ADL Slams Sunday Times ‘Blood Libel’ Cartoon Published on Holocaust Memorial Day, Calls for Immediate Apology

January 27, 2013 1:34 pm 42 comments

The anti-Semitic cartoon including The Sunday Times masthead.

In an email to The Algemeiner, the Anti Defamation League has slammed Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper for publishing a cartoon (pictured left) “with a blatantly anti-Semitic theme,” which appeared Sunday, on Holocaust Memorial Day, and has called for an immediate apology.

Raheem Kassam, Editor of The Commentator which first reported on the publication of the shocking image described the cartoon as depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “large-nosed Jew, hunched over a wall, building with the blood of Palestinians as they writhe in pain within it.”

“Penned by Gerald Scarfe (the cartoonist behind Pink Floyd’s The Wall), the caption reads: ‘Israeli Elections… Will Cementing Peace Continue?’” added Honest Reporting which also reported on the image.

“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,” Michael A. Salberg, ADL International Affairs Director told The Algemeiner. “There is nothing subtle about the caricatured image of Prime Minister Netanyahu using Palestinians and their blood to build a wall to ‘protect’ Israelis,” he added.

Salberg called for an immediate response from The Sunday Times saying, “The Sunday Times should be ashamed and should immediately apologize for its gross insensitivity.”

The ADL also made reference to the history of such gross portrayals of Jews and their role in fanning the hatred that led to their slaughter. “This is the stuff which historically justified hatred of Jews and led to the wholesale slaughter of Jews,” he said.

CEO of Honest Reporting, Joe Hyams, added criticism of the publication, saying, “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember the most appalling atrocities carried out in modern history. It should also be a day when the media remembers that Israel’s actions to defend its citizens bear no relation whatsoever to the genocidal crimes of the Nazis. On any day, this cartoon’s imagery is an assault on the real victims of genocide, demeans their suffering and insults their memory. The Sunday Times should be mindful that what started as cartoons in the 1930′s ultimately led to violence and unspeakable tragedy. This is a lesson that The Sunday Times has clearly not absorbed.”

The Sunday Times is owned by News International which is in turn owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. In the past Murdoch has been recognized by a number of Jewish organizations including the Anti Defamation League for his friendship to the Jewish community. Murdoch has been consistently listed by The Algemeiner as one of the “top 10 non-Jews positively influencing the Jewish future.”

When reached on the phone by The Algemeiner a representative of  the News International Press Office would not immediately comment on the cartoon.

UPDATE: The Sunday Times responded to The Algemeiner’s request for comment, issuing the following statement: “This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe. The Sunday Times firmly believes that it is not anti-Semitic. It is aimed squarely at Mr Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people. It appears today because Mr Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week. The Sunday Times condemns anti-Semitism, as is clear in the excellent article in today’s Magazine which exposes the Holocaust-denying tours of concentration camps organised by David Irving.”

A full size image of the offensive cartoon can be viewed below.

The viciously anti-Semitic image cartoon published by The Sunday Times.

42 Comments

  • Prof Asher J Matathias

    One need not be a supporter of Bibi to be offended by this gross lapse in judgment and ethics. To raise the specter of the blood libel, is to revisit a despicable past which, unfortunately, informs much that passes for fact in Muslim societies, and increasingly in Western Europe. Kudos to The publisher, Rupert Murdoch, for swiftly denouncing this diatribe of political comment. Anti-Semitism is to be always confronted and called out, even in the new guise of … Anti-Zionism, the current acceptable veneer of Hatred for Jews and Israel!

  • SHAMEFUL TO SAY THE LEAST. ALGEMEINER SHOULD BE WILLING TO APOLOGIZE AND NOT SAY “This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe. The Sunday Times firmly believes that it is not anti-Semitic”

    REALLY? BLOOD LIBEL IS NOT ANTI-JEWISH? DISGUSTING CARTOON AND SINISTER TIMING ON HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY.

    THIS NEWSPAPER (AND I USE THE TERM SARCASTICALLY)HAS LOST ALL CREDIBILITY AS WELL AS ITS REPUTATION FOR ANY TYPE OF OBJECTIVE JOURNALISM.

  • When first saw the grotesque ‘cartoon’ of Assad drinking children’s blood I was horrified at the lack of a response. Scarfe is clearly an Islamaphobe.

    Now, the same cartoonist has turned his lacklustre mind elsewhere and applied the same crass characterisation to Netanyahu. He is clearly an anti-semite as well!

    To those who try to justify his cartoons with limp arguments about freedom of expression: this is something more. This is about giving strong leaders, leaders with convictions who are prepared to make sacrifices to defend their nations, the respect they deserve.

  • “…described the cartoon as depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “large-nosed Jew, hunched over a wall…”

    Well, Netanyahu is Jewish, am I correct? He has a respectably-sized nose. Therefore Scarfe is depicting facts as they are. So what’s the problem? The ADL make it sound like something bad, maybe they are the ones defaming him?

