Acting editor admits "mistake"
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2013-01-29
Sunday Times cartoon
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Leaders of Jewish communal organisations have attended a late afternoon meeting with the acting editor of the Sunday Times following publication of a cartoon by Gerald Scarfe which appears to show Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with the blood and limbs of Palestinians.
The caption of the cartoon, which featured in the paper on Holocaust Memorial Day, read: "Israeli elections. Will cementing peace continue?"
In the meeting the Jewish Community organisations present raised deep concern over the way the cartoon was presented and showed how blood images have been used over many years to present anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews across the world.
Acting editor Martin Ivens said:
"I'm grateful so many community leaders could come together at such short notice. You will know that the Sunday Times abhors anti-Semitism and would never set out to cause offence to the Jewish people - or any other ethnic or religious group. That was not the intention last Sunday. Everyone knows that Gerald Scarfe is consistently brutal and bloody in his depictions, but last weekend - by his own admission - he crossed a line. The timing - on Holocaust Memorial Day - was inexcusable. The associations on this occasion were grotesque and on behalf of the paper I'd like to apologise unreservedly for the offence we clearly caused. This was a terrible mistake."
In response, Mick Davis, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council said: "We have voiced our concern in response to the strength of the feeling from all sections of the Jewish Community. I welcome the genuine apology from the Sunday Times. I appreciate the urgency and respect with which the Sunday Times have treated Jewish communal concerns and now look forward to constructively moving on from this affair."