Stephen Pollard: Sunday Times cartoon was 'disgusting'

Rupert Murdoch has apologised for a Gerald Scarfe cartoon that was published in The Sunday Times at the weekend because of the offence it caused the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The drawing showed him building a wall, apparently using the bloody limbs of Palestinians. The cartoon was published on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Gerald Scarfe he "very much" regrets the timing, of which he says he was unaware.

The acting editor of the Sunday Times, Martin Ivens, is going to meet representatives of the Jewish community on Tuesday, and says he will apologise.

Speaking to the Today programme, Stephen Pollard of the Jewish Chronicle said: "I think you have to separate the difference between the right to publish something, and whether you always have to be offensive.

"Clearly there was a mistake made in printing the cartoon. I think the cartoon itself is disgusting. Whether there is a right to publish the cartoon is a different issue, I think it was a misjudgement and News International have handled it absolutely right by apologising."

Steve Bell, cartoonist in the Guardian, said: "For once, this wasn't a bad cartoon. The problem with the state of Israel and the Zionist lobby is that they never acknowledge the crime of ethnic cleansing on which the state was founded."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Tuesday 29 January 2013.

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