April 23rd, 2024

Quebec newspaper La Presse removes cartoon denounced as antisemitic

By The Canadian Press on March 20, 2024.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech after a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Jerusalem, Israel, Sunday, March 17, 2024. Quebec newspaper La Presse has removed a political cartoon that depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the vampire from the silent film "Nosferatu" after criticism that the caricature used antisemitic imagery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Leo Correa, Pool

MONTREAL – Quebec newspaper La Presse has removed a cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the vampire from the film “Nosferatu” after criticism that the caricature used antisemitic imagery.

The image published online this morning portrayed Netanyahu with pointed ears and long sharp fingers, evoking a sequence in the 1922 silent film in which the vampire Count Orlok hides away on a ship in pursuit of his human prey.

Text overlaying the cartoon identified the caricature as “Nosfenyahou” on his way to the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

Several commentators and politicians denounced the image as an expression of antisemitic tropes, with some noting the German film’s echoes in Nazi propaganda and ties to historic depictions of Jewish people as vampires.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, said drawings like the one published in La Presse contribute to a normalization of antisemitism.

La Presse chief editorialist Stéphanie Grammond apologized for the cartoon on behalf of the paper in a statement posted online this afternoon, saying it was never the outlet’s intention to promote harmful stereotypes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2024.

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Related companies of La Presse, Torstar and the Globe and Mail hold investments in The Canadian Press.

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