This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Persona Non Grata on Steroids

"Admissibility to Canada is not a right but a privilege. Dieudonne forfeited this privilege with his numerous criminal convictions for hate speech, incitement to violence and glorification of terrorism."
"Border Services Canada agents made the right call yesterday in upholding the specific criteria required for entry into the country."

"In the context of a rise in violent and deadly anti-Semitism in Europe, professional anti-Semitic agitator Dieudonne is not welcome in Quebec or Canada tomorrow any more than he was today."
Rabbi Reuben Poupko, co-chair, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

"[Dieudonne is an] exceptional artist. We are a kind of United Nations. We welcome all forms of humour and all forms of creativity."
"We are definitely not a court, and we cannot allow ourselves as a festival to judge and convict. That is for the Canadian state or justice system."
"[However] we decided as a festival to not present [his show] any more [as a result of social conflicts]."
"It's a sad story because he's still considered one of the most skilled comedians of his generation. We remain convinced that freedom of speech is a core value in Canada."
Gilbert Rozon, founder, president, Just For Laughs comedy festival, Montreal
PIC: AFP/Getty
It's hard to justify laughing at mockery of the Holocaust, actually, coming from any source. It might not be too great a challenge to find amusement in the wry statements issued by a skilled comedian if one has never suffered the raw discrimination that Jews both personally and through group association have undergone through the course of their lives, let alone the 20th Century deadly savagery visited in European Jews by the Third Reich, determined to cleanse Europe of the presence of its Jews.

That high-priority issue of pursuing a "Final solution" to the presence of an ethnic, religious, cultural group of socially diverse people of all ages to achieve their destruction was no laughing matter when Nazi Germany pursued its agenda, and never has been since. Yet some find amusement in debasing history and humanity, while others find satisfaction in denying that any such event ever occurred, limitless evidence to the contrary.

This man who styles himself as a comedian for the people and who has amassed an enthusiastic following happy to laugh unrestrainedly at his Jew-baiting 'jokes', is an unrepentant anti-Semite who uses his fame and his stage to mock and disparage, slander and bait, and spread hatred of Jews. He has and continues to violate French hate speech laws; over 30 arrests testify to that along with his recalcitrance at abstaining, as demanded by the law.

But on the other hand, he claims himself to be oppressed by a country  run by Jewish "slave drivers" and speaks of his reality that "the big crooks of the planet are all Jews", complaining that "the Holocaust has become almost a dominant religion" in France. He makes common cause with and supports Holocaust deniers. His popular shows are now dominated by his expressions of hateful anti-Semitism, and they have not detracted from his reputation, but rather enhanced it among his followers.
"I am not an anti-Semite,” French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala says with a devilish grin near the start of his hit show at this city’s Théâtre de la Main d’Or. Then come the Jew jokes"
"In front of a packed house, he apes Alain Jakubowicz, a French Jewish leader who calls the humour of Dieudonné tantamount to hate speech. While the comedian skewers Jakubowicz, Stars of David glow on screen and, as the audience guffaws, a soundtrack plays evoking the trains to Nazi death camps. In various other skits, he belittles the Holocaust, then mocks it as a gross exaggeration."
Washington Post reporter
His most famous -- or infamous -- gesture personifying his agenda is the pose he popularized, the quenelle, consisting of laying the right hand on the left shoulder, extending the left arm at an angle with the hand flat out. This gesture is regarded as an inversion of the Nazi salute, a sly attempt to pretend innocence in that it cannot be equated with fascism, while it clearly can be, since it is meant to be.

 French authorities attempted to ban the gesture at a time when it was so wildly popular in the banlieus and throughout France that photographs were being posted of people, including soldiers, making the gesture outside of synagogues, at Holocaust memorials and even at the Toulouse Jewish school where in 2012 three children and their teacher were murdered by an Islamist jihadist returning from the conflict in Syria.

Canada routinely refuses admittance to the country for anyone known to have a criminal record. This man certainly qualifies, given his slate of arrests, as well as his constant propagation of hate messages. The French comedian had been slated to perform a number of shows in Montreal, when federal border officials turned him away at the airport in Montreal. But the organizers of the show
claim that they plan to honour their intent to entertain those who bought tickets to watch a Dieudonne performance.

The show promoter, Gino Ste-Marie, stated that with the use of technology ticket holders would see the comedian on a "virtual" stage. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre tweeted "someone who incites racial hatred and foments social tensions in Europe isn't welcome in Montreal". Virtually unwelcome as well, at risk of disappointing Canadian fans. Canada is not the only country to ban his entry; Britain did so in 2014. They too were not amused.

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