The Anti-Defamation League reported Thursday a major upsurge in the number of anti-Semitic postings on the Internet relating to the financial crisis engulfing the United States.

The Jewish-American organization cited hundreds of posts regarding the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers and other institutions affected by the subprime mortgage crisis. The messages railed against Jews in general, with some charging that Jews control the U.S. government and finance as part of a "Jew world order" and therefore are to blame for the economic turmoil.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said: "We know from modern history that whenever there is a downturn in the global economy, there will be an upturn in the level of anti-Semitism and bigotry, and that is what we are seeing now."

The ADL reported that Anti-Jewish invective had also surfaced on a wide variety of blogs and conspiracy Web sites.

It said similar messages have also appeared on neo-Nazi and white supremacist Web sites and Internet forums, adding that such groups frequently seek to exploit current issues in an effort to spread anti-Semitism to potential recruits.

The organization monitors anti-Semitism on the Internet through its Center on Extremism.