For the second time in less than two weeks, an advertisement in the Portland Press Herald has Jewish community leaders concerned there is an anti-Semitic tone being allowed on the daily newspaper’s pages.
The Washington, D.C.-based director of Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center, meanwhile, said he is greatly alarmed that another ad with “overt anti-Semitic content” was published.
The advertisement for PeoplesChoice Credit Union of Biddeford ran on Page B9 of Wednesday’s Press Herald. It was designed to look like an Old West “wanted” poster, including a photo of a man with what critics called stereotypical features, evoking the image of Jews as usurers and unethical money lenders. The ad calls the man “The Fee Bandit,” and describes him as “charming and polite,” and one who “smiles as he takes your money in ways big and small …”
While the paper apologized, calling the ad an oversight, Rabbi Moshe Wilansky said, “Since it could look like a Hasidic Jew, I think the paper should be educated.”
A spokesman for Peoples’ Choice said that the ad was meant to depict a banker from the Old West, and his team did not mean to offend anyone.