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January 29, 2013 5:33 pm

Sunday Times Editor Apologizes ‘Unreservedly’ for Timing of ‘Blood Libel’ Cartoon

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The anti-Semitic cartoon including The Sunday Times masthead.

In a meeting with British Jewish Leaders earlier today, the Acting Editor of The Sunday Times Martin Ivens apologized “unreservedly” for running a cartoon on International Holocaust Memorial Day that was described by the Anti Defamation League as “a modern day evocation of the ancient ‘blood libel’ charge leveled at Jews.”

The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe which depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with the bodies and blood of Palestinian Arabs caused an international outcry, prompting an apology yesterday from Sunday Times owner Rupert Murdoch, who described the cartoon as “grotesque.”

After an initial defense of the cartoon from the paper, followed by a reserved statement attempting explanation from Ivens, the Editor finally issued the full apology saying, “on behalf of the paper I’d like to apologise unreservedly for the offence we clearly caused. This was a terrible mistake.”

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Ivens implied that his regret was specifically a product of the timing of the cartoon rather than for the content itself, saying, “The timing – on Holocaust Memorial Day – was inexcusable. The associations on this occasion were grotesque […]”

Mick Davis, Chair of The Jewish Leadership Council, a Jewish representative body, whose leaders attended the meeting, accepted the apology from Ivens. “I welcome the genuine apology from the Sunday Times. I appreciate the urgency and respect with which the Sunday Times have treated Jewish communal concerns and now look forward to constructively moving on from this affair,” he said, according to a release.

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  • I am speechless!
    Martin Ivens seems to be completely out of his senses!
    His apology is another offense.

  • The Sunday Times…The Guardian..
    Der Sturmer…No Difference

  • it should never have been edited !
    it is a very hurtfull slur on YIsrael.

  • They apologized only about the timing. Did no one get that?

  • This was not an apology. Ivens just apologised for the timing, no doubt fearing that the matter would be taken to court. He did not apologise for the content of the cartoon which was indeed grotesque and clearly antisemitic especially in the current climate of Arab-on-Arab killings in Syria and Egypt. If the cartoon had shown Asad instead of Netanyahu it could be said to reflect the true situation.

  • David chester

    All he is doing is apologising for the timing of the cartoon, not the content. So the Times believes in its content, otherwise it would never have been published. The old blood libel against Jews. No Jew or decent minded person should should ever buy this newspaper again.

    David Chester

  • Alfred Biegel

    Ivens apology over timing rather than content is unacceptable. We acknowledge the Times frustration over the course of the Peace Process. Nonetheless, the recourse to the anti-semitic curse of ‘blood libel” exacerbates rather than resolves the issues. Thank you Mr Murdock!


    This apology is a phony. The cartoon is vile and anti-Semitic any day of the week. The editor should not have run it.

    You Jews should act more like Muslims. Demand his immediate firing and that the cartoonist never be utilized again.

    A blood libel is a blood libel is a blood libel and incites violence against Jews.

  • Jill Skriver

    Go ahead and except the apology; I won’t. That cartoon screamed of the kind of propaganda the Palestinians want the world to “buy in”. I have always loved Israel, but became interested in Palestinians after my son brought home Muslims who believed in “Jesus”! After studying the history for a relatively few hours, I saw through the lies. For heavens sake: your a paper!! Do your investigating! A grade 3 student could validate Israel and sort through the Palestinian lies. I never see you show the abundance of good that Israel does for the Palestinians. I also don’t see you demonizing the demonic faction that has sent 14,500 rockets into Israel. Unless I start seeing balance, I’ll remain disgusted.

  • Shmuel Mendelsohn

    How soon do you think that Jews will start rioting on the streets of London?