Dieudonne and Ahmadinejad trade mutual admiration

 Iranian ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Dieudonne M’bala M’bala a “great artist” during a meeting in Tehran with the French comic who is a repeat inciter of hate against Jews.

Dieudonne visited the Islamic Republic last week, the news site fararu.com reported, and presented Ahmadinejad with a golden statue of a man performing the quenelle — a gesture reminiscent of the Nazi salute that Dieudonne is promoting as a sign of discontent with the establishment but that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called a gesture of “anti-Semitic hate.”

Dieudonne calls the statue a “golden quenelle” and has presented a number of them to personalities he defines as anti-Zionist. Ahmadinejad is a noted Holocaust denier who during his presidency expressed his wish that Israel would disappear.

On his official Twitter account, Ahmadinejad wrote about the encounter: “Visiting an old friend, a great artist.#Dieudonne #all4Palestine.”

During his eight years in office through 2013, Ahmadinejad ran competitions of cartoons on the Holocaust, soliciting drawings that suggested the genocide never happened or is happening to the Palestinians.

Dieudonne has more than 10 convictions for inciting hatred against the Jews, including through ridiculing the Holocaust and suggesting it is fabricated.

Dieudonne, whose shows are regularly banned in France and who is facing accusations of tax evasion in addition to ongoing probes into anti-Semitic speech, is the inventor of the word “shaonanas.”

A mashup of the Hebrew word for the Holocaust and French for pineapple, it is widely understood to be a codename suggesting the Holocaust never happened without violating France’s laws against denying it.

Anti-Semitism past and current decried at Holocaust memorials

The president of the European Jewish Congress, making reference to the quenelle gesture, decried a new wave of anti-Semitism sweeping Europe at an International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Brussels.

Dr. Moshe Kantor made his remarks at the official annual European Parliament event commemorating the Holocaust co-hosted by the European Parliament and the European Jewish Congress.

The Brussels observance was among many marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day throughout Europe.

Kantor in his address said, “The Holocaust is not a matter for satire. Anti-Semitism is not an opinion, it is a crime.”

“Today, we are witness to the absolute democratization of anti-Semitism,” he said. “A simple inversed Nazi salute performed with impunity at Auschwitz, at the Berlin Holocaust memorial, at a synagogue and even in front of the Jewish school in Toulouse where Jewish children and a teacher were murdered in broad daylight by a French terrorist.” He referred to the quenelle, a gesture created by the French comedian Dieudonne that is widely recognized as anti-Semitic.

“A symbol invented by a so-called comedian which allows young people out for a drink, soldiers having a laugh and even a footballer scoring a goal to have their own unique opportunity for Jew hatred,” he said.

Antonio Samaras, the prime minister of Greece and current president of the European Parliament, said at the gathering that it was important to remember the Holocaust and put into practice the lessons learned from history.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said, “World Holocaust Day is meaningless if we only pay attention to the past and ignore the same problems that threaten us today.” He added that the threats are not only against Jews.

Established in 2005, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust held on the anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

President Obama said in a message marking the day that the courage of those who rescued Jews during the Holocaust is a reminder to “confront bigotry and hatred in all of its forms, especially anti-Semitism.”

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum announced plans to join with United Nations information centers in 63 countries to distribute a documentary made by the museum, “The Path to Nazi Genocide.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres said in a statement to mark the day, “We have a duty to remember the past but also to improve the future. This is not just a memorial day but a call to us all to move ahead, never forgetting the past but never losing hope in the future.”

Some 58 Knesset members joined U.S. and European lawmakers at Auschwitz to mark the remembrance day.

Pope Francis in a letter said humanity must work to ensure that a Holocaust never happens again. The letter, which will be read at a concert Monday in Rome, was sent from the Vatican and addressed to his personal friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka of Buenos Aires.

Russian author Daniil Granin, a 95-year-old survivor of Auschwitz, was scheduled to address the German parliament in the Bundestag. A moment of silence was held to remember the Nazis’ victims, the German news agency DPA reported.

Hitler’s e-book blitzkrieg

France is agog over whether to ban Dieudonné, the comedian who invented the 'quenelle' reverse Nazi salute to give the anti-Semitic finger to decent society.

