Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Dieudonné: Now Makes Friends in the UK.

with 11 comments

The Daily Mirror reports.

Nicolas Anelka, Dieudonné and why la quenelle can never be considered an innocent gesture

The West Brom striker cannot escape the connotations behind his ill-advised gesture when celebrating against West Ham.

La quenelle , the Larousse Gastronomique will tell you, is ‘a dumpling made with a spiced meat or fish forcemeat bound with fat and eggs’, which is then poached and served with a variety of sauces. Quite delicious it is too.

It is also the name given to the gesture Nicolas Anelka made to celebrate his first goal in an official game in England since 20 August 2011; incidentally, West Brom were on the receiving end on that occasion.

That quenelle left a far bitterer taste in the mouth than the dish it takes its name from, however, regardless of the player’s explanation that it was ‘just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonné’ – the problem being Dieudonné himself, the inventor of the hand salute (which he has patented), a complete unknown outside of France, the subject of fierce controversy within it.

Comedy doesn’t travel well. In Dieudonné’s case, it probably shouldn’t be allowed to travel at all. The act he has developed over the last decade, and which has made him a wealthy man as well as, bizarrely, a champion for anti-establishment types of all hues, is based on all-out provocation and shock tactics within a comedic format which is, in fine , deeply traditional.

So far, so good – or inconsequential. But what distinguishes Dieudonné from other ‘alternative’ comedians is the target which he directs most of his barbs at; namely – Jews.

Reports the Daily Mirror.

Le Monde carries the latest in the racist filth Dieudonné saga today. It seems likely that he faces another prosecution for his vicious anti-Semitism.

Hope not Hate carries a firm condemnation of this act.

Nick Lowles (HOPE not hate)

Ged Grebby (Show Racism the Red Card)

HOPE not hate & Show Racism the Red Card today call upon West Bromwich Albion footballer Nicolas Anelka to clarify the intent behind his actions yesterday when he celebrated his goal against West Ham by making an allegedly antisemitic gesture, the “quenelle” described by many as an “inverted Nazi salute.”. The salute has been made infamous by the controversial French comedian Dieudonné M’bala.

M’bala is a well known and notorious antisemite in France. The Godfather of his child is Jean Marie Le Pen, the former leader of the far-right Front National and, himself, convicted for Holocaust denial.

We note that the -so-called ‘Unite Against Fascism‘ carries no protest against this racism.

We would remind readers of  of  Dieudonné’s past (this report on Tendance Coatesy dates from 2009).

Few deny that ‘Anti-Zionism’ can be  a cover for racism. But rarely does it lead to this broad alliance. In France the mixed-race (Cameroon-French)  ’humourist’ Dieudonné  has launched the Parti Anti-Sionist (Site). Its candidates are standing in the European Election this June (in the Isle-de- France). The List contains, Alain Soral, former Communist, then member of the Front National,  and Thierry Meyssan, famous as the author of  ”L’effroyable imposture” – a founding document of the 9/11 ‘Truth’ Movement.  They are joined by Sidi Yahi Gouasmi of the Fédération Chiite de France. As  well as Rabbi Schmiel Borreman of Judaism Against Zionism. This week, some senior political figures have called for this list to be banned (here).

The resolute nature of Dieudonné’s ‘anti-Zionism’ is such that he invited Holocaust denier, Robert Faurisson,to his stage show last year (here).

Written by Andrew Coates

December 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm

11 Responses

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  1. The UAF site seems to have been dormant for over a month. So it’s not only not commented on this business, but on anything else since November.

    Dr Paul

    December 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

  2. Yes, and we suppose that fascism has been dormant since November….

    Don’t forget the UAF has got the support of several major trade unions.

    Perhaps they might reconsider their affiliation in light of this,

    “Concern has been raised that the Socialist Workers Party is seeking to dominate the UAF,[11] and that the organisations involved in the UAF avoid condemnation of antisemitism.[12]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unite_Against_Fascism

    I do note Paul that Dieudonné has been covered in Searchight and many other places before.

    But I am particularly impressed the by the Daily Mirror’s fine anti-racist stand.

    Andrew Coates

    December 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

  3. Perhaps UAF is dormant awaiting the verdict of the SWP leadership vis-à-vis Martin Smith. Or perhaps our Martin is too busy working on his PhD to notice things in the world of football.

    Dr Paul

    December 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm

  4. UAF Andrew is, as Dr Paul says, pretty much redundant. It was in the doldrums even before the affair of Comrade Delta AKA Martin Smith. It still claims union support but I think you will find that the statements from the unions were some time ago and the money has long since ceased to flow.

    I bumped into some of them a few years ago in East London and they were a pretty unimpressive lot, basically a couple of SWP full timers and some students. As Dr Paul says their website doesn’t seem to be updated and some of the links to activities don’t work.

    This is going to be a difficult issue for the far left, black organisations and Guardianista liberals. Black anti semitism is the one issue that all of the above have studiously avoided as, like the Lozells riots in Birmingham, it completely gives the lie to the much lauded solidarity of blacks and Asians together fighting the same enemy.

