Cartoon depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau building a wall using Palestinians' blood "does not reflect the paper's editorial line," says owner of The Sunday Times, which ran the controversial cartoon on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Media baron Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a Sunday Times cartoon depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall using blood-red mortar, an image Jewish leaders said was reminiscent of anti-Semitic propaganda.
The political cartoon, which ran in the British newspaper on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, features Netanyahu wielding a trowel and bricking agonized Palestinians into a wall. It was meant as a comment on recent elections in which Netanyahu's ticket narrowly won the most seats in the Israeli parliament.
"Will cementing the peace continue?" the caption read, a reference both to the stalled peace process and Israel's separation barrier, a complex of fences and concrete walls which Israel portrays as a defense against suicide bombers but which Palestinians say is a land grab under the guise of security.
Murdoch wrote on Twitter that the cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe — a veteran artist who frequently depicts blood in his work — did not reflect the paper's editorial line. "Nevertheless, we owe [a] major apology for [the] grotesque, offensive cartoon," Murdoch tweeted.
Jewish community leaders were particularly disturbed by parallels they saw between the red-tinged drawing and historical anti-Semitic propaganda — in particular the theme of "blood libel," the twisted but persistent myth that Jews secretly use human blood in their religious rituals.
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