German Paper's Zuckerberg Cartoon Called anti-Semitic

Simon Wiesenthal Center says the caricature of Facebook's CEO recalls Nazi imagery.

A cartoon of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg published by a German newspaper last week has been slammed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for recalling Nazi imagery.

Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper, a Center associate, said Monday that the caricature in Friday's edition of the Munich-based Suddeutsche Zeitung was "an outrage.” He accused the cartoonist of “unconscious anti-Semitism,” Algemeiner reported.

The image, entitled “Krake Facebook,” German for "Facebook Octopus," depicts a many-tentacled Zuckerberg grasping at computers around him. He is shown with a hooked-nose, a smile, and curly hair under a hat with the Facebook logo on it. In one his tentacles, Zuckerberg holds the logo of Whatsapp, which his company recently purchased for $19 billion.

“The nefarious Jew/octopus was a caricature deployed by Nazis. That was used pretty much as a staple by the Nazis in terms of their hateful campaign against the Jews in the 1930s. [An] exaggerated Jewish nose removes any question if this was unconscious anti-Semitism,” the Algemeiner cited Cooper as saying.

“Mark Zuckerberg is fair game for the media, including German media, but no German should deploy such caricatures,” he added.

“Does anyone doubt that the simple use of the ever-present F symbol would have made the point just as well. You don’t have to put someone’s face with an exaggeration clearly to show ‘the Jewish element’ in it… Don’t introduce these highly charged images that would deploy so effectively to spread the hatred of Jews.”

The cartoonist behind the image, Burkhard Mohr, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that  he was “shocked” the image was perceived as anti-Semitic.

“Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies which are totally foreign to me,” he told the newspaper. Mohr said the caricature was meant as a comment on Facebook's recent purchase of Whatsapp. “I am sorry that it led to this misunderstanding and hurt the feelings of some readers," Algemeiner cited him as saying.

In June last year, the Suddeutsche Zeitung was slammed for publishing a cartoon that appeared to depict the State of Israel as a ravenous monster.