German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung’s anti-Semitic cartoon that portrayed Israel as a ravenous monster rightly caused outrage. Many of you wrote to the newspaper to express your anger.
As a result of the pressure and publicity generated by HonestReporting and a number of other concerned organizations (HR is cited in this Jerusalem Post report), Süddeutsche Zeitung has backed down and apologized. Here is a rough translation from the original German:
There was significant criticism and outrage at the illustration on the “The Political Book” page on July 2. As we have already written in the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Süddeutsche.de, we deplore the use of this illustration. It was an unsuccessful attempt to represent by means of caricature, how the State of Israel is seen by her enemies.
This intention was not clear. The drawing of a horned monster with a knife and fork did not make the connection to the symbolism of anti-Israel clichés. On the contrary: The illustration allows for the conclusion that we are depicting Israel as a monster. It was a cliché used to denounce stereotypes, and that did not work, even though the caption attempted the explanation.
We are very sorry we have made this mistake. And we ask those we have hurt or annoyed to excuse it. This also includes the illustrator Ernst Kahl, whose drawing was used in this context, although it was actually made for a cooking column. We will be very careful that such an error is not repeated.
In light of the newspaper’s previous denials that the cartoon had been nothing more than a “misunderstanding,” it is significant that it has now recognized exactly why the publication of this cartoon was so patently unacceptable.