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July 16, 2014

Vitriol and Violence in European Anti-Israel Demonstrations

While a handful of violent acts have targeted Jews in Europe during the latest round of Israel-Hamas fighting, the vitriol has flowed freely. Undeniably anti-Semitic expressions have been widely reported at anti-Israel demonstrations over the past week.

“You Jews are Beasts.” So read the sign at an anti-Israel demonstration in Frankfurt, Germany.

Cries of “Death to the Jews!” were heard multiple times during a large-scale demonstration in Paris. Two groups of dozens of demonstrators broke off from the march to attack two synagogues.

anti-israel hitler rally“We are all Mohamed Merah!” was chanted at a demonstration in Nice, France, referring to the murderer of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse in March 2012.

“Slaughter the Jews!” and “Khaybar, Khaybar,” the anti-Semitic slogan evoking the massacre of Jews in Arabia 1400 years ago, were repeated in Antwerp, Belgium.

“Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” was shouted in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, less than 10 miles from the Nazi camp at Holbeckshof, where hundreds of Jews were sent.

Israeli and Nazi flags were equated on signs at a demonstration in The Hague.

As French President Francois Hollande succinctly and clearly expressed on July 14, “Anti-Semitism cannot be used because there is a conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

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January 8, 2014

Speaking Out Against Dieudonne

Update: According to France 24, Dieudonne was taken into custody on Jan. 22 for allegedly assaulting a bailiff who came to collect fines Dieudonne owes for “inciting racial hatred.”

Alongside French government actions to ban performances of Dieudonne’s new show, concerned and responsible officials and civil society leaders are publicly voicing outrage at the behavior of the anti-Semitic comedian and the growing use of the quenelle gesture he invented.dieudonne-speaking-out

The Representative Council of France’s Black Associations (CRAN) issued a statement, saying “For a long time, Dieudonne fought against racism and the far right.  We still remember with emotion his actions in the town of Dreux. But for several years his main fight seems to be against the Jews of France, and he is closer and closer to the far right, his former enemies. The CRAN has noticed this evolution with dismay and can only deplore it. (…) The CRAN calls on the Blacks of France not to accept the quenelle or the appeals to anti-Semitism…”

Commenting on the quenelle gesture, popularized by Dieudonne, the president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) Dalil Boubakeur condemned its use by the French soccer player, Nicolas Anelka, saying he opposed “all anti-Semitic or racist acts or statements in sports.”

Even the owners of Dieudonne’s home theater, La Main d’Or, are looking for legal means of breaking his lease.

President François Hollande said, “No one should be able to use this show for provocation and to promote openly anti-Semitic ideas.”

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who issued the request to local officials to prevent the performances, said, “Dieudonné is deeply anti-Jewish.  We must carry out a political campaign to mobilize society against him.”

Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti said, “Mr. Dieudonne is no longer a comedian.  He has become a Holocaust denier and revisionist.”  And Justice Minister Christiane Taubira called him a “pitiful buffoon” and “recidiviste anti-Semite.”

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