21/08/2012 07:53 BST

Austrian Politician Heinz-Christian Strache Defends Facebook Posting Of 'Anti-Semitic' Cartoon

An Austrian politician has caused a furious backlash after he posted a grotesque cartoon on his Facebook page, showing a banker with a hooked nose and Star of David cufflinks.

Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the far-right Freedom Party posted the cartoon on his Facebook page on Saturday, as part of a post criticising the EU.

A figure labelled "the government" is showed pouring wine for a portly man, labelled "the banking system" and wearing Star of David cufflinks, as a man labelled "the people" looks mournfully at a bone on a plate.

heinzchristian strache

Heinz-Christian Strache defended the Facebook cartoon

The cartoon, which has not been removed, has more than 1,300 'likes'.

Austrian Jewish leader Oskar Deutsch said it was similar to images used by the Nazis to persecute Jews in the 1930s.

A second version of the cartoon was posted on the page the following day, with the cufflinks removed.

In a defiant post on his Facebook, Strache wrote: "I oppose Anti-Semitism vehemently and fundamentally.

"Every summer, the media has to have its "Loch Ness monster" quota. Again and again, they try to suggest falsehoods, creating images that do not correspond to reality.

"And for all those who then also try to say a cartoon nose can be attributed to a particular origin, let me say that this is the most profound kind of racism!"

Deutsch said of the cartoon: "It is not a coincidence that a caricature of Jews, similar to the ones in 'Der Stuermer' in the 1930s and 1940s, appeared on the Facebook page of Freedom Party leader Mr Strache."

Austrian politicians across the political spectrum have condemned the cartoons posted by Strache.

It is not the first time Strache has caused outrage with his comments. At a Vienna Ball in January this year, when demonstrators heckled right-wing students, Strache reportedly described right-wingers as "the new Jews".