Anelka And Dieudonné: Bigots, But For The Left
WHEN West Bromwich Albion footballer Nicholas Anelka scored in Saturday’s draw with West Ham he preformed a “reverse Nazi salute”. Oddly, the reverse Nazi is not an anti-racism statement. It’s one steeped in anti-Semitism. After thousands of years of persecution, Anelka’s friend, Dieudonne M’balla M’balla, created a new way to insult Jews. It might even be trademarked.
The gesture is called the “quenelle”. It’s big in France. French media have published a photo of a man performing it outside the Toulouse school where four Jews were murdered.
France’s Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron has condemned Anelka son Twitter calling it a “shocking provocation”. And it is to those it’s meant to hurt.
Dieudonne M’balla M’balla has some form in singling out Jews for special attention in his satire. He says Jews are “slave traders who turned to banking or the entertainment business and now to terror activities”. He called French president’s chief-of-staff a “good little soldier of the Zionist lobby”.
Dieudonne is well versed in using what he claims to be Anti-Zionism to attack all Jews, swaddling his prejudices in a just cause. He attacks what he calls the “racist yid Zionist lobby”. He has dressed as an Orthodox Jew to shout “IsraHeil”. He has mocked Jewish-French philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy. Dieudonne is seen bargaining with a grocer over the price of vegetables. In the guise of the Jewish intellectual he asks: “How can you ask me to pay so much when six million of us died in the Holocaust?’”
He says the Holocaust is “memorial pornography”. At one Paris stage show he featured Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson accepting a prize for “social unacceptability and insolence”. The awards was bestowed on the history revisionist who would see to make liars of millions dead and their survivors by an actor dressed in pyjamas with a yellow star sewn on. When asked why he was so dressed, the actor said he was told to because he was meeting Faurisson, Dieudonné admonishes him: “No you fool, you’re wearing it because you were in Belsen, it was obligatory!”
The Holocaust victim is presented as a liar. It is none-too-subtle stuff. But Dieudonné can say it if he likes. And he has an audience. The professional performer has struck a nerve. It’s unlikely selling tickets to his shows and achieving notoriety will now stop him. And anyone paying to hear a man who asserts that Jews spread the Aids virus in Africa, as Dieudonné has reportedly claimed, is unlikely to be all that interested in defending Jews.
You know what might cause his career to dip? Dieudonné’s been given a nickname: theFrench Jim Davidson.”
But what of Anelka, the French footballer with a reputation for being a po-faced, greedy, sulky irritant? Dieudonné, no fan of Jews, is trying to wrest their status as history’s perennial victims for his own pet causes, which seems to be black Muslims. He’s upset what what he sees as the Jews’ monopoly on suffering. Is not his suffering as a black Muslim just as bad? He wants his pain recognised. Why should the Jews gets all the sympathy? Look at those lying Jews, says the self-declared “defender of the blacks”. And as he points and mocks and invents a new-style legal Nazi salute to make Europe’s Jews afraid and remember so much pain, he recasts – irony of ironies – all Jews as the bloodthirsty enemy of decent humanity.
Those Jews, eh, they never do learn.
Dieudonné sees himself as the heretic speaking out against the orthodoxy. But he’s not. He’s just tapping the nerve, the same strain of hatred and bigotry that has marked Jews out for attack for centuries. Today’s heresy is tomorrow and yesterday’s accepted truth. The Jew is the liar. The Jew made up the Holocaust. The Jew exploits a lie. The Jew hates blacks. It’s heretical stuff. But not so very long ago, the Jew was officially the world’s enemy, a rank cemented by law in Germany, Austria France and beyond.
Now the anti-Semites have a new way to hit the Jews and all that “International Jewry”. Tom Gross spotted the trend in the National Review. When the “moderate” Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais visited Britain, the BBC called him a worker for “community cohesion”. Yet his Friday sermons call for Jews – “scum of the human race, rats of the world” – to be “annihilated”.
As Woody Allen put it: “Right. I’m a bigot, but for the left.”
Dieudonné has inspired Anelka. But West Brom say their player will not repeat his gesture. And he won’t apologise. Fair enough. Better for Anelka to explain himself and his views on the Holocaust. Don’t ban him. Let him speak. Give him space and time. Tolerate him. Be broadminded and respectful of another’s opinion. Demand the same of him. And make the debate open and vociferous. We should be confident in our own minds to spot a pillock when we see one. Let him make a fool of himself. Don’t turn his upside down, back-to-front, inside-out, demented Nazi salute into a thing of fear. Hold it up for ridicule. And it is ridiculous.
Beat those who say genocide was a lie with facts, as they have been beaten time and time before…