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November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Nazi salute’

British Soccer Watchdog Punishes Player for Quenelle Salute

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Nicolas Anelka, a French soccer player for a British club, was fined $130,000 and suspended five games for performing the quenelle gesture in a game.

The British Football Association handed down its penalties on Thursday following an investigation by an independent regulatory commission, which ruled that Anelka was guilty of performing an act that was “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper” after scoring against West Ham on Dec. 28. Anelka, a striker for the West Bromwich team, also must attend an educational program.

The punishment is suspended pending a seven-day appeals process.

Anelka, the commission determined, had not been deliberately anti-Semitic in making the gesture, nor did he intend “to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle.” But the panel said his breach was an aggravated one because it “included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.”

The player said in December that he performed the quenelle as a gesture to his friend Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the French comedian who popularized the quasi-Nazi salute. Dieudonne, who has been fined repeatedly for making anti-Semitic remarks, says the quenelle is neither anti-Semitic nor Nazi but merely anti-establishment. France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, is among many who see the gesture as anti-Semitic.

Leaders of British Jewry, including Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, welcomed the ruling as justified and fitting.

David Delew, chief executive of the Community Security Trust, the British Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, said in a statement, “This verdict sends a strong message to Jewish players and supporters at all levels of the game that the Football Association will act against anti-Semitic acts if they are reported.”

The ‘Quenelle’: Product of Simple Hatred or Ignorance?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The “quenelle” craze that took over France and a few other European countries in the last few months is not merely the product of hate but rather one of sheer ignorance. Although both seem to correlate, historically at least, there is an important distinction that needs to be made.

Ignorance is what leads to blind hate. Whether that hate is justified or not is dependent on the individual, however there is without a doubt a relationship between ignorance and a lack of justification of one’s hate. Wait what?

The question is if the individuals who are frivolously displaying these signs on football fields and in front of Shoah museums are aware of what they are doing. Are they participating in a abhorrent furor of hatred, or are they-in their ignorance- trying to fit in a cultural fad?

Surely every time we see a new picture on social networking sites or a news source, the people who show off their “quenelle” in photos are either bemused or straight up laughing. Is it a sign of hatred? Or simply just someone trying to fit in?

Unfortunately it is both. By trying to fit in a racist, yet in their view, humorous show of body language they are not just trying to confirm into social norms that their peers and culture are exhibiting, they are consciously or even unconsciously exhibiting hate. You might be wondering: so what?

Are there no historical similarities? The formation of the fascist party led by Benito Mussolini in Italy displayed and vulgarized the use of the Roman Salute to move the masses. Let alone the use of the infamous Nazi Salute that has become one of the most overt representations of hatred. How about the use of the Japanese salute under Hirohito’s despotic regime? Is there no common affinity to the “quenell”? Something that binds all of these together?

Conformity. By displaying signs whether one knows why or not, builds a culture of complacency, ignorance and hatred. Especially when connected to the eternal and universal fact of trying to “fit in” or “be a part of something” in human nature, no matter at what cost. Even if it means the hatred of others for the purpose of finding one’s place in the cultural hegemony- the masses.

The “quenelle” is more than just a cultural fad, and it is more than just a representation of French anti-semitism. It is a form of language, I dare say, a mechanism by which hatred is not just spread but rather it is normalized in the minds of individuals. The more it becomes placed in mass culture and media the more it has become normal to see it. Not so different how by 1941, the Hitler Salute was absolutely embedded in all fabrics of daily life- it was everywhere.

Yet the gesture’s promoters say it is for comical means, to break down social conventions, and to promote free speech. Dieudonne himself who has been banned from performing in various French cities, and from entering the U.K has claimed that it was only a part of his “routine”. Really?

Is that why in 2009 in a political campaign promoting Anti-Zionism under the headline of “Pour Une Europe Libérée”- For A “Free Europe”, Dieudonné poses showing of his famous sign. Again immediately comparable to any National Socialist poster from the 1930’s. This leads me to the next question, in fact to a set of questions.

