This Friday, the Boston Globe ran an editorial cartoon by Ward Sutton, entitled “Murder on the Tax-Cut Express” and imagining the Republican-led tax bill as a runaway train, the conductor of which is a giddy Donald Trump. But while the cartoon depicts ordinary Americans as the train’s “freight,” riding in a dark and crowded cattle car, it reserves a panel for “priority passengers” that depicts, alone of all of the bill’s wealthy supporters, the Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The Las Vegas mogul is drawn with a hooked nose, enjoying a luxurious meal with his wife while a waiter serves a bag of cash emblazoned with “$14.6 billion.” In the strip, Miriam Adelson, grinning ghoulishly, tells her husband, “you’ve trained those Republicans well.”
In a letter to the editor published yesterday, Robert Trestan, the regional director of the New England region of the Anti-Defamation League, and Jeremy Burton, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, said they were “deeply disturbed and offended” by the cartoon.
“The portrayal,” they wrote, “singling out, among all the donors and interests who stand to benefit, a prominent Jewish individual, Sheldon Adelson; depicting him with an exaggerated hooked nose; linking him with money; and positioning him as hidden inside the train while others conduct—evokes classic anti-Semitic imagery and reinforces existing stereotypes. At a time when hatred and bigotry of all forms are seeping into the mainstream, it is critical that the Globe and other responsible media outlets refrain from giving additional aid to those who no doubt will see this cartoon’s publication as further verification of long-established anti-Semitic views.”