Washington Post Censors Anti-Hamas Cartoon After Reader Complaints, Staff Revolt

The Washington Post has taken down a cartoon by conservative artist Michael P. Ramirez that mocked Hamas, after criticisms by readers and a revolt by staff members.

The cartoon shows a Hamas spokesman with several children and a woman tied to his head and body, being used as human shields. The spokesman is seen saying: “How dare Israel attack civilians…”.

Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as human shields, firing rockets from civilian locations and hiding terrorists and weapons there, hoping both to dissuade Israel from attacking and to maximize public relations damage to Israel if and when it does attack.

Nevertheless the Post removed the cartoon.

The Post did not, however, take town a cartoon on its YouTube page that depicts an Israeli leader maliciously punching a child.

Opinion editor David Shipley wrote a note saying that he regretted having “missed something profound, and divisive” in the anti-Hamas cartoon. A selection of letters from readers complaining about the Ramirez cartoon claimed that it was guilty of depicting Arabs “with exaggerated features and portraying women in derogatory, stereotypical roles”; and that it “amounted to an attempt at excusing Israeli war crimes [sic]”.

However, the Washington Free Beacon published an internal email by Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee to staff members, acknowledging their “many deep concerns and conversations” about the cartoons.

A similar revolt by New York Times journalists against an op-ed in 2020 by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), suggesting the use of the Insurrection Act to use the military to end Black Lives Matter riots, led to the eventual resignation of senior Times executives.

Breitbart News has reached out to Ramirez for comment.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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