Coffee House

Charles Moore on the witlessness of Gerald Scarfe

29 January 2013

8:36 AM

29 January 2013

8:36 AM

Before Gerald Scarfe caused outrage in the last Sunday Times with a cartoon so tasteless (and, critics said, anti-Semitic) that Rupert Murdoch issued a personal apology, our columnist Charles Moore pointed out a trend:

Idly flicking through the latest Sunday Times, I notice the cartoon by Gerald Scarfe. It shows President Assad of Syria, covered with blood, picking the severed head of a child from a mound of corpses. ‘Syria,’ says the caption, ‘60,000 slaughtered and still counting’. It feels as if one has seen this Scarfe cartoon most weeks since the 1960s. Whether it was Biafra, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, or any other faraway conflict, Scarfe has always been fearlessly against tyrants killing the innocent, especially children, and his way of showing this is to depict the tyrants covered with blood and the children, heaps of them, dead. And that is it: no gloss, no wit, no political nuance, no juxtaposition that might tell you something, just an extremely well-paid half century drawing tyrants covered with blood, and a CBE too. We columnists, who have at least to pretend to think of something new each week, can only gasp with envy at the way Scarfe — by being against war, genocide etc — has escaped any editorial attention whatever.

And here’s this morning’s Today programme discussion of Scarfe’s cartoon:

[Alt-Text]


You can read Charles’ full column here. Click here to subscribe to the Spectator.

UPDATE Martin Ivens, acting editor of the Sunday Times, has released the following statement:-

“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.”

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Show comments
  • disqus_127uQlytvh

    Once again leaders of the Jewish community in Britain and the Security Community Trust – whose aim is to detect and report incidences of anti-Semitism and protect the “jewish state” from any form of criticism – have jumped to action hurling accusations of anti-Semitism at Gerald Scarfe’s cartoon which symbolically portrays the brutal policies/actions of Netanyahu Government against the Palestinians .
    Perhaps we should not be surprised about the latest accusation by those “gate keepers ” as they have been acting with the full support of successive British governments . Back in 2005 the Labour government set up the All -Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism whose report was followed by a Command Paper that largely backed an action on the majority of the Inquiry’s recommendations as well as expressing its understanding of the anxieties raised by the Jewish community . The All-Party Inquiry Into Anti-Semitism and its follow-up report (March 2007) seemed to single out anti- Semitism while ignoring the more prevailed phenomenon of Islamophobia . Moreover , the follow-up Command Paper has taken a dangerous step by stating that rhetoric about Israel and Zionism “from the far right to the far left and Islamic extremist alike, employs anti-Semitic motifs that are consistent with ancient form of hatred towards Jews” (Re. my article at Palestine Chronicle http://palestinechronicle.com/old/view_article_details.php?id=12713 ).

    Such an inflaming statement undoubtedly gives public support for launching a witch-hunt against anyone who has been perceived by the leaders Jewish community to employ anti-Semitic rhetoric or motifs. Gerald Scarfe has now been the victim of this medieval policy. I suppose that the well-known Jewish author and Holocaust survivor – Primo levy – who remarked in an interview that “Everybody has their Jews, and for the Israelis it’s the Palestinians”, would also come under similar harsh criticism and be blamed for anti-Semitism by the leaders of the Jewish community in Britain .
    Ruth Tenne

  • George Wilson

    This link deals with this ridiculous accusation efficiently and accurately:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/30/a-17-point-guide-to-anti-semitism-and-its-abuse.html

  • souptonuts

    It’s down to the Editor. I also thought it dubious, editorially, to do a feature on the Holocaust denier, Irving, on the same day in the colour supplement.

  • George Wilson

    This is completely mad. This cartoon is an attack against the Israeli government and it’s current foreign policy, not an attack against the Jewish race. Gerald Scarfe was drawing attention to Netanyahu’s brutally violent government. It was not anti-Semitic. You cannot escape the fact that the current Israeli government has inflicted grossly disproportionate violence on the Palestinian population, and that it is still aggressively expanding into it. It is happening right now. Those people who are reacting angrily are being offended by something that, however basic in it’s methods, is making a very pertinent point about the current Israeli policy towards Palestinians. To claim it is racist is frankly a bit suspect.

    • Augustus

      Wrong! It is a grotesque libel against Israel and its leader, and draws upon anti-Semitic imagery to do so.

      • George Wilson

        Libel? What do you think is happening right now? Do
        you think Israel is not acting aggressively? Have you heard some of
        the spectacularly racist things being said by Israeli government officials in
        reference to Arabs and Palestinians? No-one is claiming it is completely one-sided, but these are simply facts! The timing of the cartoon might have been poor, the imagery might have been, for all you apparent political cartoon connoisseurs, a bit simplistic, but it was not attacking the Jewish race!

        Stridently claiming it is racist without keeping in mind the current events it
        is actually targeting is just a bit daft. Shrieking about “Anti-Semitic
        imagery” is all very well, but if you do a bit of research
        into the aggressive expansion of Israeli settlements (http://www.annainthemiddleeast.com/photos/maps_media/2242/), the
        incredibly dubious “accidental death” of Rachel Corrie (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/28/rachel-corrie-verdict-accident-judge), and maybe if you
        apply these criteria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Israeli_government#Distinguishing_legitimate_criticism_of_Israel_from_antisemitism) to the cartoon, you might realise that while it might be simplistic, it is not anti-Semitic. It is simply stating the obvious: Netanyahu’s government are slaughtering Palestinians.

        Scarfe uses this sort of bloody imagery in his work all the time. If you choose to take offence, then that’s fine, it’s your problem and you are free to do so, but the violence it is trying to condemn is real and on-going. That is undeniable.

        If you really care about racist attitudes, you might
        want to give this a look:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/mar/24/israel

      • George Wilson

        Libel? What do you think is happening right now? Do
        you think Israel is not acting aggressively? Have you heard some of
        the spectacularly racist things being said by Israeli government officials in
        reference to Arabs and Palestinians? No-one is claiming it is completely one-sided, but these are simply facts! The timing of the cartoon might have been poor, the imagery might have been, for all you apparent political cartoon connoisseurs, a bit simplistic, but it was not attacking the Jewish race!

