Canadian newspaper publishes ‘antisemitic’ caricature of Netanyahu

French-Canadian newspaper La Presse published an antisemitic caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the vampire in the movie Nosferatu.

The antisemitic post provoked outrage and received accusations of antisemitism, resulting in a retraction by the Montreal outlet, reports The Jerusalem Post.

The image depicting Netanyahu’s face on the body of the vampire Count Orlok from the 1922 horror movie bore the caption „Nosfenyahou, on the way to Rafah.”

The post was publicly denounced by many, including the Israeli embassy in Canada. „Shame on La Presse for posting this vile caricature. The antisemitism in Canada is off the chart.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said that the caricature was antisemitic and demanded the immediate retraction of the image, adding that while one can criticise Netanyahu, they should refrain from using antisemitic tropes such as hooked fingers or a big nose. „This kind of drawing contributes to the normalisation of antisemitism that has been affecting our community for months,” the organisation added.

Public relations firm CEO Jenni Bryne noted that the cartoon was reminiscent of antisemitic Nazi propaganda in the lead-up to World War II and the Holocaust, which was confirmed by La Presse in its retraction statement, saying that Nosferatu was, in fact, used in Nazi propaganda during the Second World War.

La Presse editor-in-chief Stéphanie Grammond apologised for the antisemitic portrayal of Netanyahu, noting that the caricature was „intended to be a criticism of Mr. Netanyahu’s policies. It targeted the Israeli government, not the Jewish people.”

„We never intended to convey antisemitic remarks or harmful stereotypes. On the contrary, La Presse has already loudly denounced the deplorable rise in antisemitism 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.”

The French-Canadian paper said it had removed the cartoon from all of its platforms.