    The real problem is that finally, finally, people are telling it like it is. The zionists maybe see the writing on the wall, they’ve gone too far, and far too hypocritical, over the years. So they engage in the usual stock resort of charges of anti-semitism, a term they’ve helped rob of any meaningful value.

  • Is this cartoon by Scarfe anti-Semitic? The short answer is no. All it does is show an Israeli ‘fascist’ and a cruel oppressor of Palestinians and has nothing to do with his Judaic faith. Judaism is a religion which is why Israel has as part of its population Ethiopian, Moroccan, Iraqi and a wide diversity of Jews, of many different ethnicities from all over the world, and Arabs whether Christian, Jewish or Islamic are also Semitic peoples. Talk of race is also misleading, there is only one human race, to which all humans regardless of colour or creed belong.

  • The timing was wrong, certainly.

    But will someone explain to me how lampooning the leader of a country – however viciously – represents prejudice against the followers of a particular religion?

    This is not an attack on British Jews – or indeed any Jews. It is an attack on the leader of Israel.

    It always surprises me when British Jewry defends the actions of the government of Israel, right or wrong. Isn’t there a difference between being an Israeli Jew and a British Jew?

    Those who defend Israel the country should consider who they would support in a war (God forbid) between Britain and Israel?

  • Anyone familiar with Scarfe’s work will know that this portrayal of Netanyahu is not unlike his portrayal of other leaders; he is critical of many, and shows this through satire. Look at his Putin, Asad, Obama, Blair or Thatcher and you will see extreme ears and noses on all of them. This picture is not Anti-Semitic, it is Anti-Zionist. There are legitimate criticisms over the current running of Israel, as expressed by Israelis in their national elections, as well as from outside. Netanyahu and his party are extremely right wing and most Israelis aren’t.

  • I’m not entirely sure whether this cartoon constitutes anti-Semitism. The characterisation of Netanyahu as somehow looking like a “large-nosed Jew” clearly comes from someone who lacks familiarity with Gerald Scarfe’s work and his style of caricaturing public figures. The image lacks any symbols associated with anti-Semitic imagery (Stars of David, kippas, etc.). The issue of blood libel is more complex. There is nothing ritualistic in killing Palestinian “gentiles” here; this is a reaction to very real political events. One may question the interpretation of the conflict (and of Likud’s policies), but I’m not sure being anti-Netanyahu equals being anti-Semitic.

    Holocaust Memorial Day is indeed important, but not just to Jews. It is also a reminder that genocide in itself is an evil that can happen too easily and with horrific results. We should be mindful not only of what the Holocaust means to us as Jews, but also as members of a larger group: the human race.

    • I totally agree, what could lead to the interpretation it is indeed a blood libel could be the day of publication. I am disturbed by that.

  • People on sites like this loved the Mohammad cartoons and spoke of freedom of speech. Anyone who has different views now must be a hypocrite. There are more protests about brutality in a rather nasty cartoon than protests about the brutality happening in the occupied territories.

  • I am so aggravated that supposedly objective journalists could even contemplate printing such a gross cartoon, that I do not trust myself to actually answer what I think of them.

  • Wow, Israel is really paranoid.

    To all you Israel crimes defenders, tell us:
    How many Israelis have been killed in the last 10 years?
    How many Palestinians have been killed in the last 10 years?

    Use international human rights groups, B’tselem, the UN,

    Oh, and stop complaining about “anti-semitism”. Take it up with Miko Peled, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, B’tselem… you know, Jews who criticize Israel’s crimes.

    • Sydell Ruth Gross

      If the Palestinians and the other Arabs who declared war on Israel the day it was recognized as a state would recognize the right of Israel to exist,there would be no bloodshed
      There is no excuse for this infamous cartoon.How dare they call it robust

      • what a simplistic comment. The cartoon refers not to 1947, it refers to the present, because netanyahu is refusing to engage in international peace negotiations by building new homes on places that have been recognized a non isreali by the UN. bulldozed of homes made by simple palestinian olive farmers. palestinians arent traditionally intolerant, they are moderate like lebanese and turks. netanyahu conversely is refered to as a dishonest liar by western leaders because he is isnt interested in greed. if the jews hadnt been so pernickety about roman taxes, they wouldnt have ended up crucified to the walls of jerusalem in any disposition, and if the rest of the occupied roman world put up with roman taxes until subjugation, the jews could have done the same.

    • Michael Garfinkel

      You know you’re on the right side of an issue when the dissenting voices are incoherent – and this is especially the case when comments are introduced with exclamations like “wow.”

    • Ahmed Mohammed

      Peter,
      You are obviously Pro-Palestinian!
      Why don’t you keep your anti semetic remarks to yourself?
      No one is interested in BS propagandists remarks.
      We ask know they are lies. Why doing you educate yourself first?
      The truth will set you free!

    • That is not sufficient as a response since there is definetly an Antsemetic populist tendency that infiltrates the Palestinian solidairty movement. While Anti-Zionism is not Antisemitism, it is also true that Antisemitism is not Anti-Zionism.

