Spanish party publishes anti-semitic Obama cartoon

Spain's United Left coalition tweets a cartoon depicting Obama hugging an Orthodox Jew, causes outrage.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Cartoon tweeted by Spain's United Left
Cartoon tweeted by Spain's United Left

The Spanish government and Jewish groups on Friday blasted a far-left party for posting an anti-Semitic cartoon protest against President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to the country.

The criticism comes after the Madrid branch of the United Left coalition, tweeted a cartoon depicting a thick-lipped Obama hugging an Orthodox Jew wearing a kippa emblazoned with the Star of David and a wad of money bills sticking out of his pocket.

Explosions surround the two men.

The caption above the cartoon reads "Invading and destroying countries to loot them," along with the hashtag #Obamagohome.

The attached message, which has been retweeted over 200 times, urges people to gather outside the U.S. embassy in Madrid on Sunday to protest against Obama's visit.

"United Left is using the most rancid prejudices and anti-Semitic stereotypes with this image," the Federation of Jewish communities of Spain said in a statement.

Spain's secretary of state for foreign affairs, Ignacio Ybanez Rubio, contacted Israel's ambassador to Spain to "deplore" the publication of the cartoon and "stressed Spain's commitment to fight any expression of anti-Semitism or which encourages anti-Semitism," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

United Left says the demonstration on Sunday is to protest American and Israeli policies. Obama is due to arrive in Spain late on Saturday from Poland where he is taking part in a NATO summit.

He is scheduled to meet with King Felipe, acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy and other politicians during his visit to Spain, his first as president, which wraps up on Monday.

The incident is not the first anti-Semitic incident in Spain. In May, a local lawmaker accused Uriel Benguigui, president of the Jewish Community of Barcelona, of being a “foreign agent” and part of a “Zionist lobby” .

The comments were condemned by Spain’s main Jewish group, which said espoused “the most repugnant form of anti-Semitism” and used speech that “is wholly illegitimate in diplomatic discourse.”

At the same time, the country has been taking action against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as four Spanish municipalities recently dropped their former policy of support for boycotts of the Jewish state.

Spain has recently taken actions that angered BDS promoters, including a January offer of $107,000 in compensation for damages caused to Ariel University in Samaria due to its exclusion from a scientific competition for political reasons.

AFP contributed to this report.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)