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July 16, 2015 10:26 am

Jewish Group Tells Samsung Removal of ‘Nazi-Like’ Cartoons is Not Enough, Demands Explanation

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Several media outlets in South Korea published antisemitic stereotypes about Jews. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Several media outlets in South Korea published antisemitic stereotypes about Jews. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Major Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) told South Korean conglomerate Samsung that the removal of antisemitic cartoons published on its website was insufficient, and demanded an explanation as to why the cartoons were posted in the first place.

The call came just days after the company issued a statement decrying antisemitism, in response to articles that appeared in local media outlets blaming “Jewish money” for opposition to a proposed merger between two subdivisions of the company.

“The blatant Jew hatred cartoons invoking genocidal stereotypes is outrageous and makes a mockery of earlier statement by Samsung,” said SWC Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper, in an email seen by The Algemeiner. “The belated removal of these Nazi-like caricatures is not enough. The Simon Wiesenthal Center does not consider this matter closed. At this point Samsung is not believable.”

“I represent a constituency of 400,000 member families who are demanding to know why your company facilitated such behavior,” Cooper said further.

The cartoons in question targeted Paul Singer, an American-Jewish billionaire hedge fund magnate who opposed the merger as being against the interests of shareholders, himself included. The caricatures, published by the official website of Samsung C&T itself, featured a character called “Vulture Man” intended to mock Singer. They depicted Vulture Man viciously exploiting children and poor people, the New York Observer reported, adding “Yes, there were hatchets and machine guns.”

Additionally, as the controversy heated up, a link emerged between the South Korean government and one of the websites, named Mediapen, that originally published the anti-Jewish assaults on Singer.

According to local media, Lee Eui Chun, the former CEO of the business blog, who held the position as recently as two months ago, is currently a deputy minister in the government.

The recently published articles described Jews as “wielding enormous power on Wall Street and in global financial circles” and accused financial advising group Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (which advised against the merger deal) of being founded on “Jewish money.”

While Lee left in May to assume his ministerial post, sources said “Lee and his wife retain a substantial ownership stake in Mediapen.” But because Mediapen is a private company there are not public records to confirm the connection.

Lee, under Second Vice Minister Kim Jong, is in charge of media affairs.

A recent Anti-Defamation League survey of antisemitic attitudes in South Korea found that 53 percent of Korean adults hold antisemitic views of Jewish people. The survey showed that 59 percent of South Koreans believe “Jews have too much power in the business world” and 57 percent are convinced that “Jews have too much power in international financial markets,” so the cartoons may have been in line with an apparent trend.

Dovid Efune contributed to this report. 

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  • Baht Harim

    Have any of these Koreans holding these views even ever met a Jew? Where does this come from? No matter what we do, it seems we can’t escape the haters.

    • retired

      This garbage comes down from the top,as in Europe the elites own the media,and most everything else,for that matter!The Elites in Europe hate & fear the Jews & see to it that there is a steady drumbeat of anti-Semitic propaganda put out on a daily basis through their captive media outlets.
      It is a good bet that a certain amount of Jew hatred by way of the N.Y.Times,Washington Post,B.B.C & the Guardian comes through,in a translated form, to the people of Korea.Being like everyone else in this world, there are always a percentage of the population who will believe any nonsense they are told!

  • HaroldT

    I hope all Jews will boycott Samsung.
    There are many other very good makers around.

    • Simone Miller

      I hope we can find an Israeli company or at least one owned predominately owned by Jews.That is the best answer. Think orange.

  • Kerry M Berger

    It would make sense to call for Mr. Lee’s removal from the Government Ministry. If you are serious about it, you must follow Mr. Lee where ever he goes to work and make clear to his employer that he has a history of anti-Semitic writings. You want Mr. Lee to lose face completely. It’s the only way to put a stop to his disgusting behavior.

  • Ivan Cohen

    Some years ago I worked with one of Korea’s major conglomerates. It was surprising how many times on the formal card exchange “ceremony” I was met with variations on the following:

    “Cohen . . . . Jewish. The Jews are very clever people”

    Well, perhaps I was being over-sensitive but I never appreciated the “compliment”.

    However, I did build some excellent relationships that are still flourishing after nearly 20 years!

  • Peter Joffe

    When is the world going to realize that the only people who benefit from all this antisemitism are Islamist’s as they seek the destruction of Israel, Jews and then all infidels.
    Anyone who supports this racial hatred are working hand in hand with Islam and the return of the world to the days of Mohammad. Please ask yourselves this??? “What have the Jews done to deserve all this hatred other than lead the world in progress and development?? What has the Arab world done other than stared backward and oppressive regimes wherever they go.

  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    I was about to buy a new Samsung TV set,but I have now changed my mind.Thank you Algemeiner for informing us about this matter!

    • JORDAN


      • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

        I have just seen this cretinous insert now.By the way I went to “BUT” an LG television – fantastic clear picture!

  • What does J Street say?

    • Richard

      Why would you care what J street thinks about anything–they are fringe Jews-if they are even Jews–very anti Isreal and thus anti semetic

  • Ezra

    When it comes to expressions of outrage against companies like Samsung, I believe we should express these openly and demand retractions and explanations to their anti Semitic media statements. But to tell the truth, we can do better by using our dollars to vent our outrage. Stop buying Samsung products and send the message loud and clear. Companies like Samsung live and die by their bottom line so let’s let them hear us loud and clear.

  • enufizenuf

    In the opinion of most Westerners Orientals, oops, I mean Asians, especially Koreans, have way too much power in the business world, are completely money hungry, eat stinking rotten cabbage, produce musicians who play violin and piano like robots, and who are as philosophical sophisticated as the average bathroom attendant.

    • art frank

      And they all have pie pan faces.

    • Richard

      Calling names and hate is not the way to go in this case.

    • Richard

      Although Samsung should be shamed and ashamed your reply is offensive we as a people are better than that.