|AJC Condemns Anti-Semitic Cartoon in El Pais|
July 3, 2009 - New York - AJC condemned the Spanish newspaper El Pais for publishing a blatantly anti-Semitic cartoon accusing Jews of using their financial power to enable Israel to "violate...all human and international laws."
The cartoon, which features a stereotypical Orthodox Jew, was drawn by the cartoonist Romeu. In December 2008, AJC vociferously protested a similar cartoon by the same artist.
"Once again, El Pais has provided Romeu with a platform for his odious anti-Semitism," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "It is deeply disturbing that a leading European newspaper apparently has no problem with recycling the grotesque stereotypes more commonly associated with a Nazi propaganda sheet."
The Romeu cartoon, published on June 29, shows a character who asks: "But how is Israel able to violate with total impunity all human and international laws?" The Orthodox Jew answers: "It costs us a good amount of money."
"Will El Pais publish Romeu's anti-Semitism again? Or will the paper do the right thing by apologizing and guaranteeing that such appalling bigotry will not be permitted in future?" Harris said. "If El Pais is to retain its dignity and credibility, there is no place for the Romeu's of this world."
Concern over anti-Semitism in Spain has been particularly acute over the last year, following a Pew Research Survey in which 46 per cent of Spanish respondents - the highest number in Europe - said they had negative views about Jews.