Prominent Jewish groups around the world this weekend decried a cartoon, which appeared in the UK’s Sunday Times and depicted a crude caricature of re-elected Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall cemented with Palestinian blood and bodies. Organizations including the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BDBJ) complained that the image was anti-semitic, and went as far as to say that artist Gerald Scarfe evoked the slur of “blood libel” historically aimed against Jews.
Rupert Murdoch, chair and CEO of News Corporation which owns the Sunday Times, was swift in attempts to repair the damage. On Sunday, he tweeted, “Gerald Scarfe has never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times. Nevertheless we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon.” Meanwhile, Sunday Times acting editor Martin Ivens publicly stated, “The paper has been written strongly in defense of Israel and its security concerns, as I have I as a columnist. “We are however, reminded of the sensitivities in this area by the reaction to the cartoon and I will of course bear them very carefully in mind in future.”