Cartoonist blames NYT controversy on "Jewish propaganda machine"

In an interview with CNN, conducted in Portuguese, Antunes said he was surprised by the outrage. He said he has the “utmost respect” for the Jewish peoples’ past, but said that doesn’t mean they can be “above criticism.”

He claimed that anti-Semitism charges are a misunderstanding “made through the Jewish propaganda machine, which is, anytime there’s criticism it’s because there’s someone anti-Semitic on the other side, and that’s not the case.”

He blamed right-wing figures: “The Jewish right doesn’t want to be criticized, and therefore, when criticized they say ‘We are a persecuted people, we suffered a lot… this is anti-Semitism.'”

Antunes also said he was hurt by the Times’ statements. “They should see that here it’s a political issue and not religious,” he said, adding that people should not accept the idea that “any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism.”