German paper’s Netanyahu cartoon criticized as anti-Semitic

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s new anti-Semitism commissioner says a leading newspaper crossed a “red line” with a caricature of Benjamin Netanyahu portraying the Israeli prime minister with oversized lips, ears and nose.

Felix Klein, who was appointed this year amid concerns over rising anti-Semitism in Germany, told the Bild newspaper on Thursday that Tuesday’s cartoon in Munich’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung in the aftermath of the U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem recalled “the intolerable depictions of Nazi propaganda.”

The drawing depicts Netanyahu dressed as Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, who won this year’s Eurovision song contest. The heart that forms the “v” in Eurovision is replaced with a Star of David and Netanyahu is hoisting a missile in his hand, saying “next year in Jerusalem.”

Sueddeutsche Zeitung has apologized for the caricature. Later Thursday, its editorial board said the newspaper had parted company with longtime cartoonist Dieter Hanitzsch, news agency dpa reported.

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It cited “insuperable differences between Mr. Hanitzsch and the editorial board over what constitute anti-Semitic clichés in a cartoon.”

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