BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Anti-Semitic posters blaming Jews for the COVID-19 pandemic appeared over the weekend in the southern Argentine city of Neuquen, nearly 700 miles south of Buenos Aires.
The posters contained phrases such as “The Jews are the virus” and “Argentines Awake to the World Jewish Dictatorship.”
Some 300 Jews live in Neuquen, which has a population of 230,000. Argentina has instituted one of the world’s stricter coronavirus lockdowns since March.
“They are criminals, antisocial, who only spread hate in a time when Argentine society is affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” the president of the Jewish organization DAIA’s branch in Neuquen, Carlos Maravankin, told the media. “This does not help our mental health situation and only helps people get sicker.
Ariel Gelblung, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for Latin America, said “They are spreading a message of hate clearly punishable by law. 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.”
Last summer, Argentine and international Jewish organizations drew attention to a series of anti-Semitic assaults across the country.