Greek Jews Protest Depiction of Former Finance Minister as Shylock

The cartoon, which shows Yanis Varoufakis wearing a giant black skullcap and counting bags of gold, was published in one of the country's largest newspapers.

JTA
JTA
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in Brussels, February 2015.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in Brussels, February 2015.Credit: AFP
JTA
JTA

The Greek Jewish community protested after one of Greece’s main newspapers published a caricature of former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis as a “Jewish moneylender” on Friday.

The image, which shows Varoufakis wearing a giant black skullcap and hunched over a ledger, counting bags and coins of gold, was published in Ta Nea, one of the country’s largest newspapers, usually associated with the center-left.

“We consider the use of religious racist stereotypes to portray current events as not only unacceptable and despicable, but especially dangerous, as it spreads religious hatred and perpetuates prejudices that should not have a place in today’s society,” said a letter to the editor from the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.

The cartoon was published after Varoufakis, the outspoken former far-left finance minister, revealed he had recently been paid thousands of euros for interviews and speaking fees.

Anti-Semitic stereotypes are widespread in Greek public and political discourse and a recent Anti-Defamation League survey showed that Greece has Europe’s highest rate of anti-Semitic attitudes, with 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views.

Varoufakis, for his part, seemed to blame the Troika of Greece’s international creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, tweeting: “Troika-inspired propaganda/policies are antisemitism’s/antihumanism’s best mates. Evidence from mainstream Gk paper.”

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Election ad featuring Yair Lapid in Rahat, the largest Arab city in Israel's Negev region.

This Bedouin City Could Decide Who Is Israel's Next Prime Minister

Dr. Claris Harbon in the neighborhood where she grew up in Ashdod.

A Women's Rights Lawyer Felt She Didn't Belong in Israel. So She Moved to Morocco

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

'It Was Real Shock to Move From a Little Muslim Village, to a Big Open World'

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister