Don’t miss the Comment (and explanation) from our own Michael Henry Dunn at the very end. Thanks MHD for sharing! ~J
By ALAN COWELL|
NEW YORK TIMES
Published: January 29, 2013
LONDON — Rupert Murdoch, the media tycoon whose British newspaper outpost has been mired in a phone hacking scandal, took the unusual step of apologizing personally for a cartoon printed in one of his titles here, The Sunday Times of London, that depicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuof Israel building a bloody wall trapping the bodies of Palestinians.
Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch, shown last month, called a Sunday Times of London drawing offensive.
The drawing, by one of Britain’s best-known cartoonists, was published on Sunday, as Britain observed Holocaust Memorial Day.
In a message on Twitter on Monday, Mr. Murdoch wrote that the work of the cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe, “has never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times.” He added, “Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon.” The Sunday Times is normally seen as supportive of Israel’s security concerns.
The drawing showed Mr. Netanyahu holding a trowel and included these lines: “Israel elections. Will cementing the peace continue?” The wall in the cartoon was apparently a reference to the barrier Israel has built between itself and the West Bank.
Stephen Pollard, the editor of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, a weekly newspaper, said in a BBC radio segment on Tuesday that the timing of the cartoon was “grotesque.” It reflected “the worst anti-Semitic blood libel,” which is common in cartoons in Arabic newspapers in the Middle East, he said.
But, appearing on the same broadcast, Steve Bell, a cartoonist for The Guardian, responded in a heated discussion that when Mr. Scarfe depicted President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in a similarly confrontational light there had been “not a squeak” of criticism.
The debate also spread to Israel, where the columnist Anshel Pfeffer wrote on the newspaper Haaretz’s Web site: “Should The Sunday Times have not published the cartoon on International Holocaust Memorial Day? Only if one believes that is a day in which Israeli politicians have immunity from being caricatured.”
The criticism of The Sunday Times, a broadsheet, drew Mr. Murdoch’s newspaper holdings here into a new area of scrutiny after the months of scandal swirling around News International, the British newspaper subsidiary of News Corporation, involving the phone hacking scandal that exploded in July 2011.
Since then, News International executives and journalists have been caught in an avalanche of criminal investigations and resignations. Some of Mr. Murdoch’s most senior former executives are set to stand trial later this year on a range of charges.
Mr. Scarfe’s work has appeared in The Sunday Times since 1967. In a message on his Web site, Mr. Scarfe said: “First of all I am not, and never have been, anti-Semitic. The Sunday Times has given me the freedom of speech over the last 46 years to criticize world leaders for what I see as their wrongdoings. This drawing was a criticism of Netanyahu, and not of the Jewish people: there was no slight whatsoever intended against them. I was, however, stupidly completely unaware that it would be printed on Holocaust Day, and I apologize for the very unfortunate timing.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body for British Jews, said it had complained to the Press Complaints Commission, the body by which British newspapers regulate themselves.
Like Mr. Pollard, the board said the cartoon “is shockingly reminiscent of the blood libel imagery more usually found in parts of the virulently anti-Semitic Arab press.”
Initially, The Sunday Times defended its decision to publish the cartoon, British news reports said, saying it was “aimed squarely at Mr. Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people. It appeared yesterday because Mr. Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week.”
But Martin Ivens, the acting editor of The Sunday Times, said it would not countenance insults to the memory of Holocaust victims or blood libel, a term denoting medieval superstitions falsely accusing Jews of using the blood of children in rituals.
“The paper has long written strongly in defense of Israel and its security concerns, as have I as a columnist,” he said in a statement published by the Press Association news agency. “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.”
Mr. Ivens planned to meet British Jewish leaders on Tuesday to apologize in person for the cartoon.
Important Comment/Explanation from Michael Henry Dunn:
The “blood libel” refers to the medieval practice of accusing Jews of using the blood of children in rituals…which, of course, is a practice reported in modern times of the Illuminati luciferians. The cartoon, by a respected cartoonist in the UK, shows Netanyahu bricking up Palestinian bodies in a wall, with the caption “cementing the peace?” The cartoon was inadvertently published on Holocaust Memorial Day, so of course the usual accusations of anti-Semitism and “blood libel” are being thrown around. The debate is raging in the UK and in Israel. Nobody seems to be mentioning the fact that Netanyahu (a Zionist backed by Jesuits intent on starting a world war) has literally buried living Palestinians beneath houses bulldozed by his tanks.
The greatest and most tragic irony here is that the massive pedophilia scandal in the UK, implicating top government figures and aristocrats, includes reports of systematic “disappearance” of children, who are said to have been sacrificed in satanic rituals. The “blood libel” is actually true today – but is true not of ordinary Jews, but of Sabbatean/Khazarian Jesuit-backed cabalists, shifting blame to the Jewish community, as usual, with Netanyahu as their willing and apparently insane stooge.
The cabal is playing on both sides of this latest absurdity, as usual, which is designed to inflame divisions and distract us from going after them.
I hope we can all keep our “eyes on the prize” – which is shutting down the fiat currency system that keeps the cabal in power, and putting the leaders behind bars. All of us – Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and non-sectarian lovers of God – can begin on that day to put these cabal-fomented conflicts aside, and learn to live in peace.
Michael Henry Dunn