The Sunday Times defended the publication of a cartoon (pictured left) in Sunday’s paper that was described by the Anti Defamation League as “a modern day evocation of the ancient ‘blood libel’ charge leveled at Jews,” as “typically robust,” and claimed that the cartoon was not anti-Semitic, in an email to The Algemeiner.
“This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe,” said a spokesperson for The Sunday Times, adding, “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.”
The spokesperson said that appearance of the offending cartoon on Holocaust Memorial Day which is commemorated Sunday was coincidental, “It appears today because Mr Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week,” said the statement.
“The Sunday Times condemns anti-Semitism,” The Sunday Times added, pointing to another article that was published by the paper which focused on Holocaust denial, saying, it is “clear in the excellent article in today’s Magazine which exposes the Holocaust-denying tours of concentration camps organised by David Irving.”
Besides the ADL’s outcry and call for an immediate apology over the publication of the cartoon, a number of other Jewish groups strongly criticized the Sunday Times.
According to the Times of Israel, “Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, called the picture ‘absolutely disgusting.’”
“Zuroff told The Times of Israel that it is ‘shocking’ that The Sunday Times ‘has the incredible gall to publish such an anti-Semitic caricature of Netanyahu,’” wrote the Times of Israel.
On its Facebook page the World Zionist Organization wrote that the cartoon crossed “all lines of decency and morality.”
Organizations that blasted the cartoon have not yet indicated to The Algemeiner if they plan to take further steps.