Our View on Amos Biderman's Cartoon

Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn on the controversy surrounding a recent editorial cartoon.

Haaretz values Israel's friendship with the United States as an unparalleled strategic asset and as a backbone of Israel's existence, security and prosperity. We expect any prime minister to do the utmost to develop the relationship and not to undermine America's support through harmful policies, fueled by short-lived political considerations, at the expense of Israel's key national interests.

Amos Biderman's editorial cartoon was a reaction to the current state of mistrust between Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Obama administration, as reflected in Jeffrey Goldberg's story in The Atlantic. Our famed, veteran cartoonist was aiming his criticism at Netanyahu's recent announcements of new settlement expansion plans in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and at his insinuations that America is acting against Israel, depicting them as a wrong turn in Israeli policy that has rightfully elicited strong criticism from Washington. Biderman sought to warn against what he views as a grave threat to Israel, if its leadership continues to escalate its diplomatic confrontation with the United States.

Needless to say, Haaretz deeply honors and respects the memory of American and other victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. We regret any misreading of Biderman׳s image as disrespectful to those who perished or to survivors of this horrible crime.

We reject any linkage between Biderman’s cartoon and patently false, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about alleged Israeli involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Haaretz has never given any stage to these defamatory libels, which were in no way on the mind of the cartoonist or the newspaper’s editors.