Alan Dershowitz Slams The New York Times for Legitimating Anti-Semitism: 'It Is Very Painful to Me'

Law professor and commentator Alan Dershowitz condemned an anti-Semitic cartoon that appeared in the international edition of The New York Times Thursday.

Speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity, Dershowitz—who has written numerous op-eds for the newspaper—said he was "shocked" by the cartoon.

The image depicted President Donald Trump leading a dog with the head of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump was wearing dark sunglasses and a black yarmulke, while Netanyahu wore a Star of David collar.

"It's borrowed from a 1940 Nazi cartoon that shows a Jew, [with a] stereotype long nose, pulling Winston Churchill into war. Jews control the world, they tell world leaders what to do, they always operate in their own interest," Dershowitz said. "But the New York Times cartoon was worse, because it portrayed the leader of Israel with a Jewish star around his neck as a dog. Dehumanized."

The academic said he feared this kind of media imagery could encourage violence against Jewish communities. On Saturday, a gunman opened fire into synagogue near San Diego, California, killing 60-year-old Lori Kaye.

"The distance between the New York Times editorial office and that synagogue in San Diego gets smaller and smaller as the media gets quicker and quicker, and the fear is that somebody with a gun, maybe with a psychiatric illness, will see dehumanizing cartoons like this and will act on it," Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz lamented that the cartoon was published in the newspaper's international edition. "You know that anti-Semitism is spreading all over Europe," he said. "It legitimates what anti-Semites are feeling—'Oh, Jews are dogs. Jews control the world.' It legitimates it when it's on the pages of The New York Times."

On Monday night, the lawyer was seen among a crowd protesting the cartoon outside the New York Times offices. Social media images show Dershowitz addressing demonstrators from a podium emblazoned with phrases such as "Different times, same anti-Semitism" and "Images can kill."

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The cartoon was supplied to The New York Times by a syndication service. The newspaper announced Monday that its international edition would no longer publish syndicated cartoons. Like the U.S. edition, it will now run only original cartoons.

The newspaper apologized on Saturday for the cartoon. "The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it," read a statement shared by the publication's opinions section Twitter account.

On Sunday, a second statement from Times Opinion on Twitter said the publication was "deeply sorry" for publishing the cartoon. "Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it's all the more unacceptable," read the statement.

Explaining the syndicated image was included by a single editor working "without adequate oversight," the opinions team said it anticipated making "significant changes" to its internal processes.

Alan Dershowitz, New York Times, Anti-Semitism
Alan Dershowitz attends the 2016 New Group Gala at Tribeca Rooftop on March 7, 2016 in New York City. Donna Ward/WireImage