A leading German daily fired a cartoonist over anti-semitic views on Friday after he drew a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The cartoon by Dieter Hanitzsch showed Netanyahu carrying a missile in his hand. He is dressed up as Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, who won this year’s Eurovision contest. A speech bubble on top says: “Next year in Jerusalem.”
The cartoon led to an uproar on social media and other German media outlets.
Suddeutsche Zeitung’s Editor-in-Chief Wolfgang Krach apologised for the caricature, however Hanitzsch refused.
Speaking to local media outlets, the 85-year-old cartoonist said he wanted to criticise Netanyahu’s exploitation of the Eurovision contest for his own purposes and accused him of abusing the singer’s victory.
He added that it was not a common thing for a newspaper to fire its cartoonist over a drawing.
“You can reprimand him, warn him, but firing is not a good way,” he said.
Previously, Hanitzsch had drawn cartoons criticising and insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was defended on the basis of freedom of the press and expression, for his drawings published in the same newspaper.