German popular daily newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung fired its experienced cartoonist after his caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been criticized in social media and described as “anti-Semitic”, Reuters reported on May 18.
Israels Premier mit großen Ohren, in der Hand kriegsbereit eine Rakete mit Davidstern, auf den Lippen der Jahrhundert alte jüdische Ausdruck „Nächstes Jahr in Jerusalem“ und das alles in der Mitte des mit Davidstern versehenen ESC. Liebe @SZ, diese Zeichnung ist antisemitisch. pic.twitter.com/twdRWXIlRY
— Aras-Nathan (@Aras_Nathan) May 15, 2018
On May 15, the German daily published a cartoon of Dieter Hanitzsch, which depicts Netanyahu in the look of Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, who had won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. In the picture, Netanyahu is holding a missile in his hand and the text balloon above him is saying “next year in Jerusalem.”
After the cartoon triggered a public censure, the newspaper’s chief editor Wolfgang Krach apologized for the cartoon:
“The cartoonist said he merely wanted to point out that next year’s contest will be held in Israel. But one can also see it differently, and it could be considered anti-Semitic. Thus it was a mistake to publish it, and we apologize.”
The cartoon’s author didn’t share this opinion and refused to apologize, stressing that newspaper’s editors had approved his draft before they published it.
The issued carton came just days after the May 14 protests at the Gaza border amid the US embassy inauguration in Jerusalem. Israel was criticized by the international community over the use of a harsh military pressure against Palestinians.