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Jewish groups slam Argentine cartoon


Jewish groups have condemned an anti-Semitic cartoon strip, “FieSSta” by Gustavo Sala published in Argentine paper Pagina/12 and called on the country’s government to denounce the daily newspaper under Argentina's anti-discrimination law.

Following protests from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and countless activists, the Argentine daily issued an apology on its website.

The cartoon strip’s main character, DJ David Gueto (a caricature of the French DJ David Guetta) plays music in a concentration camp. At first, the prisoners don’t want to dance because they feel there’s nothing to celebrate, saying: “Do you know that they kill us in gas chambers and make soap with us?”

Hitler then appears and convinces them to dance because “life is short.” Hitler thanks the DJ, saying: “If they are relaxed, the soap will be better.”

B’nai B’rith International expressed its deep outrage and revulsion toward the cartoon, its creator and the newspaper that chose to publish it.

“We hope the Argentine government swiftly and strongly utilizes its anti-discrimination law to take the appropriate route to quell this and any further anti-Semitic behavior,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs.

“This cartoon strip is beyond offensive—it is frightening. It epitomizes the blatant, ongoing anti-Semitism that still exists, in 2012, throughout the world,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin.

“We hope the Argentine government will quickly speak out against this unbridled anti-Semitism.”

Wiesenthal Center's Latin America Director Sergio Widder said before the apology was made, “This so-called parody is beyond offensive. As a newspaper that has been a champion for human rights and fight against racism since its foundation, we expect the editors of Pagina/12 to immediately and publically apologize for this distortion of history."

"Pagina/12 "Young Culture" section would better serve its youthful readers by teaching them the importance of preserving the memory of the Nazi genocide through remembrance, education and prevention of human rights violations," Widder added.

Responding to the paper's apology, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said: "We welcome the apology, but we remain deeply angered, especially because the comic was published on the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference (where Nazi officials launched the Final Solution) and just days before the International Holocaust Remembrance Day."

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