London: Media baron Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a Sunday Times cartoon depicting Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall using blood-red mortar, an image Jewish leaders said was reminiscent of anti-Semitic propaganda.
The political cartoon, which was published on Holocaust Memorial Day, shows Netanyahu wielding a long, sharp trowel and depicts agonized Palestinians bricked into the wall`s structure. It was meant as a comment on recent elections in which Netanyahu`s ticket narrowly won the most seats in the Israeli parliamentary.
"Will cementing the peace continue?" the caption read, a reference both to the stalled peace process and Israel`s separation barrier, a complex of fences and concrete walls which Israel portrays as a defense against suicide bombers but which Palestinians say is a land grab under the guise of security.
Murdoch wrote on Twitter that the cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe -- a veteran 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.