Paper Apologizes for Bloody Bibi Cartoon

Sunday Times Says 'Unreservedly' Sorry for Sharp-Edged Image

By JTA

Published February 03, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Sunday Times of London apologized for publishing an editorial cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall on the bodies of Palestinians and using their blood as cement.

“We apologize unreservedly,” the paper said Sunday for the cartoon by regular Sunday Times cartoonist Gerald Scarfe printed a week earlier, on International Holocaust Memorial Day.

“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 Sunday Times wrote.

“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.”

Critics said the drawing was reminiscent of anti-Semitic blood libels.

The Sunday Times defended the cartoon the day after it was published, saying it was “aimed squarely at Mr. Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people.”

Scarfe earlier had apologized “for the very unfortunate timing” of the publication.

The Sunday Times also said in its apology, “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. We apologize unreservedly.”

Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns the Sunday Times through a subsidiary, said last week in a tweet that the paper owed a “major” apology for printing a “grotesque, offensive cartoon.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.