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July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Nicolas Anelka’

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.”

Police Investigate False Bomb Threat against Antisemitic Funnyman

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

French comedian Diedonne M’bala M’bala complained to police about threats to blow up the theater in which he performs.

The bomb threat was made Thursday against the Main D’Or theater, which Dieudonne operates, in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, according to MetroNews.fr. Police rushed to the scene but found no explosives.

Performances by Dieudonne, a professed anti-Semite and inventor of the quenelle anti-Semitic salute, have been targeted in the past by activists of the Ligue de Defense Juive, the local branch of the JDL.

Last week, six men believed to be linked to JDL were arrested in Lyon for allegedly assaulting two individuals who posted online pictures of themselves performing the quenelle, a quasi-Nazi salute which French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday was a gesture of hate and anti-Semitism.

In recent months, several athletes in France and beyond were seen performing the quenelle, which is believed to be gaining traction in French society.

On Dec. 28, West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka performed the salute during a match, prompting strongly worded condemnations from anti-racism campaigners.

But Kick it Out, a prominent British organization working to curb soccer racism, issued a guarded statement saying only that it will assist Britain’s Football Association in investigating Anelka’s behavior. Anelka has ignored calls to apologize, saying the salute was a gesture to his friend Dieudonne.

John Mann, chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism at the European Parliament, blasted Kick it Out for not using stronger language.

“Not good enough,” Mann wrote on Twitter last week. “You should be leading on challenging this racism. Your statement is weak and puny.”

Star French Athlete Probed for Antisemitic Gesture

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

A star athlete from France is facing disciplinary action for showing support for an antisemitic comedian whose shows may soon be banned by the French government.

Britain’s Football Association said Saturday it was considering punishing Nicolas Anelka, a French national playing for the West Bromwich Albion soccer team, for performing, during a match, the quenelle – a quasi-Nazi salute which representatives of France’s Jewish community have termed antisemitic.

Following an outcry, the 34-year-old athlete said on Twitter: “This gesture was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonne,” a reference to the comedian who invented and is promoting the gesture, which is believed to both mock and circumvent France’s laws against displaying Nazi symbols with intention of causing offense.

But a spokesman for the association told the British tabloid The Daily Mirror that the organization would be launching a probe into the actions of Anelka, who was filmed placing his outstretched left palm on his right shoulder after striking the first of two goals during the match.

The decision came after the French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron called Anelka’s gesture “a shocking provocation, disgusting.” She added: “There’s no place for anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred on the football field.”

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said in a statement: “We expect that the English Premier League officials as well as the police will give Anelka the appropriate punishment.”

The discussion about Anelka comes one day after France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, declared that his ministry would look into banning all public performances by Dieudonne, the inventor of the quenelle.

“Despite his conviction for defamation, causing offense and inciting racial hatred and discrimination, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala doesn’t seem to recognize any limits any more,” Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement Friday announcing the legal review aimed at banning his public appearances.

On Saturday, some 200 of Dieudonne’s supporters protested against Valls’ plans, according to the news site JSSnews.com.

Dieudonne, who also invented the word “Shoananas” – a code for suggesting the Holocaust is a myth without breaking France’s laws against denying the genocide, is scheduled to perform in Bordeaux on Jan. 26.

Dieudonne has been convicted several times for inciting racial hatred against Jews in films, shows and articles.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/star-french-athlete-probed-for-antisemitic-gesture/2013/12/29/

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