May 25, 2021
Cartoon on Mideast violence is dangerously devoid of context
Updated May 25, 2021, 7:15 a.m.
The violence in the Middle East over the past weeks has been tragic. We grieve the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives, and we support both Israelis’ and Palestinians’ rights to live with security, dignity, and peace.
We were dismayed by Christopher Weyant’s May 22 editorial cartoon, another unfortunate example of an increasingly common American portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is one-sided and devoid of context. We expect more from The Boston Globe.
It is problematic, even frightening, for many in the Jewish communities we represent to witness the aggressive and reductionist rhetoric attacking Israel. Half-truths, hashtags, and cartoons that lack important context hide a complex reality and shut down rather than encourage thoughtful conversation and real understanding.
What we are witnessing is not constructive criticism but rather vilification of Israel that is too often extending to American Jews, uncorking Jew-hatred and inciting the antisemitic violence that we have witnessed across the United States in recent days.
Editorial cartoons are intended to provide insight into nuanced political issues. Given the complexity of this conflict and the impact of rhetoric on people’s lives — not just in the Middle East but here in the United States — care is needed to ensure precision and thoughtfulness.
Marc Baker, President and CEO, Combined Jewish Philanthropies
Jeremy Burton, Executive director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
Robert Trestan, Regional director, ADL New England
Robert Leikind, Regional director, AJC New England
Lital Carmel, Regional director, Israeli American Council of New England