Does this gesture work to promote hatred and more ignorance, or is it just a display of the current anti-semitism in France? Maybe Both? And more importantly, do people stretch their right hand down pointing to the ground because they hate something, or because they are following their peers blindly-as ignorance dictates? These two things are not mutually exclusive, they seem to function together in a complexity so vigorous as to influence culture and to make people hate whether they actually do or don’t.

Air France Employees Performed Quenelle Salute

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Three Air France union officials “joyfully” performed the Quenelle reverse Nazi salute at a rally last November but not reported until this week by the French Liberation newspaper.

Air France management issued a statement condemning the salute, according to the European Jewish Press, which reported they were “extremely shocked” and promise ”to take appropriate actions,” whatever that means.

The quenelle was popularized by French anti-Semitic comedian, so he calls himself, Dieudonne.

David Ricatte, secretary and spokesman of the CGT-Air France Communist union, defended his performing the salute and claimed it has no racial or religious significance. He argued that it was a fashionable anti-establishment sign until it was publicized in December as anti-Semitic

“However, earlier in January, Ricatte posted on his personal Twitter account a dubbed version of the scene of Adolf Hitler in ‘Downfall’ in which Hitler is a parodied version of French Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemning the quenelle,” EJP reported.

French Jewish Leader Softens Stance on Quenelle Gesture

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

The president of France’s main Jewish group has toned down his blanket condemnation of the quenelle gesture and said it is not necessarily anti-Semitic.

Roger Cukierman of the CRIF umbrella group adjusted his position in a filmed interview published Tuesday on the website of the Le Figaro daily.

Reacting to the decision that day by England’s Football Association to punish Nicolas Anelka, a French soccer player who performed the gesture during a match, Cukierman said, “It seems to me a bit severe because it seems to me that this gesture has an anti-Semitic connotation, which would be reprehensible, only when performed in front of a synagogue or a Holocaust memorial site.”

But when performed at a place “without any Jewish connection, it seems to me like an anarchist gesture against the establishment, which, it seems, does not merit severe punishment,” he said.

Anelka posted the Le Figaro video of Cukierman on Twitter with the message: “Nothing to add.”

On Tuesday, the Football Association announced that Anelka faces a ban of at least five matches for improper conduct, aggravated because it “included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief” for performing the gesture on the pitch after scoring a goal on Dec. 28.

On Dec. 26, Cukierman was quoted by Le Point and on CRIF’s website as saying, “We are very concerned by the impact of this gesture, which we consider a Nazi salute.”

The quenelle was invented by Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, an anti-Semitic comedian. Earlier in December, CRIF requested and received a special audience with President Francois Hollande to discuss the quenelle and other actions by Dieudonne.

On Dec. 31, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said at a news conference, “This gesture is a gesture of hatred, it’s an anti-Semitic gesture and all those who perform it should know — they can’t deny knowledge — that they are performing an anti-Semitic gesture, an inverted Nazi gesture.”

French Soldiers Face Disciplinary Action for Anti-Semitic Photo

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Two French soldiers who posed in front of a Paris synagogue a few weeks ago while making an anti-Semitic gesture will be sanctioned by the French army.

The soldiers of the Alpine Hunters elite unit currently are the subject of an investigation, the French military’s spokesperson, Bruno Louisfert, told radio station RTL France Tuesday. He said they will be punished for the act.

Louisfert said that they posed for the photograph in front of the entrance door to the Beth David synagogue with their left hand placed on their right shoulder and their right hand extended over their right thigh.

Dubbed the “quenelle,” the gesture is the brainchild of the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne, who invented several anti-Semitic words and gestures seen to be too vague to violate France’s law forbidding hate speech and Holocaust denial. The quenelle is thought to echo the Nazi salute.

In an unrelated incident, unidentified vandals caused serious damage to a Jewish school in Marseille in southern France on Tuesday. The same Chabad-affiliated elementary school, Haya Moushka, was targeted in a similar incident three years ago.

Tuesday’s attack left many shattered windows. The school’s toilets also were smashed, along with heating radiators.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/french-soldiers-face-disciplinary-action-for-anti-semitic-photo/2013/09/11/

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