Yeah, anti-Semitism is still the only prejudice you can express publicly now, pretty much without punishment.
To recap: On Holocaust Memorial Day, no less, The Times of London published a disgusting blood libel cartoon of a large-nosed Benjamin Netanyahu cementing (with blood) a wall of screaming Palestinians, worthy of an appearance in Der Sturmer, the official rag of the Nazi party from the 1930s. The caption? “Israeli Elections… Will Cementing Peace Continue?”
“This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe,” said a spokesperson for The Sunday Times, adding, “The Sunday Times firmly believes that it is not anti-Semitic. It is aimed squarely at Mr Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people.”
The spokesperson said that appearance of the offending cartoon on Holocaust Memorial Day which is commemorated Sunday was coincidental, “It appears today because Mr Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week,” said the statement.
Then the editor, realizing perhaps there might be something to the fact that the entire Jewish world (and a few non-Jews) are condemning the editorial and threatening to take them to the U.K./EU version of whoever is in charge of hate crimes, figures maybe he should acknowledge that the cartoon is hateful.
“The last thing I or anyone connected with the Sunday Times would countenance would be insulting the memory of the Shoah or invoking the blood libel.”
While not explicitly expressing regret or offering an apology, Martin Ivens defended his paper’s coverage of Israel, saying, “The paper has long written strongly in defence of Israel and its security concerns, as have I as a columnist. 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.”
Finally, the paper’s owner comes out and tweets an apology.
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.
What’s going to happen? Nothing. Murdoch will wait for the furor to die down, maybe the cartoonist won’t be used by the Times for a while (but don’t worry, he’ll be given an award for having publicly criticized Israel, something which is oh-so-daring because nobody ever does that), and that will be it.
Until the next anti-Semitic cartoon, magazine cover, or article turns up in the U.K.
I really can’t stand to cover things like this anymore. After a while, it just drags you down so much you want to close your blog for good. What’s the difference between this and the cartoon of Ariel Sharon eating Palestinians babies? About ten years.