Sunday Times Prints Full Apology for ‘Blood Libel’ Cartoon
by Zach Pontz
The Sunday Times has issued an apology for publishing an offensive cartoon in its paper a week ago characterized by many as an anti-Semitic “blood libel.”
The cartoon depicted a seemingly blood-thirsty Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with the blood of Palestinians while crushing said Palestinians in-between bricks.
Last week the acting editor of the newspaper, Martin Ivens, apologized for the timing of the cartoon, which came on Holocaust Memorial Day. So too did Rupert Murdoch, owner of the paper, but on Sunday the paper went one step further, publishing a full letter expressing its contrition.
“We apologize unreservedly,” the paper wrote. “It is one thing to attack and caricature a leader — and it is as legitimate to attack Israeli leaders in cartoons as anyone else. But it is another thing to reflect in a caricature, even unintentionally, historical iconography that is persecutory or anti-Semitic.”
The Times added: “The image we published of Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, which appeared to show him reveling in the blood of Palestinians, crossed a line. The image would have been a mistake on any day but the fact that last Sunday was Holocaust Memorial Day compounded the error.”
“The Sunday Times abhors anti-Semitism and racism of any type and we would never set out to offend the Jewish people — or indeed any other ethnic or religious group. The publication of last week’s cartoon was a very serious mistake,” concluded the paper.