Beyond Apologies: The London Sunday Times Blood Libel Cartoon

(Ynet News) Manfred Gerstenfeld - The British Sunday Times apologized for an anti-Semitic cartoon published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, stating that publishing the drawing "was a mistake and crossed the line." It admitted that Gerald Scarfe's caricature had reflected "historical iconography that is persecutory or anti-Semitic." The drawing showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall using what appeared to be the blood of Palestinians as cement. One issue not addressed is that the cartoon inverted the truth, rather than exaggerated it. Scarfe suggested that what is mainly a security fence - presented here as a wall - was meant to kill Palestinians. However, it was constructed in order to prevent Palestinian murderers from entering Israel and killing Jewish civilians. Furthermore, the drawing reflects a major anti-Semitic motif which has its historical origins in Britain. The blood libel was invented in the 12th century in Norwich, where it was falsely claimed that Jews had killed a 12-year-old Christian boy named William for ritual purposes. A study by the University of Bielefeld for the German Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert Foundation found in 2011 that 42% of the British people believe that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. Who has planted this extreme anti-Semitic world view into the minds of the British? Which British politicians, media, NGOs, academics and trade unions have consistently helped strengthen the genocidal image that so many British hold regarding Israel? Creating that world view was more than a mistake. It is a crime. The writer is a board member and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

2013-02-08 00:00:00

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