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Chief Rabbi speaks out on ‘offensive’ Holocaust Day cartoon

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has broken his usual silence on press reporting to criticise the Gerald Scarfe cartoon in the Sunday Times showing Benjamin Netanyahu with a building trowel that is dripping blood.

Lord Sacks described it as ‘inflammatory and deeply dangerous.’

Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Sunday Times, has offered ‘a major apology’. This may not be the end of the furore.

scarfe

 

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Comments

  1. peter brown says:

    Dear Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks,
    Those involved with the publication of the Sunday Times cartoon depicting Netanyahu have apologised profusely to all Jews, The Board of Deputies, and other organisations which represent them.
    The timing caused as much offence as the content but you made the interesting comment that
    “Such images reinforce a great slander of our time: that Jews, victims of the Holocaust, are now perpetrators of a similar crime.”
    I do not think the treatment of Palestinians has ever been referred to as a “holocaust” but anyone with any sense would surely have to agree with the contention that the illegal occupation has similarities with the ghastly South African apartheid regime. Surely this is at odds with the image of Israel constantly being created through its propaganda It does seem to many of us that an abused people has ended up being the abuser . Too often we are told things by Israeli official spokesmen which are patently ridiculous! Mis-representation of Flotilla ships and their crews, poorly faked video “evidence”, cameras mistaken for guns, theft of passports, killer squads, and the denials of assaults against civilians in Gaza including the illegal use of phosphorous in civilian areas. In truth we see the devastation on a huge scale turned upon Gaza and see the racist treatment meted out to Palestinians every day. The honorable faces of sincere Jewish spokespersons repeating cant of their wish for peace is at odds with reality.
    The right wing extremist Israeli seems to be able to do and say as he pleases; settler extremists voice ever more extreme, and yes, fascist ideology which is supported in the US of course by Christian Zionists (their term , not mine). One may reasonably ask how a people who suffered the holocaust can treat others shamefully. And you can call us all anti Semites if you must but the truth is the invasive settlement building is metaphorically mortared with blood. You talk about how this cartoon will cause “immense pain to the Jewish community in the UK and around the world”. How far was this caused by the timing?
    How is it that a cartoon against an Israeli politician can evoke universal Jewish outrage? There have been similar cartoons against Blair depicted with “blood on his hands” but we do not perceive the concept that such an attack upon a British , Christian Prime Minister would or could provoke all Brits or Christians around the world to rise up in outrage. The same could be said of President Obama.
    Israel’s actions have endangered Jews around the world and AIPAC and other Zionist organisations who maintain that Israel can do no wrong and that criticism equates with anti-Semitism make things worse.+
    As for the cartoon being “dangerous” I believe your inability to recognize the extent of any truth it may illuminate is equally dangerous. Your inability (along with other Jewish representatives) to deal even handedly with Palestine in your teachings/ pronouncements and your failure to criticize settler extremists and the disproportionate use of force by your Jewish Israeli Government inevitably leads us to believe that the holocaust has given Jews the idea that they have the right to do what they want. Do you believe you will always be a victim because you are a Jew?

  2. Ariadne Montfleur says:

    Thank you, peter brown, in the name of thousands and millions

  3. John Sparks says:

    I agree entirely Peter, a very eloquent statement. It’s clear…its a fact….that Israel’s expansions ’cause’ violence and death, because they are expanding into territory that others feel belongs to them, and, so long as they do so they will attract conflict. They know this, and yet they continue to do so knowing the conflict will increase…. and that more lives will be lost as a result. So the metaphor in this cartoon is entirely and utterly accurate. What exactly is the real problem here?..is it the inability of the human race to recognise the symptoms of mass-genocide in slow-motion, or more to do with the cowardly and shameful politics which enable this sort of thing to continue decade after decade ? Shame on the Times for giving in to religious idiocy and political impotence…..!

  4. George King says:

    It’s refreshing to read this candidly frank response. Thank you, Peter Brown!

  5. Entirely agree with Mr Brown. Time to face up to the fact that all criticism of Israel can not be rebutted with accusations of antisemitism and misuse of the mid 20th Century genocide. Hasbeen

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