To Print, or Not To Print?

Editor’s Note

By Jane Eisner

Published February 03, 2010, issue of February 12, 2010.

This week, the Forward reprints an offensive cartoon of Naomi Chazan accompanying a story about attacks on the New Israel Fund, of which she is president.

But we chose not to reproduce any of the Danish cartoons satirizing the prophet Muhammad and offensive to many Muslims — and the subject of a book reviewed by Eddy Portnoy. Why?

After much deliberation, we decided that the drawing of Chazan (by another Jewish organization) said more than words ever could about a development within the Jewish community, here and in Israel. It is our story, and it is happening now. But we saw no similarly compelling reason to reprint the Danish cartoons, first made public years ago, since Portnoy’s book review stands on its own.

This debate is part of an ongoing discussion about whether and how offensive ideas, in word or illustrations, should be displayed by a news organization like the Forward, which is anchored in journalistic independence and a commitment to community dialogue. As always, I welcome your thoughts.



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