Ami Editor Apologizes for “Poor Choice” of Picture of White House Draped in Nazi Flags


ami-magazineThe editor of Ami Magazine acknowledged earlier this week that the front page of this week’s issue depicting the White House draped in Nazi flags with Nazi storm troopers marching in front “may have been a poor choice,” reports Stewart Ain in the Jewish Week.

“The swastika is the present day symbol of Nazism and we did it to make a journalistic statement about the spread of neo-Nazism,” explained Rabbi Yitzchak Frankfurter, the magazine’s publisher and editor-in-chief. “The White House was used as a symbol of the U.S. and not to suggest anything about the present administration or its occupants.”

The magazine, which is not affiliated with any organization, is published each Wednesday in New York and Israel.

Although this week’s cover generated some complaints “I would not call it a storm,” Rabbi Frankfurter said.

“We’ve had storms in the past about editorial positions we took or articles we ran,” he said. “We had people ask us this week about our choice [of cover illustration], but I wouldn’t say there was an uproar. … Some people said they felt it was a poor choice, and in retrospect we think it may have been.”

In the same issue of the magazine, Ami has a feature about activist Yossi Gestetner, whom the publication calls “the chareidi Rush Limbaugh.”

Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America and a regular contributor to the magazine, said in an email that he was “taken aback” by the cover.

“The intent, of course, was not in any way referring to [President Barack] Obama but to a nightmare future scenario of American neo-Nazis taking over,” he wrote. “Still and all, the image itself was offensive. I told the editors so, and they agree it was a bad judgment.”

Rabbi Frankfurter said this was a particularly “sensitive” time to have run the illustration so soon after the recent street demonstration in Jerusalem by some who wore yellow stars on their jackets with the word “Jude” in the center.

“Because of the uproar in Israel over the use of the Jewish star, we may have made a poor choice and we regret putting that in this week’s issue,” Rabbi Frankfurter said.

He pointed out that his magazine “condemned” the Nazi imagery used in the street protest in “very strong” terms.

“We unequivocally condemned the abuse of the Holocaust memories. Now people may make the equation that we are doing the same thing. But if you look at any neo-Nazi Website, you will see that the swastika is their symbol – it is still being used and people are associating it with neo-Nazism.”

Asked if the magazine is going to say anything in next week’s issue about the cover illustration, Rabbi Frankfurter replied: “We may apologize. We don’t want people to think this was an abuse of the Holocaust memory. If anyone would think that, we want to correct that mistake and apologize to people who were offended.”

In the article, author John Loftus wrote that anti-Semitism has been increasing in the U.S. for the last 30 years and “by leaps and bounds around the world.” He said he has detected an “all too-common tendency of government and social organizations to sweep anti-Semitic or terrorist incidents under the rug. The FBI has been frequently accused in the press of deliberately mislabeling attempted terrorist attacks to improve their statistics. My friends inside the Bureau blushingly admit that the accusation has merit.”

Read the full report in The Jewish Week.

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  1. interesting. in the words of someone, “me thinks thou doth protest too much.
    were a picture of rush limbaugh in an ss uniform to be published, nobody would feel it was calling rush ,a nazi.
    yet the white house with the banners, and that is equivalent to calling mr obama, who is only one “occupier ” of that august building, a nazi?
    there is only one reason that is so . and that is because to call mr limbaugh a nazi is so unbelievable and laughable that one immediately looks for an alternate explanation of such a photo without even realizing that his brain discarded the possibility that he is being called a nazi.
    with mr obama though, obviously rabbi avi shafrin feels it is a believable enough scenario , that he must issue a statement.
    very telling.
    i’m just saying.

  2. #1, That is the most foolish observation I’ve seen in a long time. We may not be too crazy over Obama, but it’s just as unbelievabe for him to be a Nazi as it is for “Der Hailige” Rush. Anyway, make up your mind. Are Liberals Communists or Nazis? You can’t have it both ways.

  3. what happened with the interview of Rav shmuel kaminetzky, or any shock aritcle they publish. This is just a confirmation of a conclusion that many have reached long ago

  4. This happens when people want to play big journalism while unaware of its responsibilities and its consequences. Nazism is the ultimate insult to humanity therefore as much a person disagrees with the current USA government, sensitivity and care should be taken for people that have survived Nazism. Additionally it does not do well for us to do that it makes a mockery of the meaning and magnitude of that tragedy. .

  5. im sick and tired of ami putting things in and then appologizing for it. it has happened many times over. THINK BEFORE YOU DO THINGS!

  6. Besides an apology, can we get an explanation from them as to why any sane person would put such a picture with swatikas on the white us in a frum publication? Why do they want to embarrass all us frum Yidden with such a foolish move? It is inexcusable, and no, an apology will not suffice.

  7. If anything, this should be a desperate wake-up call to AMI to realize that if you want to play in the big leagues, you gotta act like professionals. Right now, it’s Amateur Night at AMI.

  8. Ami should shut down operations immediatly! They should apologize to the WH & to all decent Americans! If the KKK would of done the same thing, you would of gone nuts

  9. I can only hope that the reason the fools in Israel and at Ami are misusing the Nazi name and symbol so frivolously is because they didn’t lose family in the holocaust. That would mean they couldn’t possibly feel the same anguish I do when seeing and hearing it. Otherwise, there is no excuse. Apologies are not accepted here. Only education.

  10. What were they thinking?
    Didn’t they learn about to start up with goyim?
    Don’t they know that we in beloved USA are still in Galus?
    Is like we have a very good “IMAGE” in the world that they have to add more salt to the wound?

    And tomorrow when there are more of these type of incidents because of this “bad judgement” then we are going to really blame the USA, and not realizing it is us who started it.
    I hope they do teshuvah by writing an article how beautiful and good the west has been to us jews in this Galus.

    if someone sends or writes a comment which actually hits the nail on the head with out bashing any one why dont you post it

  12. #5 i(#1) am actually not a fan of rush limbaugh i think he is just a baal gaavah with mediocre intelligence. i was just using him as an example of someone whom nobody would even entertain the possibility of being a nazi. had i said mr kretchner from the 53rd st minyan it would not really be an understandable example. if its so unbelievable why is he so up in arms?

  13. Gee, do the commenters here have an agenda or are they just bored and bitter? Ami is a wonderful publication that enhances my Shabbos. So they slipped up. You dont like it? Its a free country-don’t buy it. Why all the vitriol?