A UK satirical and current affairs news magazine has been accused of fuelling antisemitism with its latest front cover about the Hamas-Israel war.
Private Eye, which is renowned for its often eye-catching front covers, released its latest issue amid the escalating conflict in the Middle East that has claimed thousands of lives.
The cover says: “Warning: This magazine may contain some criticism of the Israeli government and may suggest that killing everyone in Gaza as revenge for Hamas atrocities may not be a good long-term solution to problems of the region.”
The wording has been criticised by an anti-racism Jewish group and a high-profile Jewish journalist.
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The Campaign Against Antisemitism group accused Private Eye of playing on “antisemitic tropes” and fuelling racism against Jewish people.
A spokesperson for the group told Yahoo News UK: "Satire is one thing, but when it plays on antisemitic tropes like outsized Jewish power, it is not funny.
“When British media like Private Eye publish defamatory material like this, which fuels racism against Jews in the UK, do not act surprised when antisemitism increases by over 500%. They are complicit."
The new Private Eye (for an eye) is on sale now. pic.twitter.com/aquim5M8c2
— Private Eye Magazine (@PrivateEyeNews) October 18, 2023
Jake Wallis Simons, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, said: "This cover suggests a) that Israel and its supporters try to suppress criticism of the country, and b) that Israel is trying to kill "everyone in Gaza". Both of these are grotesque smears, presented under the moniker of Private Eye's trademark humour. This time, the mag has got it badly wrong."
Jewish Chronicle journalist Alex Hearn was also critical of the cover, adding in a message on X: “Because no one ever criticises Israel. What bravery.
“On a different note a synagogue just got firebombed and the perpetrator shouted anti-Israel slogans. You guys are so daring.”
Author and comedian David Baddiel was also critical, posting on X: "The issue here is not what it says, but presenting it as a big pleased-with-it's-own-dangerousness WARNING, suggesting that it will lead to Jews throwing all their toys out of the pram and having massive hissy fits like the touchy privileged whiners they are."
Yahoo News UK has contacted Private Eye Magazine for comment.
Biden blames 'the other team'
The publication of the magazine comes amid the most heightened tensions between Israel and Hamas for many years.
On Tuesday, Palestinian officials blamed an Israeli air strike for an attack on Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, claiming the blast killed as many as 500 people.
But Israel has released video evidence it claims is proof the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which has denied blame.
President Joe Biden said during a visit to Israel on Wednesday that, based on what he had seen, the explosion was likely caused by the "other team".
Arab leaders responded to the loss of life, which some quickly blamed on Israel, by cancelling a summit with Biden in Jordan.
The president's carefully choreographed trip to the Middle East had been designed to calm the region, even as he demonstrated US support for its ally Israel, which has vowed to annihilate the Hamas movement whose fighters killed 1,400 Israelis in a rampage on 7 October.
The blast was likely the bloodiest single incident in Gaza since Israel launched an unrelenting bombing campaign against the densely populated territory in retaliation for a deadly cross-border Hamas assault on southern Israeli communities on 7 October.
In the aftermath of the explosion, protesters took to the streets in several Arab countries.
Jordan's King Abdullah blamed Israel for the blast and his country cancelled a summit it was to host in Amman on Wednesday to discuss Gaza with the US president and the Egyptian and Palestinian leaders. Egypt also blamed Israel.
In Lebanon, Iran-based Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006, denounced what it called Israel's deadly attack and called for protests on Wednesday.
The Beirut government declared a national day of mourning.