        Stridently claiming it is racist without keeping in mind the current events it
        is actually targeting is just a bit daft. Shrieking about “Anti-Semitic
        imagery” is all very well, but if you do a bit of research
        into the aggressive expansion of Israeli settlements (http://www.annainthemiddleeast…, the
        incredibly dubious “accidental death” of Rachel Corrie (http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…, and maybe if you
        apply these criteria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C… to the cartoon, you might realise that while it might be simplistic, it is not anti-Semitic. It is simply stating the obvious: Netanyahu’s government are slaughtering Palestinians.

        Scarfe uses this sort of bloody imagery in his work all the time. If you choose to take offence, then that’s fine, it’s your problem and you are free to do so, but the violence it is trying to condemn is real and on-going. That is undeniable.

        If you really care about racist attitudes, you might
        want to give this a look:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

    Simon Kelner’s opinion piece in the Independent is worth a look.

    Its called “why as a jew, I’m dismayed by the Jewish lobby’s outrage”

  • lotte678

    “To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise.”

    Voltaire.

  • Daniel Maris

    Scarfe has apologised for the timing:

    “I was, however, stupidly completely unaware that it would be printed on
    Holocaust Day, and I apologise for the very unfortunate
    timing.”

  • Fergus Pickering

    Yeah. I’ve never been a fan. He’s a sort of John Pilger who can draw. Well, at least he can do something. Perhaps he ought to look at Matt at the front of the Telegraph. Has he ever made a joke as good as the ones Matt cracks every day? Has he ever cracked a joke? Besides, even as far as drawing goes he’s not a patch on Wally Fawkes. And HE can play the clarinet. Isn’t it the clarinet?

  • http://twitter.com/truthwsyf truthwsyf

    When cartoons were made of Prophet of Islam – entire Europe defended it as “Freedom of Speech” – so why all the fuss now ??? Scarfe has just called a spade a spade – nothing more – nothing less. Ariel Sharon – the previous butcher is in a coma suffering what can be described as “divine justice”. If such freedom of expression is stifled – atleast let me have the freedom to pray for a similar fate for Bibi.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Nobody wants to stifle it, dearie. We just find it witless and unfunny. Is that OK?

  • biggestaspidistra

    Not one of them, newspapers, BBC, vile politicians, commentators or cartoonists, had the nerve to publish the Mohammed cartoons. “Gerald Scarfe didn’t know it was Holocaust Day’, he works for a bloody newspaper. Steve Bell, at the least he should be aware of the history of anti-semitic images that he draws on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

      Do you really think that’s a valid comparison?

      A cartoon mocking a prophet whom many Muslims love more than they love themselves and a cartoon criticizing one modern day politician for one policy?

      • http://www.facebook.com/andy.walsh.1426 Andy Walsh

        A prophet?Ok. Apparently there was a touch of the Jimmy Savile about him however.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

          You are naughty.

      • Daniel Maris

        You forgot to say PBUH. You have now offended Muslims. Please go and self-flagellate.

        • Charlie97

          Why not concentrate on what offends you, instead of what offends others? My main (and very simple) point on this comment board so far today: when Israel or Jews are offended, then apologies are sought (which is your right), and Murdoch acceded to those wishes in this instance. When Muslims feel offended, the argument is then put forward that offence is an integral part of a mature democracy, and that Muslims should just put up and shut up. Did you stand up for the right of Muslims when they felt offended by the Prophet cartoon? If you did, then good on you. If not, then you are a hypocrite.

          • Noa

            And what happens when Christians or secular libertarians are offended by, for example edgy BBC comedians, or banned practicing their faith by Equality legislation, or from wearing symbols of their faith?
            Do you stand up for their rights? Good for you if you do.

  • FrankS

    If you want cartoons entirely lacking wit, humour and even artistic style, Steve Bell never disappoints.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

      he captures Cameron perfectly though.

  • Daniel Maris

    Yes, Moore was right on that one. Scarfe has been trading on this easy-come, easy-go moral outrage for decades.

    Very few Palestinians have been killed by Israelis on the scale of things. It’s on the scale probably of Georgia versus Russia over a similar timescale, but you won’t often see Scarfe getting upset about Russian oppression of Georgians.

    It’s really just the Hampstead system of ethics – an add on feature you have along with your scrubbed pine table, Guardian subscription and sizeable share portfolio.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

      “very few Palestinians have been killed by Israelis on the scale of things”

      How sickeningly glib. There were 6371 Palestinian civilians killed between 2000 and 2010. What is the number of human deaths you consider the threshold for concern?

      Is your argument that if you reference one atrocity or conflict in your work you have to reference all of them?

      Lazy nonsense.

      • Daniel Maris

        Over 20,000 terrorist attacks since 9/11…deaths in the hundreds of thousands. That’s the scale I am talking about. That’s your beloved Religion of Peace for you.

        And no that’s not my argument. My argument is that if you focus on one land dispute with a low kill rate over the many others around the globe with a much higher death rate, you have to wonder why. Why not be more concerned about Chechnya, Kashmir. Tibet, Congo, South Sudan, Western Sahara?

        Lazy conclusion on your part.

        Regarding those 6371 Palestinian civilians – you’re not claiming they were all killed by Israelis in Israel-Palestine are you? And you’re not really claiming they are all civilians and not members of Islamic Jihad and other militarised groups are you?

        • Charlie97

          Talk about using the lowest common denominator! Israel is meant to be a democracy, and yet you boast (when it comes to a ‘kill rate’) that it has a better record than those other bastions of human rights and liberty; namely Chechnya, Congo and South Sudan. Why not compare it with other democracies? Perhaps because the policies that Israel pursues against the Palestinians would not be out of place in Chechnya, Kashmir. Tibet, Congo, South Sudan, Western Sahara…

        • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

          my “beloved religion of peace”? What on earth are you talking about? You seem to have associated me with Islam for some reason. I have no idea why.

          I’m not focused on any one land dispute. This article is about criticism of Israeli policy in the form of a cartoon so I’m discussing that. I’m equally concerned about barbarity elsewhere in the world.

          You point seems to be that we shouldn’t scrutinise the behaviour of Israel at all because more people are killed in conflicts elsewhere. I can’t agree.

