FSWC Receives Apology from Quebec Newspaper Over Vile Antisemitic Caricature

March 20, 2024

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Toronto (March 20, 2024) – The French-language newspaper La Presse has issued an apology after Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) and other Jewish groups expressed outrage over an antisemitic caricature it published that invoked age-old blood libel and antisemitic tropes.

The editorial cartoon by Serge Chapleau, published this morning, featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the vampire from the 1922 German film Nosferatu, which later inspired antisemitic Nazi propaganda. "Nosfenyahou, en route to Rafah," the image declared in red, depicting dripping blood.

"Shame on La Presse for publishing this disgusting cartoon, promoting age-old blood libel and antisemitic tropes," FSWC said in an online post earlier today. "While the caricature appears to have been removed from its website, there is no reversing the hurt and harm caused."

FSWC wrote to Editor-in-Chief Stéphanie Grammond this morning, expressing how deeply disturbing the cartoon was and asking to meet to discuss its hurtful impact on the Jewish community. All the more so given La Presse is one of Quebec’s leading news outlets.

Grammond responded to FSWC this afternoon, sharing her public apology in which she said, "It was unfortunate to depict the Prime Minister as Nosferatu the vampire, since this movie character was used in Nazi propaganda during the Second World War."

"We never intended to convey antisemitic remarks or harmful stereotypes... Today we reiterate the importance of combating hatred against the Jewish people."