The Chinese Embassy in Japan tweeted and then deleted an antisemitic and anti-US meme after Israeli officials reached out, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The tweet, posted on Thursday night, featured a cartoon image of a grim reaper wearing an American flag. The reaper appeared to be knocking on a door labeled ‘Egypt’ and to have left a trail of blood behind. The other doors in the image are labeled Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Libya, and Syria.
On the reaper’s scythe was an Israeli flag with a Jewish Star of David centered. “If the United States brought ‘democracy,’ it would be like this,” the caption read in Japanese.
The cartoon has been featured on several extremist websites and is popular with white supremacists and Holocaust deniers, the Jewish journal Algemeiner reported.
But it was only deleted after interventions from high-profile Israeli politicians.
Israel’s ambassador to Japan, Yaffa Ben-Ari, contacted his Chinese counterpart to point out that the image is offensive, The Jerusalem Post reported. The Chinese ambassador replied that he was unaware that Israel was featured in the image, the paper said.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific, Gilad Cohen, also contacted the embassy to complain.
The tweet was deleted within the hour, The Jerusalem Post said.
The same image was posted by the Chinese Embassy in Paris last year, the Algemeiner reported.
It has also been featured on the websites of high-profile Holocaust deniers, according to French monitoring organization Conspiracy Watch.
The Chinese Embassy in Japan has not publicly addressed the tweet. It did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
On Saturday morning, a tweet posted by the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC was removed by Twitter for violating the platform’s rules against dehumanization.
The tweet, posted on Thursday, drew widespread condemnation for claiming that Uighur women have had their minds “emancipated” and are no longer “baby-making machines.”
“We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, race, or ethnicity, among other categories,” a Twitter spokesperson told Ars Technica.
The post read: “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent.”
The tweet linked to an article published by China Daily – the Chinese Communist Party’s English-language newspaper.
The article claims that a decrease in birthrates in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in 2018 resulted from “the eradication of religious extremism.” It also refers to “family planning policies” being implemented in the region.
The Uighurs are a mostly-Muslim minority group in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of northwestern China. Estimates suggest that at least one million of them could be interned in so-called ‘re-education camps,’ according to Foreign Policy.
Azis Isa Elkun, a Uighur Muslim academic, explained to Business Insider: “The Chinese Embassy’s tweet was, of course, trying to deceive the Western world.”
Isa Elkun continued: “The Chinese state is committing genocide on Uighurs. The Western world must act now and keep the promises of ‘never again.’ It must hold China accountable for the Uighur genocide before it’s too late.”
Despite the widespread condemnation, Twitter had originally told Ars Technica that it did not violate its policies against hateful conduct.