    The idea of Jews oppressing blacks is widespread throughout black America and like most things that originate there eventually end up as gospel truth in Brixton and in the black press. As people will, or ought, to know one of the most respected black figures in America and this country, Louis Farrakhan, is banned from the UK for the very real reason that he will incite racial hatred. His diatribes against Jews and whites are legendary.

    Whites, he claims, are the result of a failed experiment in genetics by an evil wizard called Yacoob and Jews financed and controlled the slave trade. He and his Nation of Islam propagate the Jewish conspiracy and sell openly anti-semitic literature including the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Allowed into this country but openly shunned by the establishment are Jesse Jackson who once famously called New York Hymie town and Al Sharpton who actually started an anti Jewish race riot that lasted several days and cost millions of dollars in damage to property.

    It would be a very brave black person to openly criticise these people and confront their open hatred of Jews and even Trevor Phillips keeps his head well below the parapet on this issue. As with the Lozells riots the black media in the shape of New Nation and The Voice as well as various FM stations all support Farrakhan and demand his entry into the UK so that he can spread his anti white and anti Jewish poison. It is going to be interesting to see what the black media does on this one and I will buy the Voice next week to find out.

    themadmullahofbricklane

    December 31, 2013 at 10:24 am

  5. Multi-culti anti-semitism.
    It was bound to happen eventually I suppose, but how f*cked up the world becoming?

    Paul J

    December 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm

  6. Just because an ethnic/national/religious group is the target of oppression does not mean that members of that group do not hold prejudicial views towards people of other groups. Poles had a bad time in the Russian Empire and didn’t do that well under the Austrians or Prussians, but Polish nationalists were notorious for their anti-Semitism, and they didn’t like Ukrainians much either. A West Indian woman with whom I worked told me that the worst racism she experienced when she arrived here in the late 1950s was from Irish people; ‘They now had someone they could kick around’, she told me. I’ve heard anti-black and anti-Jewish statements from Indian people with whom I worked. Antagonism between Afro-Caribbeans and Africans is not at all uncommon in Britain. Anyone who has studied the Balkans can list any amount of pogroms of this group against that one and vice versa. How one deals with this, especially with the decline of class-based politics, is anyone’s guess.

    Black anti-Semitism in the USA is something I’ve known about but never actually studied. Could there be historical parallels with East Europe where Jews played a middle-man role between the rulers and peasantry on behalf of the former, but also acted as a lightning conductor when the latter get angry with their rulers, with the rulers directing the peasants’ anger against the middle-man instead of themselves? Jews in the USA have played a prominent role in retail, that is, those elements of the capitalist class closest to the consumer; but is this a viable parallel? (There is a parallel in East Africa, where Asians played a middle-man role in business and the state, and became the target of African hostility.) Is there an historical antagonism between blacks and Jews within the petty-bourgeoisie? Has the US ruling class, or elements within it, ever deployed anti-Semitism as a tactic to divert black anger? Are there roots of anti-Semitism in the brands of Christianity favoured by US blacks? Has the adoption of Islam by quite a few US black activists introduced anti-Semitism, or reinforced existing anti-Jewish trends?

    Any ideas?

    Dr Paul

    December 31, 2013 at 4:45 pm

  7. A lot of questions to answer there Dr Paul but I think the answers are simpler than you might imagine. First of all The Nation of Islam isn’t Muslim in the way that orthodox Islam would understand. It is basically one of a series of revivalist trends that appeared in the USA after the First World War and unlike most has stayed the course. It is heretical in that it believes that the founder a Wallace Fard was the last prophet something that orthodox Islam won’t accept.

    Like many similar revivalist movements it was, at least in its early stages, a money making vehicle for those at the top but managed to stay the course. As far as I can see the anti-semitism was tacked on later but is something that runs through all of the non mainstream black churches in America who are in denial about the place of African chiefs in the slave trade and instead are always looking for someone to blame.

    The only sections of white society that have consistently indulged in anti-semitic conspiracy theories have been the KKK and the far right generally and there has been some collaboration between the NoI and the KKK as both want segregation in the US.

    The far more dangerous demagogues are people like Jackson and Sharpton who are accorded access to the mainstream media and have a huge following both in the US and here. They have always denounced Jews as exploiters of poor blacks overcharging in their shops and renting out unfit properties to black people.

    The real answer can be found in the different social organisations of different immigrant groups in this country and America. American and UK blacks arrived because of slavery, in the case of the former directly to America and the latter immigration to this country from the West Indians who were enslaved and transported to the former British West Indian colonies.

    All other immigrant groups were escaping from something and were also the most resourceful in their communities. They brought with them various forms of social organisation that enabled them to thrive, particularly when it came to getting capital to start businesses. Jews are of course the best examples of this but in his ” The Mystery of Capital” the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto gives examples of other groups that have performed equally well citing Koreans in the US as one example.

    Asians in Africa were originally brought in as indentured labourers by the British but still had access to capital in the parts of India that they came from most notably Gujrat and the Punjab. If someone saw a business opportunity in East Africa it was quite easy to raise the capital from extended family groups who would lend and from banks at home which would take land in India as security. The most notable factor of this kind of arrangement was however the word of a member of an extended family to repay loans.

