ADL Disappointed at Cartoonist's Decision to Stand Behind His Offensive Portrayal of Jews
New York, NY, June 4, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was "disappointed and saddened" to learn that editorial cartoonist Dick Locher has chosen to defend his recent cartoon which portrayed the Israeli prime minister with a hooked nose and implied that Jews are motivated solely by greed.
In an interview with Editor & Publisher Online, Locher defended his cartoon "Mideast Gulch," stating that, "I was trying to go to bat for the American taxpayer. Israel is a good friend, but let's get an accounting for where the money is going." The syndicated cartoon appeared in the Chicago Tribune on May 30 and has also been featured on the pages of the Los Angeles Daily News and the Denver Post. Locher is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former Tribune cartoonist.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement.
We were disappointed that Dick Locher has decided to stand behind his work instead of acknowledging his mistake in dredging up images that evoke age-old classical anti-Semitic stereotypes.
The image of the stereotypical, greedy, hooked nose Jew who is motivated by money has been a persistent theme in anti-Semitic literature through the centuries. This was an extremely poor choice of images for an editorial cartoon on the Mideast conflict. We had hoped that Locher would follow the lead of his colleagues at the Chicago Tribune in recognizing that this cartoon failed in its message and, in the words of public editor, Don Wycliff, "crossed all the lines."
Rather than accepting this as a "teaching moment" to educate the public about the evils of anti-Semitism and the persistence of anti-Jewish images through the centuries, Locher unfortunately has decided to stand behind a disturbing work that has offended many in the Jewish community.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.