          Israel is a nuclear power. It proclaims itself to be the only bastion of modern democracy in the region and garners political, military and financial support on that basis. The conflict in the area has global ramifications, from 9/11 to 7/7, from Mali to Afghanistan. For any number of reasons we have a stake in seeing it resolved and the right to question Israel’s behaviour.

  • Augustus

    When Israel’s vibrant democracy and honorable election results are dismissed as
    nothing more than an opportunity for Netanyahu to continue killing Palestinians
    (while the very undemocratic Palestinian leaders continue to oppress their own
    people), when Israel is singled out for carefully building a defensive security fence
    that saves both Israeli and Palestinian lives and which is subject to judicial
    review and adjustment (while the gross human rights abuses by Syria’s Bashar
    al-Assad, Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are
    underplayed), when Israel’s democratically elected leader is excoriated with
    blood imagery (while the oppressive sheiks and sultans of the Islamic world are
    coddled, this is an anti-Israeli double standard which without any doubt sends a dark message of anti-Semitic expression and intent.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

      If any of what you’ve said about the “underplaying” of issues in Syria, Iran and Egypt were true you might have a point.

      I don’t know which News channels you watch, but my TV is awash with horrors from Syria and revolutionary crowds in Tahrir Square. Very seldom do I see a piece from the West Bank or Gaza.

      • Jerome

        You are blind Mr Forrester in that frothing anti-Israeli stupor of yours if you cant see that Israel has become the uber-obsession of left wing liberal fascists whilst 60,000 Syrian deaths is met with silence and indifference. Staggering when you compare the time frame of those deaths with the numbers you’re flinging about.

        Where are the Galloway types marching up and down London’s central streets to inform us “we are all Syrian’s now” as they did with Hizbollah and other terrorist organisations etc?

        No one gives a monkeys about Syria but everyone is outraged by disproportionate “Israeli aggression”. Similarly for Russian activities in Chechnya, China in Tibet, Iran murdering its citizens Sri Lanka on Tamils etc. How selective we are in our feel-good liberal causes! How proportionate your concern is, that you can spend your entire day shouting at Israelis but we don’t hear you utter a line on any of the other worlds hot spots – and lets be honest – real Human Rights outrages.

        • Charlie97

          You want the world to turn a blind eye to the excesses of Israel when it comes to the Palestinians. You are [clearly] not aware of all the protests against the Syrian outrage or the Russians in Chechnya, simply because you do not have a vested interest in those areas. You feel that Israel is constantly attacked because you have a visceral attachment to the place. It is you who are blind – blind love for Israel and blind love for all those who act in Israel’s interest – whether moral or not. My country, right or wrong…

        • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

          First things first. I am not anti Israel. I celebrate Israel as a modern pluralist democracy. I am firmly in favour of ensuring its security.

          I do “give a monkeys” about Syria and everywhere else in the world that barbarity exists. It’s unfortunate that the UN can’t come to a consensus on Syria but one could hardly say that the bloodshed has been ignored by the press. Coverage is constant and brutal. The fact is that this article is about criticism of Israeli policy as represented in a cartoon. So that’s what I have been talking about.

          Don’t presume to know my opinions on anything beyond what I have posted.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

      Yes, Israel’s democracy is to be celebrated. That doesn’t the actions of the politicians that are elected go unquestioned.

      I’ll really start celebrating the nature of Israeli democracy when criticism of the state is not labelled anti-Semitism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

    This lazy conflation of the state of Israel and Judaism infuriates me. Criticism of the actions of the state of Israel is not an attack on the Jewish people anymore than criticism of the USA’s actions are an attack on Christians.

    Scarfe’s cartoon criticised one politician and is in the same brutal tradition as his previous work on Blair, Brown, Bush and a host of others.

    One might consider Scarfe’s style somewhat direct and guileless, but to call his latest work anti-Semitic is a victory for those who seek to stifle debate.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      You make a valid point – Israel is a political entity and should be judged as other nations are judged.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Murray-Freedman/1662979459 Murray Freedman

        It should be, but it is not. It is subject to double standards that are imposed on no other nation.

        Western armies have killed, maimed, and done untold collateral damage right across the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The casualties run into tens if not hundreds of thousands.

        Muslim nations have caused more casualties to other Muslims than has Israel in 65 years of existence. In Iraq, sectarian factions even today, kill each other in the thousands.

        An Iraqi I know will never return – they kidnap children off the street, ‘cook’ them and return them to their parents to demonstrate their hatred for ‘the other’.

        In spite of tens of thousands of rockets having been fired into Israel from Gaza, it took years for Israel to decide to mount an action to stop the missiles and the IDF bent over backwards to minimise casualties so that in spite of the dense population within Gaza and the fact that missiles were deliberately fired in the midst of heavily populated civilian areas, the number of deaths were approx. 130 – mainly combatants and even some of those may have been caused by missiles from Gaza, misfiring and falling back into Gaza.

        And in spite of the state of virtual war that exists between Hamas and Israel, ten of thousands of tons of goods are transported into Gaza from Israel every week.

        What other nation in the world would agree to continue to supply food, goods, medicines, medical aid, clothing, fuel, electricity and any number of other essential items to a people that openly call for its destruction and the annihilation of not just its citizens but all Jews everywhere?

        Judged as other nations are judged? If only.

    • Augustus

      So Netanyahu is a callous, bloodthirsty, out-of-control maniac who eats
      Palestinians for breakfast, grinds their bones for lunch, mixes their blood for
      mortar before afternoon tea, and uses their skulls as building blocks before
      sitting down to dinner. Israel’s security fence is a Pol Pot-like construct of horrors, with stacked
      rows of skulls locked into place by a murderous dictator. Of course this cartoon can definitely be labelled anti-Semitic because it crosses the line between
      legitimate criticism of Israel and today’s anti-Semitism, which aims to disempower
      the Jewish people by whittling away at the Jewish state.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

        You may be taking cartoons a bit too literally. If so, I suggest you steer clear of Tom and Jerry, you may find it traumatic.

        This cartoon is, by definition, an opinion piece. Mr Scarfe’s opinion is that Bibi Netanyahu seeks to make Israel secure no matter what the cost to Palestinians.

