Rome’s Jewish community have protested a cartoon by leftist cartoonist Vauro showing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, with a hooked nose.
The head of the Italian capital’s Jewish community, Ruth Dureghello, said Vauro had a “habit of drawing Jews with a hooked nose in the style of the (Fascist-era) Defence of the Race (publication).” Vauro has denied anti-Semitism saying he is a committed “anti-Nazi communist”. In his latest cartoon Vauro shows Zelensky alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin with the caption “no to war without Zes and Vlas”, a pun on “no ifs and buts”. Vauro denied referring to Zelensky’s Jewishness on Wednesday. “In this drawing there is no reference to the Jewishness of Zelesnky, something which is wholly meaningless to me. If I draw a caricature (it’s called that because it ‘charges’ the facial features) it is obvious that I exaggerate his features so that he resembles him: Zelesnky has a major nose not because he is Jewish but because it is his nose. “I have never thought that Jews necessarily have a hooked nose, also because I know very many who have noses of various kinds. “I would have preferred not to answer all those cretins who have commented on Zelensky’s nose. I’m only doing so because it is bad faith unless it is imbecility”.