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January 2, 2014

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

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

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

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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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