(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The UK’s Sunday Times newspaper sparked a controversy on Sunday when it ran a cartoon featuring a caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall using the blood of Palestinians for cement.
The image was entitled “Israeli elections—will cementing peace continue?” and featured a large-nosed Netanyahu laying bricks over bleeding Palestinians writhing amid the bricks.
“The Sunday Times has clearly lost its moral bearings, publishing a cartoon with a blatantly anti-Semitic theme and motif which is a modern-day evocation of the ancient ‘blood libel’ charge leveled at Jews,” said the Anti-Defamation League’s International Affairs Director, Michael A. Salberg.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Times, on Monday expressed the newspaper’s regret for the cartoon on Twitter, writing that “we owe [a] major apology for [the] grotesque, offensive cartoon.”
European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor said the cartoon was even more offensive given that it was published on Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset,” Kantor said.
A spokesperson from The Times said that the cartoon was not anti-Semitic, and was aimed at Netanyahu and his policies, not Israel in general, or Jewish people. Murdoch on Monday reiterated that sentiment, saying the drawing by Gerald Scarfe, whose cartoons often depict blood, was not reflective of the paper’s editorial stance.