Cartoon in UK Paper Draws Israeli Protest

The Israeli Embassy in London has sent a strongly worded letter of protest to The Independent, following an editorial cartoon yesterday by Dave Brown, depicting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon biting the flesh of a Palestinian baby.

LONDON - The Israeli Embassy in London has sent a strongly worded letter of protest to The Independent, following an editorial cartoon yesterday by Dave Brown, depicting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon biting the flesh of a Palestinian baby.

In the cartoon, Sharon says: "What's wrong? Have you never seen a politician kissing a baby?" The background shows Apache attack helicopters sending missiles from the cockpit with the message "Vote Likud."

In her letter, Shuli Davidovich, the embassy's press secretary, writes: "As Britain commemorates National Holocaust Day, I am shocked that The Independent has chosen to evoke an ancient Jewish stereotype which would not have looked out of place in `Der Sturmer', and which can unfortunately still be found in many Arabic newspapers.

"The blood-thirsty imagery not only misrepresents the real reason for the IDF's operations in Gaza, but also feeds the hostility toward Israel and the Jewish people which lies at the very core of the Arab-Israeli conflict."

She adds: "One must be extremely careful to draw the line between legitimate criticism, and the anti-Semitism that often parades as such."

A year ago, a furor broke out over a New Statesman cover picture showing a Magen David sticking into the Union Jack, portraying the effect of the Jewish lobby in Britain. At the time, the magazine apologized.