Montreal

Cartoon draws ire of Jewish group

B'nai Brith Canada is asking an Ottawa-based newspaper to pull a political cartoon depicting the Star of David on the Parliament Buildings.

Le Droit illustrator says he never meant to draw Star of David on Peace Tower

Le Droit, based in Ottawa, published the cartoon Monday. The image is also posted on the newspaper's website.
Cartoonist Guy Badeaux said he was drawing the intricate design on the Peace Tower clock, not the Star of David. ((Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press))
B'nai Brith Canada is asking an Ottawa-based newspaper to pull from its website a political cartoon that appears to depict the Star of David on the Parliament Buildings.

The Jewish community organization called the cartoon, which ran in the print edition of Le Droit and online at cyberpresse.ca, anti-Semitic propaganda. The group is also demanding an apology from the newspaper.

Frank Dimant, the executive vice-president of B'nai Brith Canada, said the caricature plays into a dangerous stereotype.

"The cartoon is disgusting," Dimant said. "It's the kind of classic cartoon that we saw throughout the ages of Jews controlling government, Jews controlling banking institutions.

"It's a horrific cartoon. It's vile and it depicts an untruth."

The cartoon shows the front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, with what appears to be a Star of David on the clock face of the Peace Tower. At the gates of the hill is a road sign that warns of a slippery road ahead.

Long-time cartoonist Guy Badeaux, who signs his work under the alias Bado, said he never meant to offend anyone. He told CBC News that he never meant to draw a Star of David and was only trying to draw the clock in a simplified form.

The geometric pattern on the clock face includes lines that could make a Star of David. 

The editor of Le Droit told CBC News on Tuesday that the paper is reviewing the situation and may respond later in the day.

Badeaux has been drawing political cartoons for Le Droit since 1981. His work was honoured last year by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages as part of an exhibition about language politics in Canada.

In 2007, B'nai Brith also criticized a cartoon drawn by award-winning Montreal cartoonist Serge Chapleau from La Presse. The cartoon depicted the then leader of the Action Démocratique du Québec, Mario Dumont, with ear locks and an oversized black fur hat as a dig at his efforts to reach out to Montreal's Hasidic community.

Corrections

  • Le Droit is an Ottawa-based newspaper serving the Franco-Ontarian community at large, including Western Quebec. In an earlier version of this story, the paper was incorrectly described as Gatineau-based.
    Sep 21, 2010 4:50 PM ET