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La Presse withdraws a caricature denounced as antisé mite | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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“La Presse”

The Canadian Press

The newspaper La Pressewithdrew a caricature depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the vampire Nosferatu, after facing criticism that the image reproduced an anti-Semitic symbol from the Second World War.

The cartoon posted online Wednesday morning depicts Mr. Netanyahu with pointy ears and long, pointy fingers, evoking a sequence from the 1922 silent film Nosferatu the Vampire >, in which Count Orlok hides on a boat in pursuit of his human prey.

Text superimposed on the drawing identified the caricature as Nosfenyahu, on his way to Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.

Several commentators and politicians have denounced the picture as an expression of anti-Semitic remarks, with some noting the German film's echoes in Nazi propaganda and its links to historical depictions of Jewish people as vampires .

The chief editorialist of La Presse, Stéphanie Grammond, apologized on behalf of the newspaper in a text published online Wednesday afternoon. She assured that the media never […] intended to convey anti-Semitic remarks or harmful stereotypes.

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On the contrary, La Presse has already loudly denounced the deplorable rise in anti-Semitism since the start of the war, in Quebec as elsewhere in the world. Today we reiterate the importance of combating hatred against the Jewish people, she wrote.

Ms. Grammond also indicated that the drawing was intended as a criticism of Mr. Netanyahu's policies. It targeted the Israeli government, not the Jewish people.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was happy to see an apology from media and the withdrawal of the drawing by cartoonist Serge Chapleau, even if it should never have been published.

Anti-Semitic content and references are still unacceptable. This is repeating allusions that date back many decades, in an absolutely unacceptable way, he told journalists on Wednesday.

The Conservative Party of Canada political lieutenant for Quebec, Pierre Paul-Hus, also said the news media should have avoided publishing the image.

This is downright anti-Semitic. It has no place in a newspaper like La Presse, he commented in a press scrum, following the withdrawal of the caricature, calling on the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, to condemn the image.

Earlier, Ms. St-Onge had said that she would not comment on the merits, explaining that she respected the independence of the media and cartoonists. However, she added that this type of caricature would attract criticism because of the impacts on communities of the situation in the Middle East.

Obviously, given the situation in the Middle East, while it is extremely tense and communities everywhere feel this conflict in a very personal and very vivid way, it is certain that this kind caricature will arouse criticism, and I believe that it's healthy to criticize the media, it's healthy to criticize politicians, but we have to have conversations that are respectful and that place compassion and respect communities at the forefront, she declared in the press scrum.

Later on x27;is said to be relieved by the removal of the image and the apology. It was the right thing to do. There is no place for anti-Semitism in Canada, she said.

In Quebec, the minister responsible for the fight against racism, Christopher Skeete, also deplored the publication of the caricature.

I welcome the fact that it was removed, but I will tell you that it was in bad taste. It was hurtful. Then I hope that La Presse will learn lessons from it, declared the CAQ elected official to journalists at the National Assembly.

In a statement on Platform ] for publishing this vile cartoon.

The Advisory Center for Jewish and Israeli Relations commented on Press contribute to the normalization of anti-Semitism.

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