        It crosses no lines in a free press. It’s a legitimate (and because it is a cartoon – exaggerated) expression of a political view. Mr Netanyahu gets the same treatment Mr Scarfe has meted out to hundreds of other politicians throught his long career. It’s uncomfortable viewing, but it’s supposed to be.

        You don’t get to decide what constitutes “legitimate” criticism of Israel in the free press. You can disagree. You can argue your own point. But you can’t veto Mr Scarfe’s right to express his opinion. He isn’t promoting hatred of a group or religion, merely criticising the actions of a politician.

        Your defienition of “today’s anti-Semitism” as the whittling away of the Jewish state is odd. Anti-Semitism is an attack on all Jews regardless of where they live and what their political beliefs are. What you describe is not anti-Semitism, it’s criticism of a nation state.

        A modern democracy such as Israel purports to be should open to robust criticism and should defend itself with reasoned argument, not with cries of anti-Semitism.

        • monty61

          Well said.

        • Charlie97

          I really couldn’t have put it better myself. Hear hear.

        • Julian_F

          “should defend itself with reasoned argument”

          Like the cartoon was reasoned argument?

          The conflation of Israel and “the Jews” is mainly a construct of anti-Semites. It is cowardly to hide behind the lie that one is simply attacking a specific policy when the motivation for that attack is – frequently – anti-Jewish sentiment. This was neatly illustrated by David Ward MP, who seems happy to use the terms Israeli and “the Jews” interchangeably.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

            Ward used the term “the jews”. That was stupid and lazy and he was righly condemned for it.

            Scarfe has clearly pinpointed Netnyahu. One politician being criticised for one policy. You might not like the brutality of the cartoon but it doesn’t seek to generalise about a people, merely attack the actions of a politician.

            • Julian_F

              I think the point is that it was published on a day when remembrance of the Holocaust would ineluctably link the cartoon in readers’ minds to the Jewish people more widely. And there is a serious point about invoking the blood-libel, even unwittingly. This particularly pernicious idea has caused untold suffering over the years and it really should not be resurrected.

              So, criticisms of the cartoon’s publication were more about the context rather than the crude bastardization of a very complex debate about the security of a state that is inhabited by people who suffer high levels of persecution on the grounds of “race” (although I think we need to be careful about how we use that word in this context). The publication was most probably a case of bad taste meeting bad judgement, but more careful judgement certainly should be exercised where attitudes to the Jewish people might be influenced negatively.

            • http://www.facebook.com/andy.walsh.1426 Andy Walsh

              “Lazy”?
              Interesting.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Murray-Freedman/1662979459 Murray Freedman

              His cartoon was a perfect recreation of the blood libel, the lie made against `Jews since mediaeval times by the Christian church, that Jews killed Christian children and used their blood to make unleavened bread for Passover.

              It was a lie then – it is a lie now. What’s more, Netanyahu is probably one of Israel’s prime ministers with the least ‘blood on his hands’, in respect of the Palestinians. But it is easy, lazy and gets a cheap laugh from those who are happy to accuse Israel of every and any sin under the sun.

              Scarfe has slapped out another artless, pointless and unbelievably insensitive piece of bile that has not a scintilla of accuracy in it, while conjuring up an example of that self same blood libel. And published it on Holocaust Memorial Day, just to rub it in.

              And that idiot Steve Bell of the Guardian attempted on radio this morning, to draw an equivalence between a recent cartoon of Assad, a man in charge of the slaughter of at least 60,000 of his own people, and Netanyahu, who is the head of a democracy who is trying to defend his own people, while doing everything it can to minimise civilian casualties on both sides.

              While I know you are trying hard to refute the accusation that Scarfe did something deliberately racist, from my particular perspective, I believe it was and as it was aimed at me and mine, I’d be grateful if you’d allow me to decide what does or does not offend me.

        • Augustus

          Ah, British humour, good old Scarfey! We’re not talking Tom and Jerry here, or Down with Skool. This is not ‘robust criticism’, it is mental ignorance and laziness. No wonder that Murdoch has apologized. It might pay the people at the Sunday Times to thoroughly study the education and media systems of both peoples in the conflict. But who needs all that when you can just blame the Jews? This is not anti-Semitism, they said. It is only directed against Netanyahu. How stupid!
          So the prime minister of the Jewish state, is drawn as a bloodthirsty butcher on International
          Holocaust Remembrance Day. The trowel in his hand looks like a sword, dripping
          with blood, like a veritable anti-Christ. That’s humour for you, don’t cha know!

          • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

            “like a veritable anti christ?”

            Where do you get this stuff?

            Scarfe’s view is that Bibi builds the security of Israel on the blood of Palestinians. That’s the clear message from the cartoon. Nobody is blaming jews. Nobody is mentioning jews. Just one politician.

            Regardless of the religion and ethnicity of the population of Israel (20% Arab as I understand it by the way, potentially majority Arab in next 30 years) the leaders of that nation state are not beyond criticism.

            A day other than Holocaust remembrance day would have been better for publication I grant you. Mainly because that day was not for discussing Israeli foreign policy, it was for the remembering the slavs, jews, gays, disabled people AND muslims killed by hatred and intolerance 70 years ago.

            • Augustus

              “Where do you get this stuff?”

              70 years ago, as half of Europe was in ruins, Der Stürmer ran a cartoon featuring a Jew in the form of Satan looking down on his handiwork, a destroyed Europe. The perpetrator, of course, wasn’t the Nazis, the cartoon tried to explain, it was the Jews. It isn’t murderous Palestinian terror that has taken thousands of Jewish lives, it is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s thirst for blood that prompted him to use Palestinian blood to build a protective wall around Israel. You say that you are infuriated. Well, the cruel irony is that Israel is currently serving as the entire world’s first line of defense in its battle against radical Islam, and people in Britain, or elsewhere in Europe, who try to suck up to them are deluding themselves if they think they will be spared. For decades Israel has tried to build a ‘house of peace’, but the Palestinians just added more Israeli victims to the peace process, thanks in large measure to people like Scarfe.

              • victor67

                Sorry we do not buy the Sharonian opportunistic argument of comparing the “war on terror ” to Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians.

