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January 2, 2014 8

Quenelle Embraced By U.S. Holocaust Denier

The “quenelle,” the anti-Semitic ges­ture cre­ated by French anti-Semitic per­former Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, has been gain­ing a fol­low­ing among anti-Semites, Holo­caust deniers, and has even been flashed by some pro­fes­sional ath­letes.gordon-duff-press-tv-anti-semitism

The lat­est show of sup­port for the quenelle has come from Gor­don Duff, a senior edi­tor of the anti-Semitic and con­spir­a­to­r­ial Vet­er­ans Today. In a Jan­u­ary 2, 2014 arti­cle pub­lished by Press TV, the Iran­ian government’s English-language pro­pa­ganda sta­tion which fre­quently pro­vides a plat­form for Amer­i­can anti-Semites, Duff describes the mod­i­fied Nazi salute as an “inter­na­tional, inclu­sive, non-sectarian” sym­bol that serves as an “antithe­sis” to Zionism.

In this arti­cle, titled “Quenelle: Courage or reverse Nazi salute?” Duff also states that Jews are not a Semitic peo­ple, there­fore, the quenelle being labeled “anti-Semitic” is false. He also denies the exis­tence of gas cham­bers at the noto­ri­ous Nazi death camp Auschwitz in Poland. Duff claims that this his­tory that Jews were gassed is taught in Europe “vir­tu­ally at gunpoint.”  

Duff goes on to claim that the intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tions of “dozens of nations” includ­ing “Saudi Ara­bia, Turkey, Britain, India and, espe­cially, the United States” are “man­aged” by Israel. He also describes Zion­ists as “mon­sters” that act “for money and power.”

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December 18, 2013 7

The Quenelle: Fascist or Fad?

What is the “quenelle”?  In addi­tion to being sort of a French ver­sion of gefilte fish, is it also a mod­ern ‘Nazi salute’ sweep­ing Europe?  Con­text matters.

“An anti-Semitic ges­ture for some, an anti-establishment sym­bol for oth­ers, the mean­ing of the ‘quenelle’ is still vague.”  So reports French news­pa­per Le Figaro in a story on Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, a French come­dian and “pro­fes­sional anti-Semite” in the words of Roger Cukier­man, Pres­i­dent of the French Jew­ish rep­re­sen­ta­tive orga­ni­za­tion, CRIF.  ADL has con­demned Dieudonne’s anti-Semitism on many occa­sions, most recently for his par­tic­i­pa­tion in an Iran­ian anti-Semitic con­fer­ence on “Hol­ly­wood­ism” and for his anti-Semitic polit­i­cal activ­ity.

Dieudonne was dragged back to a French court this week for fail­ing to pay an ear­lier fine levied on him for anti-Semitic remarks.  In the pre­vi­ous inci­dent, Dieudonne had called Jews “the world’s biggest crooks,” mocked the Holo­caust, and called for the release of Yous­souf Fofana, whose Gang of Bar­bar­ians had kid­napped, tor­tured, and mur­dered Ilan Hal­imi in 2006.

Even French Pres­i­dent François Hol­lande yes­ter­day referred indi­rectly – but clearly – to Dieudonne, con­demn­ing “those who claim to be come­di­ans but are just plain anti-Semites.”

Dieudonne is thought to have invented the “quenelle,” a salute with one arm down and the other bent at the elbow with an open hand on the oppo­site shoul­der, in 2009 as part of the elec­toral cam­paign of his Anti-Zionist Party.

When done in a Jew­ish con­text, anti-Semitic intent is obvious.

Alain Sorel, an anti-Semitic French filmmaker and writer, posed doing a quenelle at the Berlin Holocaust memorial.

Alain Sorel, an anti-Semitic French film­maker and writer, posed doing a quenelle at the Berlin Holo­caust memorial.

Or in front of the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, where Mohamed Merah mur­dered a rabbi and three children.

Judg­ing from the numer­ous arti­cles in the French press, there is no ques­tion that the quenelle is a spread­ing fad.  Less clear is whether those who “slip a quenelle,” as the expres­sion goes, in non-Jewish con­texts under­stand its ori­gin and meaning.

French soc­cer star Mamadou Sakho and TV jour­nal­ist Yann Barthès were pho­tographed mak­ing the ges­ture, but when ques­tioned, said they had no idea of its sig­nif­i­cance.  And the fad­dish ele­ment appears the most likely expla­na­tion when groups are shown giv­ing the salute in a non-Jewish con­text, as with this den­tal clinic.

How­ever, French uni­formed ser­vices have drawn a clear line, regard­less of con­text.  The army pun­ished two sol­diers for “slip­ping a quenelle” in front of a Paris syn­a­gogue in Sep­tem­ber, and yes­ter­day an inves­ti­ga­tion was launched into three fire­fight­ers pho­tographed doing the salute.

While this ges­ture has not yet sur­faced in the U.S., French ath­letes com­pet­ing here, enter­tain­ers per­form­ing here, and oth­ers vis­it­ing from France may bring it to our shores.


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October 4, 2013 Off

Kuwaiti Officers Reportedly Force Two Arrested Men To Pose As Hitler For Photo


Two arrested men report­edly forced by Kuwaiti offi­cers to give Nazi salute after mus­taches shaved to resem­ble Hitler.

Two migrant work­ers arrested by Kuwaiti law enforce­ment in a recent raid were appar­ently forced by offi­cers to pose for a photo giv­ing a Nazi salute after hav­ing their mus­taches shaved to resem­ble Hitler.

There is no indi­ca­tion that the offi­cers, who appar­ently posted the photo on social media, were act­ing on behalf of Kuwaiti authorities.

Accord­ing to the Kuwaiti daily Al Rai, the photo has caught the atten­tion of the Kuwaiti Min­istry of Inte­rior, which has issued orders to inves­ti­gate the mat­ter and to iden­tify the officers.

Reports of this inci­dent first appeared on Twit­ter on Octo­ber 3 when Sara Al-Darees, a Kuwaiti activist, posted the photo on her twit­ter account. Al-Darees gained inter­na­tional atten­tion in July 2013 when she was arrested on charges of Tweet­ing mes­sages deemed offen­sive to the Emir of Kuwait.

Accord­ing to Al Rai, three offi­cers arrested two migrant work­ers dur­ing a raid on an alco­hol pro­duc­tion facil­ity. Alco­hol is banned in Kuwait.

While the behav­ior of the offi­cers may be an iso­lated inci­dent, it serves as a reminder of the per­va­sive­ness of Hitler and Nazi imagery in the region. From smart phone appli­ca­tions to adver­tise­ments to bla­tant Holo­caust denial, the ubiq­uity of such imagery con­tributes to the triv­i­al­iza­tion of and desen­si­ti­za­tion to the unpar­al­leled hor­rors of the Holocaust.

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