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American Jewish groups have denounced a "hideously anti-Semitic" cartoon on Israel, comparing it to cartoons in the 1930s that led up to the Holocaust.

The syndicated cartoon by Pat Oliphant published Wednesday in newspapers across the country depicts a giant goose-stepping uniformed figure wheeling a fanged Star of David that menaces a small female figure labeled "Gaza."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the group founded by a famed Nazi hunter which has more than 400,000 members in the United States, says the cartoon denigrates and demonizes Israel and mimics the Nazi propaganda.

It called on The New York Times and other media groups to remove the cartoon from their Web sites.

"Pat Oliphant's outlandish and offensive use of the Star of David in combination with Nazi-like imagery is hideously anti-Semitic," Anti-Defamation League chief Abe Foxman said.

A message was left Wednesday night with Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Oliphant's cartoons. Oliphant won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967.