                • Augustus

                  Nevertheless the ground zero of the millennial conflict between Islam and the West is right there in Israel. Islamists have made it amply clear, and the vast majority of Muslims support
                  them, that this millennial conflict will not cease until Israel is annihilated. And if there are a small number of Muslims who repudiate such obscenity they are in turn repudiated, ostracized, or killed as apostates from Islam. Israelis are left with no choice but to act with wisdom and courage in doing
                  whatever is necessary for survival. Yet instead of resolutely supporting Israel,
                  many in the West, like you, have decided to park your discredited and covert anti-Semitism inside mosques to appease Islamists. Waging war, engaging in diplomacy, signing treaties, and maintaining or breaking
                  truces are merely means to an end. A doctrine of religious politics in action. And it is they who have mastered the art of exploiting the West’s niceties to their advantage. But Israel will not hesitate in using disproportionate force when needed, and will not be
                  troubled by any doubt over actions taken against Islamist terrorism. The recurrent conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, as was 9/11 and others, shows a pattern whose message is clear: Submission, by the sword if necessary, of all who oppose the will of Allah, with the mission to establish its system of government based on the Shariah, wherever its tentacles can reach. And yet whatever peace exists between their nations is tenuous at best. But the one thing that does unite them is their irrational hatred of Israel.

                • Noa

                  “Islamists have made it amply clear, and the vast majority of Muslims support them, that this millennial conflict will not cease until Israel is annihilated.”

                  Why should it stop with the annilhilation of Israel?

                  Islamists are already advancing and establishing the Sharia throughout the West.

                • Julian_F

                  There is no such place as Palestine and no such being as a Palestinian. They are fictions. And Israel does not persecute the murderous Egyptian and Jordanian Arabs in its midst. It defends its citizens against unprovoked bombardment by proxies of the Muslim Brotherhood and other anti-Semitic organisations.

                • Augustus

                  It’s certainly hard to understand why people get so upset over the Palestinian refugees who had to move no more than 20 or 30 miles, many of them staying within the borders of Palestine Mandate territory. Especially when you consider the context in which this event occurred. Europe was still largely destroyed, there were 50 million war dead and six million dead Jews, 30 million refugees and hundreds of thousands of deeply traumatized Holocaust survivors who had no where to go except Israel. There was famine in Jerusalem during the Arab siege. There was the invasion by six Arab armies, the loss of Jerusalem and hundreds of thousands of Arab Jewish refugees who had to flee to Israel. Contrast that with a few hundred thousand Palestinians who had to move one from region to another quite similar region and it doesn’t really seem to be something to get overly upset about. But strangely enough, this ‘inconvenience’ has been turned into the greatest tragedy of our times. And as for Gaza being compared to the Warsaw Ghetto, and as the inhabitants of Gaza have one of the highest obesity levels in the world, it begs the question: Did 400.000 Jews die in Warsaw of obesity?

                • Julian_F

                  Well said.

                • victor67

                  Do you represent the “moderate” strand of zionism or the neo- fascist variety imported from the old Soviet bloc?

                • Matt Pryor

                  Again, who is “we”?

                  Do you have multiple personality disorder*, or are you referring to your legion of sock puppet accounts?

                  * This comment is in no way intended to offend those who actually have multiple personality disorder, which the author recognises is a serious mental health issue.

            • Curnonsky

              The Muslims were allies of the Nazis, you may recall.

              • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

                “the Muslims”

                Including the Indian Muslims (from what is now Pakistan)who fought in the British armed forces?

                Including the 200,000 Muslims who died in the holocaust?

                You need to have a little word with yourself.

                • Julian_F

                  “200,000 Muslims who died in the holocaust”

                  Fascinating. What is the source for this number?

                • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

                  The study “Bosniaks in Jasenovac concentration camp” by Nihad Halilbegovic puts the number of Bosnian Muslim Slavs killed in the Holocaust in Croatia at a minimum of 103,000. In addition to the 15-20% of the 500,00 gypsies killed who were apparently muslim Roma (from an article in the Guardian).

                • Julian_F

                  Thanks Mark – it’s an aspect of the Holocaust I have not considered properly. Of course, Arabs (regardless of religious orientation) were considered as ranking somewhere towards the bottom of the racial hierarchy, but they weren’t considered a “race apart”, as were Jews (there are, of course, many Arab Jews). I wasn’t aware of any singling out of Islam per se for persecution by the Nazis, and it may have been incidental that the Bosnians (also considered – as Slavs – at close to the bottom of the hierarchy) were Muslims. I will look into it with interest. The Mufti of Jerusalem’s fairly unequivocal support for Hitler has previously constrained my thinking on the matter.

        • Daniel Maris

          Sorry – you’re saying no editor can sack a cartoonist because of what he draws? No editor can sack a journalist because of what he writes?

          Since when?

          No one’s saying, I think, that Scarfe should be prevented from drawing the cartoon. They are asking what a respected newspaper is doing printing this sort of “blood libel” drawing on Holocaust Memorial Day.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

            There’s no blood libel here. I acknowledge the timing could have been better though merely because HRD was not the day discuss Israeli policy, it was a day to remember the gay people, slavs, disabled people, jews and romany peoples (including 200,000 Muslims) who died in the holocaust.

      • Patriccia Shaw

        No Augustus.
        As it is legitimate to satirise Assad for bombing the children of Aleppo.
        So it is legitimate to satirise Netanyahu for bombing the children of Gaza
        I decry the Murdoch statement
        Here in Boston mind Scarfe would have been lynched.

        • Victor Southern

          Didn’t realise they are so violent in Lincolnshire.

    • Curnonsky

      I suppose you would have defended the cartoonist of Die Sturmer on the grounds that he was simply expressing legitimate criticism of financiers who happened to be Jewish? If the leader of the Jewish state is not above criticism then why should Gerald Scarfe be off-limits? That he has the right to publish his cartoons does not diminish the obvious and blatant use of the blood-libel slander on Holocaust Day – this is but another example of the ugly wave of anti-Semitism sweeping Europe at the moment and Scarfe deserves to be called out on it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

        Do you suppose that? Really?

        There’s no 1930’s type hideous caricature of a Jewish financier meant to charactise all jews as evil, conniving and avaricious. If he’d used such an image to represent all jews that would have been vile and despicable.

        But he didn’t.There’s simply a cartoon representing a political opinion. Namely that Bibi will do whatever it takes to advance the security of Israel regardless of the cost in Palestinian blood. I don’t believe the criticism of an individual politician for an individual policy is an abuse of the right to free speech.

