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Content Warning: The following entry contains examples of antisemitism, including images and slurs.
Happy Merchant, also known as Jew-bwa-ha-ha.gif, is an derogatory illustration of a Jewish man based on antisemitic characterizations of Jewish people, including a yarmulke, long nose, full beard, malevolent smile and rubbing hands together, which implies conspiratorial or manipulative behavior. Mainly posted on political imageboards, such as 4chan's /pol/ and 4chan's /new/, it is used both ironically and to spread antisemitic ideologies.
According to BuzzFeed,  the earliest available depiction of the image comes from a racist and antisemitic cartoon, drawn by an artist using the pseudonym A. Wyatt Mann, who allege to be cartoonist Nick Bougas. The cartoon compares the character who later be known as "the Happy Merchant" and a racist depiction of a Black man to cockroaches and rats (shown below).
However, the earliest available version of the image comes from the white supremacy and neo Nazi website JRBooksOline, in a post about a conspiracy theory regarding ritualistic murders committed by Jews. Posted in February 2001, the image features the caption, "Hymie showing his real side" (shown below).
Common themes found in Happy Merchant comics are mostly based on anti-Semitic ideas, such as a Jewish conspiracy to control the world economy and media; Holocaust denial; and blaming the Jewish conspiracy for promoting feminism, homosexuality, "racemixing", or causing any current calamity.
Though long used as a reaction image, it's unknown when it first gained the title "Le Happy Merchant", a mocking reference to Reddit users' ubiquitous usage of "le" as a prefix in rage comics; the earliest example found so far is in a May 2012 /vg/ thread on 4chan. Posts accompanying the reaction image often take the form of sardonically roleplaying a Jew who gleefully and transparently manipulates the "good goyim" who are duped by his deceptions and as a consequence buy his overpriced products or hold politically liberal views.
Spinoffs derived from the meme on some antisemitic forums around the web when they reached new boards on 4chan, particularly on /v/, /r9k/ and /b/. Ylilauta’s /int/ also managed to blend spurdo spärde with the merchant, and produced a somewhat less controversial friendly partnership between "Le American Bear," a character based on Spurdo Spärde representing a stereotypical American, and Le Happy Merchant. A page on the satirical website Encyclopedia Dramatica was also submitted.
 BuzzFeed – The Surprisingly Mainstream History Of The Internet's Favorite Anti-Semitic Image
 Archive 4plebs – A Happy Merchant Thread
 OHPI.org – The Antisemitic Meme of the Jew
 Encyclopedia Dramatica – Happy Merchant
 4chanData.org – JIDF Exposed
 Encyclopedia Dramatica – JIDF
 Reddit – r/4chan : /pol/ proposes a solution
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Jun 03, 2018 at 10:09AM EDT
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