Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is a French stand-up comedian who has made a name for himself at the expense of the Jewish community and the Holocaust. He started to spew his anti-Semitic venom fifteen years ago and has continued to do so with more and more momentum. He has been sued multiple times and fined in excess of $100,000. Dieudonné is also credited for having invented the inverted Nazi salute known as the quenelle , that has been duplicated by people all over the world and on the Internet.
A quick perusal of the French press will suffice to determine that the man is not really taken seriously. Most often when a reference is made to him, the word comedian is in quotations. He has succeeded in making enemies in several European countries, where like in England and parts of France his show has been banned.
France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, is not laughing anymore–if he ever was–. He was recently quoted saying: “We cannot tolerate antisemitism, historical revisionism and racism, and the highest jurisdiction in our country has agreed.”
Dieudonné claims that he is not an anti-Semite, yet every single one of his shows of the last 15 years has been punctuated with hate speech. For instance, ridiculing the French Jewish singer Patrick Bruel, he said: “when I hear Bruel’s songs, I no longer doubt the existence of the gas chambers, it is obvious that Germans didn’t have my patience”. He continues by saying that:” all the crooks of the world are Jewish”, or “Death would be more comfortable than submission to those dogs”, and he also calls Israel “a satanic entity”. I could go on and on with a myriad of examples each one more chilling than the previous. But you get the idea…Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is an unashamed anti-Semite. Even though he is not taken seriously by the press and the entertainment world, how dangerous is a man like him?
Twenty or thirty years ago, Dieudonné would have been very controversial but rather unable to spread his message of hate like he is doing today. Let’s face it, a few days ago, a single tweet of mine was retweeted to over 10,000 people with click of the mouse and I am far from being as popular as Mr. M’bala M’bala. The Internet revolutionized the world and then the social networks revolutionized the Internet. We live in an age when information is absolutely instantaneous AND global, and that is what will promote the lies of Dieudonné even if he stops an/or ceases to exist. Unfortunately for the rest of us, He has been inducted in the Hall of Fame (read Shame) of Jew hatred.
His quenelle inverted Nazi salute is being replicated by people everywhere including many in front of Jewish sites such as synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, Holocaust memorials and even camps like Auschwitz. While he claims that the gesture is simply anti-establishment, he has done nothing to distance himself from those who use the quenelle in an anti-Semitic fashion. It currently has 17,000 followers (and growing) on Twitter.
Using humour, albeit sick, he has succeeded where others failed. In the case of Dieudonné, the old adage couldn’t be truer as the enemies of his enemies have become his friends. He manages to attract both extreme-right fascists, leftists AND disgruntled suburban Muslim youth. It goes without saying that all three groups are usually far from getting along, yet, as it pertains to Holocaust denial, anti-Zionism and Jew hatred, they found a common ground. Bravo Mr. Dieudonné for multiplying hatred exponentially! In the meantime, France continues to breed anti-Semitism on an almost daily basis.
There might be very little that we can do to stop the fire that Dieudonné started. It is fueled both by French authorities’ failed attempt at stopping him and French masses gaining boldness in the expression of their hatred of the Jews. The soil is fertile for the weed to choke the country again.
Yet if we cannot stop the spreading of Dieudonné’s message, we certainly can help within our own circle of influence by exposing the damage he and his followers are doing. We all have access to the Internet and should use it to counter his message the best we can. If nobody stops him for now, we still have an obligation to tell others about the senselessness of his words and deeds. Praying that people will use common sense in assessing him.
It was only a month ago that protesters during an anti-government rally on the streets of Paris yelled: “Jews out of France, you don’t belong here”. As scary as this sounds to me, I must admit that maybe they were right, because in the France of today, maybe Jews don’t belong anymore! Seventy years ago, most Jews didn’t even have the luxury of escaping Europe’s persecution, today they do, they have Israel!