The editorial cartoon that ran in our opinion page Oct. 13 failed to meet our editorial standards and has been retracted.
The cartoon hearkened to clearly anti-Semitic tropes. It should not have been published, and we sincerely apologize that it was.
The cartoon depicted Alan Dershowitz presenting as he crouched on a stage, with his body behind a cardboard cutout labeled “The Liberal Case for Israel.” Dershowitz was drawn with twisted limbs. His foot was crushing a Palestinian person; placed in his hand was a depiction of an IDF soldier next to someone the soldier had shot.
We apologize to our readers and members of our staff who were hurt by the cartoon. We especially apologize to Alan Dershowitz for the ways it negatively impacted him both personally and professionally.
As is clear in the outpouring of criticisms and condemnations by community members both in Berkeley and beyond, the cartoon was unacceptable. The thoughts of several community members have since been published in the form of letters to the editor.
Covering a community means listening to that community and reflecting its beliefs, feelings, fears and opinions. As part of our ongoing education, we will be meeting with local religious leaders and experts to improve our understanding of the historical context behind these types of images and contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism.
Additionally, we are ensuring that a detailed knowledge of the history of harmful visual propaganda becomes an integral part of how we train our staff.
We understand and take responsibility for the harm we have caused our readers and our staff. We hear you, we accept your criticism, and we will learn from our errors.