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Rupert Murdoch Tweets Apology for “Grotesque” Sunday Times Cartoon

January 28, 2013 3:06 pm 11 comments

Rupert Murdoch. Photo: wiki commons.

Media mogul and owner of Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper has issued an apology for the offensive cartoon that was published by the Times Sunday, calling the image “grotesque” and “offensive.”

Murdoch also had harsh words for the illustrator of the cartoon Gerald Scarfe. “Gerald Scarfe has never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times,” he tweeted, “Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon.”

The cartoon depicts 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.”

Earlier today, Acting Sunday Times Editor, Martin Ivens, issued a weak defense of the publication of the cartoon, and stopped short of expressing regret or apologizing for its publication. “The paper has long written strongly in defence of Israel and its security concerns, as 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,” he said.

In a subsequent interview with The Algemeiner, Michael A. Salberg, ADL International Affairs Director said that Ivens’ response was not sufficient. “This is not about ‘sensitivities,'” he said, “The Sunday Times needs to acknowledge the anti-Semitic message conveyed by this cartoon and to clearly apologize for running it.”

The Times of Israel reported that the State of Israel is “planning to demand an apology” for the offensive cartoon. “The newspaper should apologize for this. We’re not going to let this stand as it is,” Israeli Ambassador to London Daniel Taub told the Israeli publication.

Additionally, according to a release from the Israel’s government press office, Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair also criticized the cartoon. “Envoy Blair also expressed sharp reservations over the cartoon that was published in The Sunday Times, especially given that it was published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” said the communique.

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.”

A screenshot of Murdoch’s apology can be viewed below.

Screenshot of Rupert Murdoch's apology.


  • Marcia Nalebuff

    An apology is not sufficient.
    Gerald Scarfe needs to be fired, as well as
    his editor who approved the publication of
    this grotesque cartoon.

    Scarfe HAS to take responsibility and suffer
    the consequences of losing his job!

  • The cartoon may not have represented Murdoch’s opinion but it certainly represented the opinion of the Time’s readers. Another reason to wish the Brits hell.

  • Of course, the Murdoch-owned FoxNews up until recently employed Glenn Beck who spouted paranoid conspiracy theories on his show– often using anti-Semitic imagery.

  • Somebody at the ST decided to publish this cartoon and to publish on HMD. It is neither an oversight nor naive. Lets hope that the big shots at the BOD, although very busy volunteers, will do their job and get some sackings. Ivens too must be given his cards not only for allowing it through, but for then calling it “robust”. Von Leer’s blood libels were also robust. Political cartoons can hardly be otherwise, but robust does not mean that this one does not disseminate the Blood Libel.

    By the company he keeps it is clear that Scarfe is addled with propaganda and a Palestinian narrative that is probably the most successful indoctrination programme since Goebbels. Coupled with the innate Jew hatred prevalent in polite society in the UK, this is exactly what he and the editors of the ST intended. They are depraved and of extremely low calibre, but then what hack in “Fleet Street” isn’t these days? One need only frequent their watering holes to find evidence that the MSM is taken over by lowbrows. Anything worth reading is today blogged.

  • Gerald Scarfe and Martin Ivens should both be sacked.

  • Sonia Willats

    The genie is out, the libellous image in people’s minds. The edition sold. Perhaps the Sunday Times would like to make a signifcant donation from that edition towards the Holocaust victims in Israel? That would be a TOKEN of genuine apology. NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR IRRESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM. A free press is wonderful but needs to be accompanied with responsibility and compassion.

  • elliot j. stamler

    About a year ago or thereabouts Murdoch’s despicable New York Post published a cartoon of Pres. Obama depicting him as a chimpanzee. Murdoch apologized. Murdoch will do or say anything for money or to prevent a backlash that would potentially cost him money. That’s the long and short of it.

  • Jo-Ann Morris

    Murdoch is just like politicians, say what you really think and then apologize if it causes problems. Sorry, but the cartoon is unaceptable ANYTIME!

  • After the fact , as big as an apology he can make, a cartoon of that nature does not fly by unnoticed.

    I don’t buy his comments for one minute.

    It was intentionally overlooked.

  • Was Gerald Scarfe fired? Is not, why not?

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