The illustrator of an editorial cartoon depicting Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall on the bodies of Palestinians and using their
blood as cement apologized for the timing of its publication.
statement printed on his official website, Gerald Scarfe emphasized that "I am
not, and never have been, anti-Semitic." He said the drawing, published January 27
- International Holocaust Memorial Day - in The Sunday Times, was "a criticism
of Netanyahu, and not of the Jewish people: there was no slight whatsoever
intended against them."
"I was, however, stupidly completely unaware that it
would be printed on Holocaust Day, and I apologize for the very unfortunate
timing," the statement concluded.
Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns
the Sunday Times through a subsidiary, said on Twitter that the paper
should apologize for printing the cartoon.
"Gerald Scarfe has never
reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times," Murdoch tweeted Monday.
"Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon."
statement was made in response to criticism from leaders of the Jewish community
in the UK who said the drawing was reminiscent of anti-Semitic blood
The Board of Deputies of British Jews, an umbrella organization,
filed a complaint with the independent Press Complaints Commission, the Guardian
reported, and incoming Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens told The Jerusalem Post
that he would meet with leaders of the British Jewish community this week over
reaction to the cartoon.