Anelka’s “anti-Zionist” gesture

December 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm (anti-semitism, apologists and collaborators, comedy, fascism, France, Jim D, Racism, reactionay "anti-imperialism", sport)

Nicolas Anelka (R) alongside controversial French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala (L) Doing ‘la quenelle’: Nicolas Anelka (R) with his friend Dieudonne

Of course! Footballer Nicolas Anelka’s quenelle gesture (described by some as a “reverse Nazi salute”) isn’t antisemitic at all: it’s “anti-Zionist“! How stupid of all of us who assumed the worst, just because it’s the signature gesture of French comedian (and friend of Anelka’s), Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, whose hilarious anti-Zionist jokes about the holocaust have been misunderstood as somehow antisemitic.

By the way, if you don’t buy the line that la quenelle is “anti-Zionist” (as distinct from “antisemitic”), then the alternative explanation is that it’s “anti-establishment.” Either way, West Brom’s caretaker manager Keith Downing has stated that Anelka’s gersture “has nothing to do with what is being said. It is dedicated to a French comedian he knows very well. I think speculation can be stopped now, it is rubbish really. He is totally unaware of what the problems were or the speculation that has been thrown around, he is totally surprised by it.”

So let that be an end to the matter…

…unless you’re one of those humourless zealots determined to see racism everywhere, in which case you may want to let West Bromwich FC know what you think about Anelka’s gesture and Downing’s reaction.


  1. Anelka’s “anti-Zionist” gesture | OzHouse said,

    […] Dec 29 2013 by admin […]

  2. Yesterday Unhinged said,

    Generally anti-Zionism will be labelled as antisemitic. Happens every time.

    • Howard Fuller said,

      That’s because generally it tends to be.

      • Yesterday Unhinged said,

        Respectfully disagree. You can be against the Israeli government and their policies without being antisemitic. The two aren’t necessarily synonyms, though many treat them as such.

    • Lamia said,

      And generally antisemites like Dieudonne will be defended as ‘anti-zionists’. Happens every time.

      • Yesterday Unhinged said,

        I can’t argue with you there. It’s a heated issue, with both sides skewering the truth whenever it suits.

  3. Howard Fuller said,

    I did say “generally”.

    Of course its possible to oppose the Israeli Government and its’ policies without being anti-Semetic. I oppose the expansion of “settlements” into non Israeli territory and the relocation of the Bedouin for example.

    However I do find a lot of people in the “anti-Zionist” movement quite unsavoury, with a strong propensity to overlook anti-Semitism when it raises its ugly head, especially when it arises within the Muslim community.

    They may not be “synonyms” as you put it, but there is a strong overlap which is why I am always “on-guard” when I hear the term anti-Zionism.

    Sometimes it is sinister.

    And quite often these days.


  4. Jim Denham said,

    Whilst not all “anti-Zionists” are antisemitic, ALL antisemites call themselves “anti-Zionists.”

    • Babs said,

      Only the one’s you hear about in the media. There are a whole group of antisemites who couldn’t care less about the Israel-Pal conflict.

      • Jim Denham said,

        With respect, Babs, the point is not whether or not antisemites genuinely care about the Palestinians, but that they (these days) *invariably* use the issue and call themselves “anti-Zionist.” And for some on the left, that is sufficient to absolve anyone of the charge of being antisemitic.

      • Babs said,

        I think you’ll find a lot of white supremacists in Europe and North America believe Jews rule the world or at least the country they reside in. To them the Israel-Pal conflict doesn’t even feature on their radar screen, if anything they probably enjoy seeing them kill each or at the very least they support Zionism as they’ll have somewhere to expel Jews to.

      • Jim Denham said,

        These days, Babs, most anti-Semites of the neo-Nazi variety, profess sympathy with the Palestinians (eg David Duke). Hypocrisy, I’m sure, but the fact is that most of them claim to be pro-Palestinian.

  5. apache2 said,

    United states there ate Myriad of “conserative taalk shows that luv rockn roll ,play jazz and griton and can’t sit in front of a Micophone 2 min w/o displayin a level of racial Hatred that would shame the Confederacy !being Pro jewish and Anti Israel reminds me of those who quote Voltaire and I say Voltaire never seen Buchenwald james L sbm via washn dc

  6. Rosie said,

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

    “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.”

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