Lurid Antisemitic Posters Blaming Jews for Coronavirus Displayed in Argentine City
Lurid antisemitic posters blaming Jews for the spread of coronavirus were discovered in an Argentine city over the weekend, resulting in an outcry from Jewish leaders and local politicians.
One of the posters declared, “The Jews are the virus,” alongside a grotesquely-antisemitic caricature of a grinning Orthodox Jew rubbing his hands in glee that is increasingly used in far-right propaganda around the world.
Other posters pushed the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was a Jewish plot to gain world domination and called for the assassination of Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernandez.
The antisemitic display was discovered on Sunday morning in the central city of Neuquén. While the perpetrators have not been apprehended, they provided a small clue to their identities by stamping the posters with a skull and crossbones and the words “Brotherhood of Katechon.”
The Greek term “katechon” comes from the Christian Bible and is understood as a spirit that prevents the emergence of the “Anti-Christ.”
The Argentine Jewish news outlet Aurora posited that the “subliminal message” of the posters was that “the Jews should be removed in order to protect Christianity.”
Among those condemning the display was the governor of the province of Tucumán, Juan Manzur.
“We strongly repudiate the messages of hate towards the Jewish community and towards our President Alberto Fernández, printed in Neuquén,” Manzur said on Twitter. “In these moments, tolerance, respect and coexistence are indispensable to overcome the difficult moment the country is going through.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) pointed out in a separate statement that far-right groups had made inroads into the Neuquén area.
“They are spreading a message of hate clearly punishable by law,” Ariel Gelblung — the SWC’s Latin America director — said in a statement. “It is not surprising that it happens in the same location where the extreme right obtained 30,000 votes in the preliminary elections of 2019. We urge both provincial and federal authorities not to minimize this action, investigate and act with the full force of the law.”