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Swedish paper pulls cartoon deemed anti-Semitic

(JTA) — The Swedish daily Aftonbladet removed a cartoon deemed anti-Semitic and vowed to tighten editorial oversight.

Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s leading dailies, announced the removal of the cartoon from the online edition of the paper’s humor section on Monday.

The cartoon, which appeared on the website over the weekend, showed two characters wearing Jewish symbols. One dressed in Orthodox Jewish attire and holding a sign with the Star of David and the words “Land of Israel” is seen telling the other character, “Hitler gassed the wrong Jews.”

The Orthodox Jewish character is replying to a statement by a character wearing a kippah and Palestinian shawl, or keffiyeh, while holding a sign with the peace sign and the words Israel and Palestine.

The kippah wearer — ostensibly a Jewish supporter of a binational state instead of a Jewish one – is seen saying, “Leave Israel? When my parents who survived the Holocaust went to Israel to give me a life of peace and freedom?”

Tobias Lindner, a spokesman for Aftonbladet, told the news site, “It is clear that this strip should not be published. Aftonbladet will now sharpen their procedures” with regards to the humor section website.

A spokesman for the Christian Democrats party had called the cartoon “Jew-hatred,” according to the news site dagensmedia.se, and said its publication is “very strange” during a time when “politicians from left to right agree that the situation for Jews has worsened throughout Europe, including Sweden.”

In 2009, Aftonbladet sparked an angry reaction from Israeli officials and Jewish leaders with the publication of an unverified account that Israeli troops used to harvest organs from Palestinians who died in custody. Israel squarely denied the accusation.

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