    • Darren Ezekiel

      Bringing examples of self-hating Jews is not an example of Jews who criticise Israel. The world forgets all the brutality happening all around the Arab world but concentrates on what Israel has done to the Palestinians in self-defence. The Palestinians don’t want a state because if they did they would have accepted one in 1937, 1947, and 2000. The real agenda of the PA is to make peace as a first step to drive all the Jews in Israel into the Mediterranean Sea or disport them from the region. Please see if your comment is real criticism of Israel or camouflaged anti-Semitism.

  • Let the world not forget…it was the English who invented concentration camps in the 1899- 1902 Boer War, killing many thousands of women and children, during the so-called Gentlemans War…the Nazi’s merely followed their example. The Brits still have that mentality generations later

  • Do not take your holiday in the U.K. That they will understand!

  • Tzemach Bloomberg

    Can anybody imagine what sort of responce would have resulted if this or any other similar cartoon had been aimed at the Muslim population. The artist would not even contemplate such a cartoon aimed at Asad of Syria. So don’t let him or the newspaper try and bluff that it is not anti-Semitic.

  • Lawrence Kulak’s diatribe: a classical example of blaming the victim.

    • Michael Garfinkel

      Not to mention incoherent…

      It’s suprising how frequent childish thinking manifests itself when people are confronted with extreme unpleasantness.

      The newspaper has to pay a price for this outrage. Certainly a boycott is in order, including a boycott of both advertisements and advertisers. An apology is not forthcoming – and would be inadequate,even if it were.

      Mr. Murdoch is a decent man; he should be encouraged to take strong steps to set things straight at the Times.

  • This is vary far over the line of what could be regarded as acceptable political commentary. Does the UK not have anti-racial vilification laws? Could not the Board of Deputies call for charges to be brought against Scarfe and the Sunday Times, or sue them for their damaging racial vilification? It is past time for the passive Jewish community of the UK to take legal action against this sort of promotion of hatred.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Everyone involved in this disgusting matter, starting with the cartoonist, should be fired.
    Honor demands it.

  • I thought the Guardian was the modern day Der Stürmer but I guess the Sunday Times is another. Looks like London is rapidly sinking to the level of Berlin of the 1930. Time to get out of England

  • Z'ev Rosenberg

    It especially breaks my heart that it was Gerald Scarfe that did this cartoon. . I am a huge Pink Floyd fan, and seeing this right after Roger Waters’ terrible ‘testimony’ against Israel at the U.N. was unbearable. .

    • Z’ev, I, like you, was a fan of Pink Floyd until they decided to join the Boycott campaign against Israel. In their announcement that they would not tour Israel, they were very critical of the country and its policies, using strong language about crimes and oppression. I have since boycotted them, and so should all Jews. Pink Floyd have taken a biased and ignorant stand and should not be allowed to get away with it. Try these links: http://www.imemc.org/article/60800 and http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46999.

      • dont be so uninternational.

        it’s an educated guy trying to use freedom of speech to denounce the freedom of isreali conservatives to have warmongering reconciliation policies.

  • This is unforgiveable…!!!

  • Fredric M. London

    The Times of London, published by Goebbels. How could they regard the cartoon as barbaric anti-Semitism when it merely portrays their worldview. I am sure they would publish a similar cartoon with Mohammed raping babies and provide the same response, right?

  • For the Brits, par for the course. Jew-hatred has joined buggery and child molesting as the new British disease.

  • Disgusting, despicable, deplorable. It is beyond belief that any decent person could even think of publishing such a thing.

  • Lawrence Kulak

    instead of focusing on the negative portrayals of Jews ovder which we have little control, it would be more constructive if we focused on what part we have in facilitating such portrayals. There was a time when we did not have to build a wall to prevent terror before we caved in to Arab Nationalistic aspirations which only meant the same thing it always meant only now in couched language: Death to the Jewish State. Now because we have backed ourselves up against the wall, the true anti-semites can have a field day. We are forgetting, however, about who gave them this opportunity and looking foolish by now complaining about it. These people are just like the Arabs; They will not change their stripes.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    What a hell of a reminder that anti-Semitism is still raising its ugly face in the media. Shame on the Sunday Times and, especially, on Gerald Scarfe, the ignominious cartoonist who abysmally corrupted a page of the Sunday Times! Such a drawing is beyond reprehensible and its publication today, International Holocaust Day, will never be forgotten!

    • anti semitism? it looks like anti netanyahu to me. if it was a picture of mugabe, would you say it’s anti african? nope. dont mix up isreal’s disgusting policy of pussy footed non reconciliation with the holocaust. you seem like you hide behind a past tradgedy to completely ignore that isreal has a warmongering foreign and internal policy, since clinton tried the peace accord. besides who said isrealis could fake UK passports to murder some political enemy in his hotel room. use your own passports if you think they are worth using.

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