But why settle for a second-rate knockoff when you can sample the real thing – in the privacy of your home, work cubicle, or airline seat – for under two bucks? That's the going rate for the e-book topping all sales – the unexpurgated versions of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf – the Fuhrer's very own “how to” manual for exploding Europe while doing away with the Jewish people.

Is this just an inexpensive indulgence in the voyeurism of ultimate evil by young people who don't know better and not a few of their elders who should? Yes, and more.

Hitler's posthumous e-book blitzkrieg does not come out of the blue. It exploits pent-up demand in Germany where print versions have been verboten, but cyberspace again makes a joke of the Maginot Line of censorship laws. The appeal extends across Europe where respected author Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, offers a statistical analysis that 150 million people harbor serious anti-Semitic and/or “demonic view of Israel.” 

“Hitler as Hero” is also increasingly expressed among Muslims and Arabs:

In The Netherlands, Dutch social worker, Mehmet Sahin, a Moslem, was asked to interview troubled youth from his community on national TV. When the discussion got around to Anne Frank and the Holocaust, the Dutch Muslim teens' comments included, “What Hitler did to the Jews is fine with me,” said one, and “Hitler should have killed all the Jews,” smirked another. When Mehmet vowed to do all in his power to dissuade the youngsters from their hate, he was threatened by fellow Muslims and was forced to relocate by Dutch authorities to a tiny village.

Lebanese superstar singer Najwa Karam and a judge on the wildly popular version of American Idol and Arabs Got Talent, told Lebanese TV's Talk of the Town she chose Hitler first among six famous men to create her “ideal man”.

In Turkey, Mein Kampf  has been on the best-seller list since 2005.

In Iran – where Ayatollah Khomeini's Holy City of Qom was abuzz during World War II with rumors that the Twelfth Imam has been sent into the world by God in the form of Adolf Hitler, translations of Mein Kampf  are widely available in Farsi.

On the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority (PA) refuses to censor an Arabic translation of Mein Kampf  and has yet to criticize a Palestinian girl's essay in a youth magazine day dreaming about encounters with role models including a ninth-century Persian mathematician, an Egyptian Nobel laureate, the historic leader Saladin–and Hitler. 

In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood's Spiritual Head Yusuf el-Qaradawi never retracted these words: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place.”

Though the Egyptian military has shut down the Brotherhood, a Cairo boutique named, “Adolf Hitler” with a swastika on its logo is still in business.

“Hitler Chic” extends even to Asia where populations that suffered under Imperial Japan seem unable to connect the dots and empathize with Hitler's victims.

In Thailand – a Buddhist country of 64 million with less than 1000 Jews – there was a disgraceful parade at the exclusive Catholic Sacred Heart Preparatory School in Chiang Mai was led by students who gave the “Sieg Heil” salute carrying Nazi flags, accompanied by mock gun-toting adults.

In Japan,  the popular rock group Kishidan appeared on MTV Japan wearing SS-like uniforms.

In India, there was the “Hitler Crossing Café” in Mumbai and a publisher who has a smash best-seller marketing Mein Kampf to grad students as a “must have” example of a highly organized mind.

In South Korea, with its Hitler-themed sports bars, an advertising firm produced a campaign with a Nazi soldier and Hitler symbolizing the “revolutionary” moisturizing and calming effects of a skin lotion.

Meanwhile North Korea's “youthful” leader, Kim Jong-Un reportedly distributed, “a hundred copy” mint edition of a Korean translation of Mein Kampf to high-ranking military officers. This in a regime already using gas chambers to experiment on and murder selected political prisoners and that is incarcerating as many as 200,000 citizens in inhuman forced-labor camps.

In the 21st Century, there is no way for those who apply democratic rules and values to the Internet to ban any book. But e-sellers, large and small, should at least sell only annotated versions of Mein Kampf. Perhaps, there would be some hope that young readers – including all people of color – would come to understand the evil and still potent threat that Hitler and his genocidal ideology pose to the world.

Rabbi Abraham cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian, is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Police investigate false bomb threat against comedian Dieudonne

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.”