An anonymous “anti-Fascist and pro-Israel” hacker has exposed the email addresses and identities of thousands of online supporters of the French comedian Dieudonné, known for his film, ‘The Anti-Semite,’ which was banned from the Cannes Film Festival last year, according to an online report and interview with the hacker by France’s Metro News on Tuesday.
Dieudonné’s Nazi-style “Quenelle” salute was condemned last week by the World Zionist Organization at a conference in New York, where photographs from around the world showed the symbol being shown in front of Jews and Jewish sites, confirming its anti-Semitic nature, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot reported.
The Quenelle is a Nazi-style salute created by Dieudonné, along with several new words, including “Shoannanas” – a combination of Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, and the French word for pineapple — that were designed to be as offensive as possible to Jews, without actually triggering tough French anti-hate speech laws.
Dieudonné’s Holocaust denial is well known in France, where he has been convicted of inciting hatred, but the Quenelle salute has now spread globally, with thousands of “selfie” portraits being taken by non-Jews making the salute in front of Jewish sites, including synagogues, former concentration camps, and even with unaware Jews on the street, including Chabad representatives on outreach or IDF soldiers on guard.
In what is being referred to as “DieudoLeaks” in France, on Tuesday, an anonymous hacker revealed the identities of 1,500 people, most of them French, who donated 60 euros to Dieudonné’s site, along with 4,900 email addresses of people registered for his newsletter.
“This is a political gesture, and even civic. I believe that the fight against fascism is a struggle that transcends divisions of left and right. This is not the first time that I have acted against them. I am absolutely not afraid, but I remain hidden for fun,” the hacker, who described himself as being in his 20s, told France’s Metro News.
In a separate interview, the hacker said, “I am a militant anti-fascist and a pro-Israel young man who fights the ideas of all Dieudonné group… Simply. I decided to hack Dieudonné‘s website because he is a racist, and he completely brainwashed hundreds of thousands of easily influenced people. Users of Dieudonne’s website are complicit with a fascist and, me attacking them, directly affects Dieudonné.”
When asked if his move to publish this list of Dieudonné supporters was akin to publishing blacklists of Jews, the hacker said, “Many make comparisons with lists of Jews. I would say that those lists of Jews were lists of innocents given to authorities, while I give a list of the guilty people.”
“On my website, there is a video that shows that most of the ‘Quenelles’ are made in front of synagogues, death camps, Jewish streets. It really connotes an anti-Semitic act,” the hacker said. “Given the way people practice it every time in front of synagogues and Jewish sites, we can see that it is clearly anti-Semitic.”
Yaakov Haguel, head of the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Countering Anti-Semitism which organized the New York conference, “The Countering Anti-Semitism and Delegitimization of Israel Conference,” said the salute has already caught on around the world.
“It’s gaining more and more momentum, spreading on the Internet and social networks and turning into a clear Nazi symbol, and it doesn’t appear to be a passing phenomenon,” Haguel told Yedioth Ahronot. “It’s spreading to Israel too these days, and we must acknowledge that and stop it.”
Addressing the conference, Haguel said, “The recent anti-Semitic incidents point to an alarming trend of hatred of Jews around the world and particularly in the U.S., which is considered by many the safest place for Jews. Unfortunately, we are witnessing dozens of anti-Semitic incidents on average within one week across the U.S.”
“It’s as simple as this: If we put our heads down – we’ll get hit in the head. I call on leaders of the Jewish communities in the U.S., of all streams, on heads of the Jewish student organizations in the U.S. and the world, to join forces with us in this important struggle. We have no other people, we have no other past, and we have a shared future. We must put an end to anti-Semitism.”
Dieudonné’s film, ‘The Anti-Semite,’ produced by the Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Center, makes fun of the Auschwitz concentration camp, where 1.1 million Jews were murdered during World War II, and depicts Dieudonné as a drunk and violent character, dressed as a Nazi officer at a party, the JTA reported.
At the time of the film’s release, Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said, “Anti-Semitism has no place at Cannes, and we welcome the clear statement to that effect from the organizers of the film festival. Dieudonné’s grotesque anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial may play well to audiences in Iran, but the French entertainment industry and society has clearly had enough,” according to the JTA.
Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, also on a panel at last week’s WZO conference, said, “The anti-Semites of the new era attack Israel incessantly. They are not shocked by the horrors in Syria and are not crying out, but when the State of Israel defends its citizens against merciless terrorists and missiles launched on schools, they cry out that it’s a ‘massacre.’ They are characterized by indifference, hypocrisy and racism. They must be renounced by every modern society.”