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Austrian President Condemns Anti-Semitic Facebook Cartoon

Austria's president has denounced far-right Freedom Party leader for posting an anti-Semitic cartoon on his Facebook page.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 9/11/2012, 3:54 PM

Austria's President Fischer
Austria's President Fischer

Austria's president Heinz Fischer has denounced far-right Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache for posting an anti-Semitic cartoon on his Facebook page, the Austria Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The cartoon depicts a fat banker with a hooked nose and six-point star buttons on his sleeve gorging himself at the expense of a thin man representing "the people."

Fischer called it "the low point of political culture, which deserves to be universally and roundly condemned." He continued to state that Strache had been playing on the remnants of anti-Semitism in Austria, whose Jewish population was annihilated after the annexation of the country by Nazi Germany in 1938.

Strache denied harboring any anti-Semitic sentiments, following Jewish demands that Austria's political establishment condemn the act.

"To that one can only say in the clearest terms: No way," Fischer said.

“Silence is not a credible option,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder declared three weeks ago after the posting appeared on Strache’s Facebook page.