The New York Times faced backlash over the weekend after many people thought the newspaper’s crossword puzzle layout resembled a Nazi swastika, which was made even worse because it was published at the beginning of Hanukkah.
The crossword was published by the newspaper on Sunday, generating a slew of criticism online.
Jewish author Magen Yehudi wrote on Twitter, “If you think it’s outrageous that the New York Times decided a swastika was a great idea for their crossword puzzle on the first day of Hanukkah, maybe you should remember that the next time you read their reports about Haredi yeshivot & ponder whether there might be bias there.”
For anyone claiming that it’s a case of seeing something that’s not there: pic.twitter.com/gd4rtT3JHP
— shevereshtus (@shevereshtus) December 18, 2022
“Disgusting! Only the New York Times would get Chanukah going with this is the crossword puzzle,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted. “Imagine what they would do to someone who did this and was not ideologically aligned with them? I’ll give them the same benefit of the doubt they would give those people… EXACTLY ZERO.”
“Meanwhile, on the first night of Hanukkah the anti-Israel New York Slimes issues a crossword puzzle that looks like a swastika,” conservative radio host Mark Levin said. “Of course, when pointed out, they claimed it was a coincidence. What a sick and sad history.”
Blake Flayton, a writer at the Jewish Journal, tweeted, “Today’s New York Times crossword is um…making me nervous.”
“A not so subtle swastika in the NYT,” political commentator David Shor responded.
A not so subtle swastika in the NYT: https://t.co/1pQs4LH5JO
— David Shor (@DYShor) December 18, 2022
Other notable responses included:
So has anyone at the NYT explained why they decided to do a crossword shaped like a swastika to coincide with the start of Hanukkah? https://t.co/evEE7XueQI
— AG (@AGHamilton29) December 18, 2022
It’s the first night of Hanukkah, so the NYT gives us a swastika crossword puzzle… https://t.co/WcShPWG83Z
— Aaron Lavinsky (@ADLavinsky) December 18, 2022
— Sam Sokol (@SamuelSokol) December 18, 2022
The New York Times faced intense backlash back in April 2019 after the newspaper’s international edition published an anti-Semitic cartoon that was widely condemned across the political spectrum. The newspaper was criticized again later in the day for failing to apologize in its initial response.
In an op-ed published in The Times, Bret Stephens criticized his own newspaper at the time for promoting anti-Semitism.
“The Times wasn’t explaining anti-Semitism. It was purveying it,” Stephens wrote. “It did so in the form of a cartoon…in which a guide dog with a prideful countenance and the face of Benjamin Netanyahu leads a blind, fat Donald Trump wearing dark glasses and a black yarmulke. Lest there be any doubt as to the identity of the dog-man, it wears a collar from which hangs a Star of David.”
“Here was an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer,” Stephens added. “The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign.”
“The image also had an obvious political message: Namely, that in the current administration, the United States follows wherever Israel wants to go,” Stephens added, noting that the message was false.
On April 25, 2019 The New York Times published a story with a highly anti-Semitic cartoon picturing Israel PM Bibi Netanyahu as an animal with a Magen David leash held by US president Donald Trump.
It’s time for our generation to make sure that anti-Semitism is prevented. pic.twitter.com/FosC7SprAS
— Rudy Rochman (@rudy_rochman) April 27, 2019