        This cartoon is entirely consistent with all his other work in style and ferocity.

        I don’t have a problem with Gerald Scarfe being criticised. Personally I find his style rather crass and lacking in subtelty. But I think labelling his work as anti-Semitic is foolish and baseless.

        • Curnonsky

          Well, that is Charles Moore’s argument – that Scarfe might be guilty of laziness and repeating himself but not outright anti-Semitism. I don’t buy it.

          Are we really supposed to believe that a cartoonist, someone who deals in visual symbolism, had no idea that people would associate his cartoon with the infamous blood libel? Are we really supposed to believe that neither he, nor anyone at the Sunday Times, was aware that it would be published on Holocaust Rememberance Day?

          Nonsense. It all jibes too well with the favorite leftist trope that Israelis are Jews who, having failed to learn the “lessons” of the Holocaust, have turned into Nazis themselves. And ask yourself, as others have pointed out, what is it about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that inspires so much hatred of Israel when all around it real atrocities are being committed every day to the world’s collective yawn? The only answer is that one half of the equation is Jewish, and Jews are seen as the embodiment of revanchist European/Western culture by the left as well as being the object of the usual ancient bigotry.

          Of course it’s still not quite respectable to come right out and admit you hate Jews per se, so code words like “Zionists”, “neo-cons” and “right-wing Israelis” are used instead (unless you are Hamas or Mohammed Morsi in which case “descendants of apes and pigs” is the accepted terminology). Perhaps Scarfe will work that imagery into another of his fine artworks?

          • http://www.facebook.com/andy.walsh.1426 Andy Walsh

            I give Scarfe a pass on the grounds that he is obviously a bit thick.

            • Daniel Maris

              I do agree with you – he appears v. thick. Just one of those idiots savants who can draw incredibly well.

    • http://twitter.com/Waltroon Walter Ellis

      I would agree with you, Mark, if Scarfe had indeed conflated Israel with Judaism. but he didn’t. The likeness he drew was of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, the most bellicose and unyielding Israeli leader since Menachem Begin, or possibly Ariel Sharon (take your pick). It was not of “The Jew”.

      It is the pro-Israel lobby, by policing each and every utterance on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, who conflate Jews and Israelis. Critics are told, if you speak out against Israel, you are taking your lead from Hitler. That is a nonsense. But it it serves its purpose.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

        I’m actually agreeing with you Walter. I don’t think Scarfe did, but his critics who cried anti-Semitism did.

        I can only assume the deliberate conflation is an attempt to stifle debate on the actions of the Israeli state.

  • MaxSceptic

    Since when are comments ‘moderated’?

  • jazz6o6

    Upset ‘God’s chosen people’ and you’ll know all about it.

    • zakisbak

      I don’t think we need to ask which “chosen people” you are referring to,although there are several.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chosen_people
      you’ll know all about it – Really?Please,do enlighten us.What happens?

      • jazz6o6

        I think I meant in in a rhetorical way but thanks for the link.

  • Enda Williamson

    Lets be honest Netanyahu does not = the prophet Mohammed. The comparison does not stand. The issue raised by the cartoon is being ignored in favour of clamour and drama of ‘offense’, rather than addressing the suffering, oppression and illegal removal of the Palestinian people under the ‘authority’ of the Israeli State. “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

    • Colonel Mustard

      “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

      Indeed, but from both sides of the argument – which many on your side do not accept.

      • Enda Williamson

        What side is that? I do not have a ‘side’, please do not make that assumption. I have an open mind and seek the truth in as much as it’s possible given the heavy footprint of media control. I endeavour to be unbiased. I am not ‘anti Jewish’ and I am not pro-Palestinian. I am however aware of the lies and obfuscation perpetrated by the Israeli government (and unfortunately an often gerrymandering Jewish lobby) in order that the illegal expansion of the State of Israel continues whilst the eyes of the world are misdirected by PR conflagrations such as this.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Oh, please. We now have two comments from you which make it absolutely clear which side you are on whilst slyly pretending impartiality. What about the Israeli lies and obfuscation? What about the Palestinian lies and obfuscation and especially the way their cause is promoted here?

          That promotion persistently and wilfully ignores the stated position of most countries surrounding Israel whose behaviour in response is unsurprising. It always takes at least two to make war and rarely, if ever, is one side blameless. The biased reporting that goes on here is simply mischievous.

          • Enda Williamson

            There is a distinct imbalance of power and I am drawing attention to this. “…and especially the way their cause is promoted here” – My point exactly, promoted on a comment board appended to an article hidden away on an Internet page – It’s hardly front page.

            I do not have a ‘side’ per se, and as cliched as it may sound I believe in peace and understanding. I come from another part of the world which has suffered the blight of bigotry and hatred (the clue is in my first name by the way). I certainly do not support the Israeli Authority’s actions generally and specifically the promotion of a violent aggravating relationship with their Palestinian neighbours. Yes, Palestinians are also guilty of their part in this. Equally I am not a fan of any oppressive state authority (of which there are many in the middle east for example).

            Yes it takes 2 sides to make war however it is a fact that the Israeli actions against the Palestinians are disproportionate responses to ‘attacks’ by the Palestinians. The problem is that violence breeds violence, and the occupation of the Palestinian territories, forcible eviction, denial of a decent living standard, human rights etc further reinforce this. This is undeniably to the advantage of the Israeli hard-line Government.

            Unfortunately groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and other sensibly minded political entities do not get a look in. The hard-line is promoted and peace is just a word used to distract the world & the media (the Peace Process was a sham and I do not blame the Israeli State for this only: the US, the Palestinian negotiators all had a part to play in this).

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Murray-Freedman/1662979459 Murray Freedman

              “There is a distinct imbalance of power and I am drawing attention to this. ”

              No you’re not. You are drawing attention to your perception of the ‘imbalance of power’, completely ignoring that there are 56 Muslim states that always vote in the UN against Israel and use their oil money to leverage influence on other, non Muslim states.

              You ignore the 200 million Arabs that make up the Middles East and that there are just 7 million Israelis on a piece of land, the same size as Wales as opposed to the Arabian states that cover much of that entire region of the world, plus all of North Africa.

