‘Appalling’ – UK newspaper apologizes for vile antisemitic cartoon

UK Jewish activists and NGOs swiftly condemned the cartoon, along with prominent lawmakers.

By World Israel News Staff

The far-left UK newspaper The Guardian has apologized for publishing a political cartoon that depicted the recently ousted head of the BBC, British-Jewish executive Richard Sharp, using antisemitic tropes and imagery.

Sharp, who recently was forced to resign from his position as chairman of the BBC after it was revealed that he did not disclose financial support for former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is shown in the cartoon with an exaggerated, large hooked nose typical of antisemitic caricatures.

A marionette resembling the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is shown in a box being held by Sharp, presumably implying that the lawmaker is under his control, along with a squid. Many antisemitic cartoons throughout the years have depicted Jews as having tentacles that control various aspects of culture and government.

UK Jewish activists and NGOs swiftly condemned the cartoon, along with prominent lawmakers.

“The depiction of Richard Sharp in today’s @guardian cartoon falls squarely into an antisemitic tradition of depicting Jews with outsized, grotesque features, often in conjunction with money and power. It’s appalling,” wrote David Rich, an expert on left-wing antisemitism, on Twitter.

“Disappointed to see these tropes in today’s Guardian,” former Health Minister Sajid Javid tweeted. “Disturbing theme – or at best, lessons not learned?”

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The Guardian, which has a long history of biased reporting that critics have said demonizes Israel and glosses over Arab and Palestinian terror attacks, issued a laconic statement that only briefly mentioned the antisemitic nature of the cartoon.

“We understand the concerns that have been raised. This cartoon does not meet our editorial standards, and we have decided to remove it from our website,” the Guardian said, adding that they apologize “to Mr. Sharp, to the Jewish community and to anyone offended.”

Martin Rowson, who drew the cartoon, also issued an apology. He wrote that he actually attended school with Sharp, “though I doubt he remembers me.”

Rowson added that Sharp’s “Jewishness never crossed my mind as I drew him as it’s wholly irrelevant to the story or his actions, and it played no conscious role in how I twisted his features according to the standard cartooning playbook.”

But Rowson also admitted that he had “f–ed things up” and that “the cartoon was a failure.”