'Sunday Times': Scarfe cartoon 'serious mistake'

UK paper issues "unreserved apology" on editorial page for cartoon depicting PM cementing wall with Palestinian blood.

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February 3, 2013 20:35
1 minute read.
'Sunday Times' anti-Semitic cartoon

'Sunday Times' anti-Semitic cartoon 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Sunday Times “apologized unreservedly” Sunday for last week’s cartoon, printed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cementing a wall with blood and crushed Palestinian bodies.

“It is one thing to attack and caricature a leader – and it is as legitimate to attack Israeli leaders in cartoons as anyone else. But it is another thing to reflect in a caricature, even unintentionally, historical iconography that is persecutory or anti-Semitic,” the paper wrote as a leader on its editorial page.

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The paper said that the image of Netanyahu “reveling in the blood of Palestinians, crossed a line. The image would have been a mistake on any day, but the fact that last Sunday was Holocaust Remembrance Day compounded the error.”

Calling publication of the Gerald Scarfe cartoon a “serious mistake,” the paper said it “abhors anti- Semitism and racism of any type and we would never set out to offend the Jewish people – or indeed any other ethnic or religious group.”

The Prime Minister’s Office, which did not comment last week on the offending cartoon, had no comment Sunday either.

The apology appeared in the next edition of the paper following the publication of the cartoon. Last week Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns the paper, characterized the cartoon as “grotesque” and called on the paper to apologize. The editor, Martin Ivens, did so during a meeting with leaders of British Jewry.

Scarfe, in a message last week to the Jewish Chronicle, said only that he regretted the timing of the cartoon, saying he was not aware that last Sunday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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