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Puerto Rican Newspaper issues tepid “apology” for antisemitic article that claimed Jews control US Government

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El Nuevo Dia, a newspaper based in Puerto Rico, has issued an apology after publishing an article that blamed Jews for the lack of American aid to the territory.

The newspaper published an article by Wilda Rodriguez titled “What does ‘the Jew’ want with Puerto Rico?” which argued that the US Government was under Jewish control, suggesting that Congress “will finally do what ‘the Jew’ wants, as they vulgarly call the prototype of true power?”

The column claims to explain “how the Jews control Washington”, adding that Israelis are not shy about “recognizing [that] Jewish power over the United States is no offence. It is the victory of their diaspora”.

In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League said:

“This is not the first time that confronted with an economic crisis Jews are accused of controlling the power and money. Wilma Rodriguez’s column published in your diary follows the worst legacies of anti-Semitic regimes that we would like to have left behind in the 20th century.

“Publishing an article accusing the Jewish people of controlling governments to the detriment of the future of Puerto Rico is practically the definition of antisemitism.”

Indeed, according to the Definition of Antisemitism, “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic, and antisemitism “is often used to blame Jews for ‘why things go wrong'”.

In a tepid ‘apology’, Rodriguez wrote that “writing is interpreted as antisemitic…. I can understand the  reaction of some to the mere use of the word Jewish. But the intention is not to provoke offence, but to contribute to public discussion”.

The writer’s ‘apology’ does nothing to address the actual offence that was caused, and seems to place blame upon the Jewish community for being offended by an article which is a blatant expression of classic antisemitism. Instead, it shamelessly suggests that antisemitic conspiracy theories have a place within “public discussion”.

The publisher of the newspaper itself wrote that it “apologizes to the Jewish community and to the rest of our audience that has been offended”, but left the text of the article entirely unchanged and un-retracted.

The ADL re-iterated its initial criticism of the article, stating that it “follows the worst legacies of antisemitic regimes that we would like to have left behind in the 20th century”

 

 


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