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Spanish party under fire for 'anti-semitic' Obama cartoon
[MADRID] The Spanish government and Jewish groups on Friday blasted a far-left party for posting an "anti-semitic" cartoon protest against US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to the country.
The criticism comes after the Madrid branch of the United Left coalition, tweeted a cartoon depicting a thick-lipped Mr Obama hugging an Orthodox jew wearing a kippa emblazoned with the Star of David and a wad of money bills sticking out of his pocket. Explosions surround the two men.
The caption above the cartoon reads "Invading and destroying countries to loot them," along with the hashtag #Obamagohome.
The attached message, which has been retweeted over 200 times, urges people to gather outside the US embassy in Madrid on Sunday to protest against Mr Obama's visit.
"United Left is using the most rancid prejudices and anti-Semitic stereotypes with this image," the Federation of Jewish communities of Spain said in a statement.
Spain's secretary of state for foreign affairs, Ignacio Ybanez Rubio, contacted Israel's ambassador to Spain to "deplore" the publication of the cartoon and "stressed Spain's commitment to fight any expression of anti-semitism or which encourages anti-semitism," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
United Left says the demonstration on Sunday is to protest US and Israeli policies.
Mr Obama is due to arrive in Spain late on Saturday from Poland where he is taking part in a Nato summit.
The US leader is scheduled to meet with King Felipe, acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other politicians during his visit to Spain, his first as President, which wraps up on Monday.