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.