Twenty-five Conservative MPs signed a letter to the Sunday Times editor on Monday saying the decision to publish a cartoon accused of using anti-Semitic tropes to attack Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was “objectionable enough” made even more so with it being Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Expressing their “shock”, the MPs said the newspaper has shown “poor judgement” in printing the cartoon and called for a printed apology.

“Refusal to acknowledge the upset this has caused in the Jewish community and beyond is further evidence of this conclusion. We hope that you will see fit to print an apology in the next edition,” the letter said.

Labor MP Louise Ellman, vice chair of the Labor Friends of Israel, also called on the editor to issue an apology.

“This gross insensitivity demands a full apology, not the excuse that it was somehow in reference to Israel’s elections. At a time when civilians are being killed by their own regimes across the region, I fail to see how Scarfe’s blood imagery, in reference to Israel’s democratic elections, helps you to fulfil your duty of keeping your readership accurately informed,” she told Ivens in a letter.

“Undoubtedly there are debates to be had about the complex situation in the Middle East but depicting the conflict in terms of emotive and offensive imagery will not pave the way to a solution,” she added.

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