that the reaction to the photograph had shown him that he had missed something significant and polarizing.
Shipley explained that it did not adhere to the paper’s standards.
Then, without a hint of iron, Shipley promised to keep the opinion section home to various ideas and viewpoints, especially ones that challenge readers.