'We vomit' on Charlie's sudden friends: staff cartoonist

10th January 2015, Comments 1 comment

A prominent Dutch cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo heaped scorn on the French satirical weekly's "new friends" since the massacre at its Paris offices on Wednesday.

"We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. It really makes me laugh," Bernard Holtrop, whose pen name is Willem, told the Dutch centre-left daily Volkskrant in an interview published Saturday.

France's far-right National Front leader "Marine Le Pen is delighted when the Islamists start shooting all over the place," said Willem, 73, a longtime Paris resident who also draws for the French leftist daily Liberation.

He added: "We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends."

Commenting on the global outpouring of support for the weekly, Willem scoffed: "They've never seen Charlie Hebdo."

"A few years ago, thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan to demonstrate against Charlie Hebdo. They didn't know what it was. Now it's the opposite, but if people are protesting to defend freedom of speech, naturally that's a good thing."

Willem was on a train between northwestern Lorient and Paris when he learned of Wednesday's attack by two Islamist gunmen as the paper was holding its weekly editorial meeting.

He told Liberation: "I never come to the editorial meetings because I don't like them. I guess that saved my life."

Willem stressed that Charlie Hebdo must continue to publish. "Otherwise, (the Islamists) have won."


© 2015 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Scriobhaim posted:

    on 11th January 2015, 20:34:33 - Reply

    Mr. Holtrop, you have a bizarrely overblown self-concept,I assure you. Millions of people around the world are not today preoccupied over whether or not they are your "friends"...so you can just keep...whatever interests you... Sane, decent human beings all over the world (most of whom have never heard of you personally...) are saying "I am Charlie" in an expression of solidarity with the principle of free speech...a principle immeasurably greater than you... [Edited by moderator]