A Facebook page claiming to be associated with Tampa's chapter of Occupy Wall Street published anti-Semitic images Thursday morning, reviving an ongoing debate over the pervasiveness of Jew hatred in the Occupy movement.
The website Algemeiner.com reported that the page showed a cartoon depicting a hooked-nose Jewish man driving a car. In his right hand, the driver (his face almost completely hidden by sunglasses and a large beard) appears to be holding a gear shaped like President Obama's head. His left hand is on the steering wheel, which appears to be the United Nations logo.
Occupy Tampa officials denied the Facebook site was officially sanctioned by their organization. "This is not a post made by Occupy Tampa," a spokesman said.
In the first four hours after the cartoon went up, more than 300 people commented on it, with many expressing displeasure over its publication.
"Perfect timing, right during the Israeli Holocaust remembrance day. I was rooting for you guys, now I think you're lead by a bunch losers (sic)," read one response.
Others suggested the cartoon was reminiscent of the scapegoating of Jews that took place in Germany during the 1930s.
"RACISTS! Shame on u!," one said.
"I am a left wing Israeli and extremely critical of many of my current government's policies. But this is just plain, old-fashioned anti-Semitism. Disgusting," said another.
Other Occupy supporters said the cartoon was simply telling it like it is. "But the Jews do control Obama and the UN. If someone is offended by a charichature (sic) they don't belong in charge," one man countered.
The Tampa cartoon and its defenders serve as one more reminder of the raw anti-Semitism demonstrated by time and again by some Occupy activists. In October, when the movement was just starting, Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin reported on a few of the many other examples.
In Los Angeles, a protester who identified herself as an employee of the local school district declared that "the Zionist Jews" running large banks and the Federal Reserve Board "need to be run out of this country." On the American Nazi Party website, one leader voiced support said the Occupy movement was needed to counter "the Judeo-Capitalists" destroying the United States.
New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser traveled to New York's Zuccotti Park last year, where she interviewed Occupy supporters who railed against "Zionists" dominating Wall Street and controlling the media.
Peyser wrote that many well-meaning Americans have deluded themselves into believing that if they ignore the movement's anti-Semitism, it will simply vanish.
"The movement has a serious Jewish problem," she wrote.