The National Jewish Assembly is disappointed by Martin Rowson’s recent caricature of Richard Sharp, the former chairman of the BBC. Rowson’s cartoon, published in The Guardian, perpetuates anti-Semitic tropes and imagery, which are both dangerous and harmful to the Jewish community.
The caricature portrays Sharp carrying a box labeled “Goldman Sachs” with the end of both words blocked out so that it appears to read “Gold Sack.” The box contains a squid or octopus, which has its tentacles wrapped around what looks like gold coins next to Rishi Sunak’s head. This imagery is eerily reminiscent of those used by anti-Semites to insinuate that Jews control society.
NJA Chairman Gary Mond said, “Both the editor of the Guardian and its cartoonist should be dismissed. This drawing was antisemitic in a host of ways and it is inconceivable that the propagation of Jew hatred was by accident rather than design. Nor is it appropriate, as another Jewish organisation has done, to call for a meeting with the Guardian. There are times for engagement with political opponents, but Jew hatred needs to be treated with an iron fist. They must go.”
The NJA is appalled by The Guardian’s decision to publish this cartoon, and it calls on the paper to apologise to the Jewish community for perpetuating these harmful stereotypes. It is deeply troubling to see a publication with a reputation for progressive values and anti-racism resorting to anti-Semitic caricatures.
The NJA extends its hand to work with The Guardian to take steps to ensure that this kind of content is not published again in the future. The NJA also encourage the paper to engage with the Jewish community and listen to its concerns about the impact of anti-Semitic tropes and imagery.
The NJA calls on all media outlets to be vigilant against anti-Semitic imagery and language, and to work to create a society that is inclusive and welcoming for all.
For further inquiries, please contact Heath Sloane – NJA Press and Marketing Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)