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‘Toxic’ Netanyahu? Cartoon depicts Israeli PM as spoiling Mideast peace

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A caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu poisoning the “dove of Middle East peace,” was recently published by German newspaper, Stuttgarter Zeitung and posted on its Facebook page earlier this week.

The drawing depicts the prime minister as spilling poison from a bottle marked "settlement construction" onto a piece of bread, as the dove stands next to him, holding an olive branch in its mouth. The Israeli government on Sunday added 20 settlements in the West Bank to a list drawn up in 2009 of Jewish communities prioritized for aid.

The Israeli embassy has reportedly delivered a letter to the daily's editor in chief, protesting the drawing, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.

This is not the first time that Netanyahu has been the object of a satirical cartoon. A caricature of the prime minister was published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day last January in the British newspaper the Sunday Times. It portrayed Netanyahu building a wall on the bodies of Palestinians, using their blood as cement.

The cartoon, drawn by Gerald Scarfe, includes a caption stating: “Israeli elections - will cementing peace continue?”

After much criticism, the paper, its editors and owner apologized unreservedly for the “terrible mistake;” the apology was reprinted across the British press.

Pressing ahead in a new U.S.-backed push for Middle East peace, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed last month to meet again to start substantive talks in hopes of reaching a long-elusive settlement within nine months.