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May 25, 2014 6:35 pm

Israeli Jew-Baiting, Dieudonné Style

avatar by Paul Leslie

Opinion

Dieudonné M'bala M'bala—the anti-Semitic French comedian who invented the quenelle. Photo: Axis for Peace via Wikimedia Commons.

There is a tradition of pushing boundaries in the world of stand-up comedy that has developed in the “Anglo-sphere” – and quite a few of its performers see themselves and/or like to be seen as challenging the establishment with their “edgy” bad-taste humor. If many are quite selective about the powerful people and groups whom they choose to target, that does not prevent them from attempting to justify themselves by making grandiose declarations that they are exercising their free speech to satirize or lampoon the powerful.

The growing influence in certain intellectual, journalistic, and cultural circles exerted by even the most extreme detractors of Israel has contributed to a significant increase in anti-Jewish prejudice – either expressed openly or manifested in the guise of “anti-Zionism.” One consequence of this mounting anti-Israelism is that the kind of mockery and lampooning of Jews that would cause outrage if directed at other ethnic or religious groups has become respectable among those who would like to think of themselves as “progressive” or “liberal.”

Dieudonné, the French comedian, failed politician, anti-Jewish agitator, and frequent mocker of victims of the Shoah, has often taken advantage of the hypocrisy mentioned above. He has continued to exploit the anti-establishment and libertarian attitudes that have emerged in the milieu of stand-up comedy and among its supporters in order to bash Jews and the Jewish State of Israel.

When it is “Zionists” and Jewish supporters of Israel who the comedians and satirists choose to attack, there is good reason to see this as being motivated consciously or unconsciously by anti-Semitic feelings, as has been eloquently pointed out by Dave Rich of the CST blog and others.

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Campaigning to force Israel to “take back” all the surviving original Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants – thus putting an end to the world’s only Jewish majority state and making its remaining Jewish inhabitants a small and vulnerable minority – is simply wrong. The Israeli NGO, Zochrot, has as its stock in trade, called for the the de-legitimization of Israel, based upon the propagation of “Nakba-themed” false historical narratives. They suppress the historical context of the persistent Arab attempts to destroy Israel, while systematically vilifying Israel’s defense forces, allegedly guilty of massive war crimes, past and present.

A number of Zochrot’s officials seem to have gone into the comedy business, for they have produced a video – posted on YouTube on April 23, 2014 – “The Holocaust’s Visit to Yad Vashem” – filmed by Zochrot activist Moran Barir. In the film, Zochrot founder Eitan Bronstein plays a “Holocaust Bodyguard” and radical activist Natali Cohen Vaxberg is presented as visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. She takes on the persona of the “Holocaust,” and declares it to be “the best thing that ever happened” to the Jewish people.

Various “satirical” statements are made, including the following:

  1. “Thanks to me you have a country… Thanks to me and only me you have an army… There is no one more responsible for your success than whom?…than me.”
  2. “How could you have justified the 67′ (war) without me… the 48′ (war) without me?”
  3. â—¦”Who have you learned from to collect people according to their ethnic background and throw them into concentration camps?”
  4. “From now on there is no Jewish nation, finished, I deny you… you do not exist and you never existed”

(Read more commentary on the making of this “satirical” video at NGO-Monitor.)

It is a disgrace that supposedly friendly countries and supposedly respectable NGOs continue to fund, directly or indirectly, and/or support individuals and organizations that not only systematically falsify history, but are prepared to mock the victims of the Shoah and, implicitly at least, to exploit this most tragic period in Jewish history to promote eliminationist anti-Israelism.

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