              You ignore the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab lands who were ejected or made to leave their homes in lands they had inhabited long before Islam arrived. You ignore the terror activities sponsored by Iran that waits on Israel’s south west border and it’s northern border.

              You ignore the Arab league policy of maintaining Palestinian Arabs in refugee camps and educating them to hate Israelis and Jews, but preventing them from meaningful employment, citizenship or passports of the Arab states they live in.

              In short, you close your eyes to everything that doesn’t suit your obvious prejudice. Disproportionate? Yes, you certainly are.

              • Charlie97

                56 Muslims states? And how many of those 56 states possess a veto, may I ask? What effective power do the Arab states wield, given that the USA and the UK often vote (or abstain) in favour of Israel. Indeed there is a power imbalance, but not as you perceive it.

                • Curnonsky

                  With China and Russia vetoing on their behalf they hardly need it.

              • Enda Williamson

                The imbalance of power I am referring to is the Israeli Government’s domination of the Palestinian people. You cannot dispute that.

                I trust that you are not claiming that the cleansing of Jews from other Arab countries justifies the suffering of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli Government & hard line Zionists (NOT all Israeli Jews). Given the tragic as the events of the Jewish Nakba (circa 850 000 Jewish refugees put upon & expelled from other Arab states) one must be weary of entering into a barbaric eye or an eye argument. I don’t think this is your point however as you are drawing attention to the wider picture, and complexity of the Israeli/Palestinian ‘relationship’ which I commend.

                I am aware of the idiotic and ugly remarks of Egypt’s Morsi made regarding Jews & Zionism. This is a dispicable attitude and illustrates not only racism but also the anti-Jewish sentiment which must be dealt with and given no credence. I am unaware of the Arab League Policy towards Jews.

                I do not close my eyes, and I am not disproportionate. I am dissapointed that a civilised society, a democracy, perpetrates these crimes against humanity and the continued illegal settlement (stealing) of their neighbour’s land. I do however recognise Israel’s right to exist. I am aware also of ignorant anti-jewish sentiment in the Arab world, it is racist, disgusting & dangerous.

                Extremism on both sides must be confronted.

  • Charlie97

    Interesting that if it was a cartoon of the Muslim prophet, there would be no apology – in fact, there would be much discussion as to how the publication of such a cartoon is a necessity, in order to show the barbarians the value of free speech in a mature democracy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      Can you tell me when you have seen such a cartoon in a British publication ?

      • Charlie97

        You are right – there has never been such a cartoon in a British publication (I did use the word “if”). There was, however, much comment in the British media about the right of publishers/editors in foreign outlets to use these cartoons, and that it was a sign of free speech. I don’t see the same arguments being applied in this particular instance.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          Yes but the English are cowards and prefer to discuss abstractions to realities just as they FAILED MISERABLY to uphold Free Speech and use The Public Order Act 1936 or 1986 in the case of Bradford and the burning of Satanic Verses or the march in Leicester led by Keith Vaz calling for the death of Salman Rushdie. When faced with the situation the British buckle

          • Charlie97

            I agree. But I am making the point that in the situation of the Prophet cartoons, we heard argument upon argument that the cartoons must be published (free speech, democracy etc) and that there would be no apology – what for? But in this case, after some opposition (e.g. Israeli ambassador – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21239917), an apology is issued within 48 hours. I just don’t understand…

            • Charlie97

              The link above, should be http://bbc.in/WLGJ28

            • lustra

              Rupert Murdoch has apologised so you need ask him.

              • Charlie97

                Oh okay lustra. Thanks for your input.

            • Daniel Maris

              You might have heard arguments. The fact remains they weren’t published. Only brave publications like Charlie Hebdo in France have published them.

              • Charlie97

                I see. So when Charlie Hebdo (and other publishers) print cartoons that offend Muslims, then that is okay – you call such people “brave”, despite the hurt that they cause millions. One cartoon, however, about a politician like Benjamin Netanyahu, and the usual suspects (Israeli Ambassador to the UK etc) were out in force. Asking for an apology, is of course absolutely fine, but as civilised people, why not just take it on the chin and accept that it is only natural that offence will be part of your existence in a democracy – basically, just accept it, like Muslims were forced to do over the cartoon affair. Yes I know they were not published in this country, but they were easily viewed over the internet and were published in a number of civilised European countries.

                • Curnonsky

                  Charlie Hebdo was firebombed and their offices gutted by the “offended”.

              • Charlie97

                I think that the Sunday Times were brave to print the Netanyahu cartoon.

      • monty61

        I seem to recall many Scarfe cartoons of both Thatcher and later Blair with blood on their hands (or mouths). The stock in trade of political cartoonist I’m afraid. He is a bit one-note but Murdoch’s capitulation in the face of is utterly shameful and just goes to show he’s not the man he was. There is nothing unremarkable about the cartoon in a British newspaper context, the only thing worth of remark here is the power of the global pro-Israeli rent a mob.

        • zakisbak

          the power of the global pro-Israeli rent a mob –
          Ah.Blood libel not enough for you?Back it up with the “lobby/rent a mob slur.As if the anti-Israeli mob doesn’t massively mobilize at the drop of a hat,(despite the BBC,Channel 4,Guardian and much of the media already being firmly in their pocket).
          PS — Show me a similar cartoon of Arafat,Abbas,or the leaders of Islamic Jihad or Hamas.

          • monty61

            You clearly have no knowledge of Scarfe’s work if you think him in any way particularly anti-Israeli, or this cartoon in any way unusual in his oevre. There is no easy way to search I can think of, but given his blood-dripping portrayals of figures such as Blair and Thatcher, I would be astonished if (say) Khomeni, or Arafat in his days of blowing up airlines or shooting ship passengers in wheechairs did not come in for the same treatment as Netanyahu has received.

            However the rent a mob reaction is a complete nonsense and does your cause no favours whatsoever.

            • Curnonsky

              Scarfe was active as a cartoonist during the Khomeini/Arafat years – has anyone seen an example him giving them the “blood-dripping” treatment?

            • http://www.facebook.com/andy.walsh.1426 Andy Walsh

              “There is no easy way to search…”
              Because he’s never drawn one.

              • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

                I suggest you search for a cartoon called “Israel and Hamas You Started it” by Scarfe

              • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

                Or perhaps “assad – and the world looks on”

              • http://www.facebook.com/mark.forrester.1654 Mark Forrester

                Or perhaps “president putin – judo” or “mladic – your turn ratko” or “convenient perch”. Plenty of commentary on barbarity to choose from.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Why on earth shouldn’t Murdoch apologise if he feels an apology is in order?

          • Daniel Maris

            Quite.

    • lustra

      If it were a cartoon of the Muslim prophet a fatwa would have been issued and Scarfe would now be in hiding in fear for his life. Under those circumstances a discussion on the value of free speech would be entirely appropriate.

      • Charlie97

        As I understand your argument;
        If a cartoon ‘offends’ a group of people and they issue a ‘fatwa’ (I’m using these terms in the loosest possible sense), then a broader discussion must be had on the value of free speech (and that publishing such cartoons reinforces this message). If they are not offended and accept that a cartoon/criticism is natural in a democracy, then the cartoon gets published, and people can discuss the message behind the cartoon.

        It appears that in this case, the cartoonist was commenting on the political situation in Palestine/Israel. It is a sign of free speech, and a legitimate (possibly tasteless) point of discussion. No ‘fatwa’ is issued by those offended (they are possibly more mature than some of their Muslim counterparts) yet they are offended, and issue a complaint. An apology is swiftly granted (from Rupert Murdoch of all people). The ‘rules’ have not been applied equally.

        • Daniel Maris

          You’re not making any sense. Calling on someone to apologise or calling for someone to be sacked is part of free debate. Calling for someone to be executed and then -worse – attempting to carry out the threat is not.

        • Bob339

          Do you not know that to criticise the jews is automatically antisemitic? Charles Moore, for all his English name, is a jew.
          Do not say anything against the chosen people! Naughty!

    • Colonel Mustard

      Really? I would expect there to be rioting, death threats, some murders abroad, much wailing and gnashing of bien pensant teeth (well at least their thin lipped mouths twisting into a collective sneer), a clamour not to provoke or offend, to show more respect (from the same people who seem eager to disrespect the Church of England) and then some weasel words of appeasement in official response.

      Britain is developing into an offence-driven nation and most of the imperative for that is clear in its origin.

      • Charlie97

        Okay – so do you agree that Rupert Murdoch should have apologised for these particular cartoons?

        • Colonel Mustard

          No, I don’t think anyone should have to apologise for any cartoons. I don’t consider cartoons to be a matter of free speech but rather of personal free expression. They are an art form and since many of them will have an overt political “message” it is pretty much assured that they will offend “some of the people some of the time”. Whether that message is “true” and/or conveys an exaggerated perspective of the truth (as cartoons often do) is what should attract debate. Scarfe has a known and distinctive style of rather gruesome tendencies. It should not surprise.

          Compare and contrast the current capacity to be offended and demand apologies with the robust 18th Century cartoon in all its outrageous provocation. In an age when the brutal and graphic realities of “international politics” are a click away on You Tube it is ridiculous to state a position of being offended by a cartoon. The concept of apologising for it goes even further into the silliness descending on this once phlegmatic nation.

          By the way, I think it outrageous that Rupert the Bear and his companions are routinely humiliated by being dressed up in human clothes and made to perform human antics. This is animal cruelty of the worst kind and I plan to make a very strong complaint to the RSPCA about it. Hopefully they will prosecute or at least demand a post-mortem apology from Ms Tourtel and Mr Bestall.

          • Charlie97

            On this we agree Colonel. Here is a link to a Haaretz piece (http://bit.ly/WLLaKd) explaining why the Scarfe cartoon is not anti-Semitic in any way – for anyone that is interested.

            • Augustus

              The link is not much use, but you’ve only got to look at the cartoon and read the caption (Will cementing peace continue?) to realize what a raw blood libelous and anti-Semitic depiction it is. I doubt if any national newspaper in another civilized Western country would have literally tried to cement such hatred on Holocaust Memorial Day.

              • Charlie97

                1. Mark Forrester’s reply about an hour ago deals with your points.

                2. The cartoon was published in the Sunday Times (funnily enough on a Sunday), at a point in the calendar during the Israeli election. It was a political (not religious) comment on Bibi Netanyahu’s policies. When else should the Sunday Times have published a cartoon on the Israeli leader, if not during an election campaign?

                3. If you cannot see the difference between a political and a religious point, then at this point we must depart, as we shall never agree. You wish to conflate criticism of Israeli policy/anti-Zionism with anti-Semetism/Judaism. I do not.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Personally, I don’t think anyone would be complaining much if it wasn’t for the bloodsucker imagery. For a Mugabe or a Saddam, the bloody imagery might be acceptable. For an Israeli leader, it’s way over the top. Scarfe if he’d wanted could say have had an image of a settlement and maybe some visual-verbal pun on peace settlement. That would be more to the point. But the women and children being deliberately murdered is not acceptable in my view. Of course Scarfe is entitled to his view. And critics of Scarfe are entitled to theirs.

                • Charlie97

                  I tend to agree with some of what you say on this. I do feel, however, that this was clearly an anti-Netanyahu/Israel political image, and not an anti-Jewish attack.

    • http://twitter.com/Harry_ca_Nab The Elderking

      The fact is that such a cartoon would never appear in a British publication.

      If it did there would be apologies galore, people in hiding, police arrests for “hate”, riots, murders, questions in the House,

      You demonstrate the point that as this has not happened the “Jews” are civilised whilst Muslims are not.

      • Charlie97

        So why then, should Rupert Murdoch apologise to civilised “Jews” (as you put it)? You are making the mistake that one’s actions should be dictated by the values and actions of another? Irrespective of the actions of Muslims/Jews/anyone else, shouldn’t the response of those in a democracy be equal? Why not apologise to Muslims if they offended, in the same way that an apology is granted to the “Jews” when they are also offended? Why the double-standards?

    • Fergus Pickering

      But the cartoon of the prophet was funny.

      • Charlie97

        Lots of Muslims disagree.

    • Curnonsky

      If Gerald Scarfe had somehow managed to print a cartoon attacking Mohammed in the Sunday Times he would be in fear of his life from your precious barbarians.

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