The Westside Democrats are one of the major political groups of El Paso. Victor Vasquez is their President and the administrator of their Facebook page, which currently has 739 followers.

Yesterday, Mr. Vasquez shared the image below, without commentary, from the personal Facebook page of Shah Nawaz Shan, a Pakistani who lives in Gwangju, South Korea:

The image depicts an Israeli soldier with a stereotypical (and very exaggerated) hook nose, pointing a rifle at a screaming woman, presumably a Palestinian. He looks in the mirror and sees himself as a Nazi soldier and his victim as a Jew wearing the striped garment of a prisoner in a German concentration camp.

The World Jewish Congress specifically cites this image as an example of how “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to the Nazis is a form of Holocaust inversion and Holocaust distortion.”

Mr. Vazquez posted the image yesterday evening but removed it by this morning, and then posted two short apologies, spaced one hour apart, claiming the image was posted without the knowledge or permission of the Board of the Westside Democrats of El Paso.

Today we left a voice message for Mr. Vasquez, who was kind enough to return our call. He confirmed that he shared the post to the Westside Democrats page and that he also removed it. He stated that he should have provided a caption indicating that the image is a hateful distortion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A few minutes ago, around 5:00pm, Mr. Vasquez posted the following on the same page as a comment beneath his first apology:

We will leave it to the reader to determine whether this muddled explanation should be believed.

We can tell you that since the Hamas massacre of more than 1,400 Jews in Israel and the inevitable military response, there has been a surge of anti-Semitism across the world and a 400% increase in the United States.

Locally, on October 21 there was a large anti-Israel protest in downtown El Paso, with protestors carrying signs calling for destroying Israel, with some wearing green armbands or scarves in solidarity with Hamas.

And now we have the leader of a major Democratic organization posting an image comparing Israelis to Nazis.