EJC calls Sunday Times cartoon on Holocaust Remembrance Day 'sickening'

28 January 2013

The leading UK newspaper ‘Sunday Times’ has run an anti-Israel cartoon in its latest edition which has sparked criticism. It depicts a big-nosed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu paving a wall with the blood and limbs of writhing Palestinians. The cartoon, whose publication coincided with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, included a caption entitled "Israeli elections - will cementing peace continue?"

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor expressed outrage about the publication, declaring: “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. This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the paper’s editors.”

The ‘Sunday Times’ editors defended its cartoon in response to charges of anti-Semitism. "This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe,” a spokesman for the weekly told the ‘Jerusalem Post’ and added that it was aimed squarely at Netanyahu and his policies and “not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people." The paper, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., added that the cartoon had appeared on Sunday because that had been the first issue to appear since the Israeli election.

Last week, British Liberal Democrat parliamentarian David Ward accused “the Jews” of inflicting violence on Palestinians on a daily basis,” and questioned how they could do this so soon after their “liberation from the death camps.” He somewhat backtracked on Saturday, in response to condemnation from his party and a huge backlash on social media. “I was trying to make clear that everybody needs to learn the lessons of the Holocaust,” Ward posted on his website, adding: “I recognize of course the deep sensitivities of these issues at all times, and particularly on occasions of commemoration such as this weekend [Holocaust Memorial Day].” However, he said his criticisms of Israel remained “as strong as ever.”

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