    Africans simply didn’t have this kind of social organisation either in Africa, the USA or the UK. In Africa of course the Asians simply had their property stolen by African dictators who then squandered the capital. In the USA and UK their diligence and hard work have propelled them not simply ahead of people of African descent but also of substantial proportions of the indigenous white population.

    A case in point is the examples of African Caribbean media in this country compared with just one group originating in South East Asia. As far as I know there is one weekly newspaper for the former group The Voice the other, New Nation, having gone bankrupt. The Bangladeshi community alone supports fifteen weekly newspapers several monthly journals and three TV stations in the UK and they have only grown in significant numbers in the last thirty years.

    While there is anti-semitism in Muslim communities in this country it is almost entirely to do with the situation vis a vis the Palestinians and Israel and not the kind that exists in say the long standing hatred and conspiracy theories of Europe. It is the latter that Dieudonne draws on and it is a tradition that is deeply rooted in many European societies.

    An unfortunate fact of life is that people of African origin in the US and here are failing for a whole series of reasons. Asians and even recent immigrants from Africa as well as from Eastern Europe bring with them strong family and social values and the networks that help them get on. Despite the length of time that blacks have been in the USA and the UK they have never developed these networks and readily grasp at any demagogue that is prepared to tell them that the failure is the fault of someone else, in the current case the Jews. There is even a school of pseudo science in America which has “identified” post traumatic slavery disorder which explains, it seems, high rates of failure among young black men!

    What has been encouraging in this latest case is the speed with which it has been condemned by all and sundry and it will be interesting to see what the liberal left and Comment is Free in the Guardian make of the whole thing. I rather think they will shy away as will the far left.

    That’s all for now as tea calls. I can’t wait to see what these revelations about Richard Seymour can be. I googled him and it seems he is quite a nasty person. In terms of his Ulster heritage remember Ian Paisley was always very dodgy when it came to Jews.

    themadmullahofbricklane

    December 31, 2013 at 6:34 pm

  8. It would be naïve to believe that because someone has been oppressed they would be sympathetic to other victims. I can’t believe that anyone can be a Doctor of Sociology or Politics and have such a jejune view!!!! As for Blacks and anti-Semitism, don’t ask President Obama about that. He managed to sit in Joseph Wright’s church in Chicago for twenty years listening to sermons, never realising that they were anti-Semitic. There are all sorts of beliefs circulating among American blacks but at the end of the day they come back to straightforward, good oldfashioned Nazism. Why does anyone accept Nazism? They have a shit life and they think the Jews are doing better than them.

    Sue r

    December 31, 2013 at 11:27 pm

  9. This Counterpunch article looks to be in the tradition of Israel Shamir:-

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/01/the-bete-noire-of-the-french-establishment/

    “Dieudonné’s fans, judging from photographs, appear to be predominantly young men, fewer women, mostly between the ages of twenty and thirty. They were born two full generations after the end of World War II. They have spent their lives hearing about the Shoah. Over 300 Paris schools bear a plaque commemorating the tragic fate of Jewish children deported to Nazi concentration camps. What can be the effect of all this? For many who were born long after these terrible events, it seems that everyone is supposed to feel guilty – if not for what they didn’t do, for what they supposedly might do if they had a chance.

    When Dieudonné transformed an old semi-racist “tropical” song, Chaud Cacao, into Shoah Ananas, the tune is taken up en masse by Dieudonné fans. I venture to think that they are not making fun of the real Shoah, but rather of the constant reminders of events that are supposed to make them feel guilty, insignificant and powerless. Much of this generation is sick of hearing about the period 1933-1945, while their own future is dim.”

    What do you think of it, Coatesy?

    Rosie

    January 2, 2014 at 9:26 pm

  10. [Wordpress is making my life difficult.]
    This Counterpunch article looks to be in the tradition of Israel Shamir:-

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/01/the-bete-noire-of-the-french-establishment/

    “Dieudonné’s fans, judging from photographs, appear to be predominantly young men, fewer women, mostly between the ages of twenty and thirty. They were born two full generations after the end of World War II. They have spent their lives hearing about the Shoah. Over 300 Paris schools bear a plaque commemorating the tragic fate of Jewish children deported to Nazi concentration camps. What can be the effect of all this? For many who were born long after these terrible events, it seems that everyone is supposed to feel guilty – if not for what they didn’t do, for what they supposedly might do if they had a chance.

    When Dieudonné transformed an old semi-racist “tropical” song, Chaud Cacao, into Shoah Ananas, the tune is taken up en masse by Dieudonné fans. I venture to think that they are not making fun of the real Shoah, but rather of the constant reminders of events that are supposed to make them feel guilty, insignificant and powerless. Much of this generation is sick of hearing about the period 1933-1945, while their own future is dim.”

    What do you think of it, Coatesy?

    Rosie

    January 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm

  11. It is something so close to me I feel it’s hard to comment.

    The racist filth of Counterpunch got an immediate response: http://blogs.mediapart.fr/blog/yann-kindo/020114/come-counterpunch-tell-facts-dieudonne-antisemitic

    Andrew Coates

    January 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm


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