Cartoon criticizing Israel breached press council standards

Australian Press Council says the cartoon by Glen Le Lievre linked the Jewish faith with Israeli rocket attacks on Gaza and caused greater offence than was justifiable in the public interest.

Cartoon criticizing Israel breached press council standards

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Australian press organization has judged that a cartoon drawn by Glen Le Lievre and published by the Morning Herald on July 26, violated press Standards of Practice by the way it linked symbols of the Jewish faith to criticism of Israel.

The cartoon depicted an elderly man with a sizable nose wearing glasses and a yarmulke, reclining in a chair emblazoned with a Star of David, and holding a remote control while watching from hilltop as a city, which by implication is Gaza, explodes.

“A linkage with Israeli nationality might have been justifiable in the public interest, despite being likely to cause offence,” the ruling said. “But the same cannot be said of the implied linkage with the Jewish faith that arose from inclusion of the kippah and the Star of David.”

The newspaper said in its defence that it had published a 650-word apology a week later.

The Press Council’s statement praised the apology and noted that the Morning Herald’s editor in chief and news director had attended “seminars facilitated by the Jewish Board of Deputies to raise awareness about imagery that could be construed as anti-Semitic."

Under the Australian Press Council’s general principles, newspapers who are members “should balance the public interest with the sensibilities of their readers, particularly when the material, such as photographs, could reasonably be expected to cause offence” and that publications should not place any gratuitous emphasis on race, religion or nationality.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Ocak 2015, 16:15