French Jewish group sues comedian over anti-Semitism

Umbrella organization of French Jewish groups files lawsuit against controversial comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala.

Elad Benari ,

Dieudonne
Dieudonne
Reuters

The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (CRIF) announced on Tuesday that it had filed a lawsuit against controversial comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala for having posted an anti-Semitic video featuring Jewish politician Simone Veil and notorious Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, i24NEWS reports.

CRIF, an umbrella organization of other groups representing the interests of French Jews, demanded that "Justice must act once and for all" against Dieudonné after filing the lawsuit, adding that his “anti-Jewish public hatred and his Nazi sympathies must be [purged]."

Dieudonné came under fire from the organization after he posted a video where he constructs a mock conversation between Veil, a Holocaust survivor, and Faurisson.

Faurisson, a British-born French academic, gained notoriety for publishing numerous articles denying certain aspects of the Holocaust, including the existence of gas chambers in Nazi death camps and questioning the authenticity of The Diary of Anne Frank.

This is not the first time Dieudonné has attacked France's former justice minister, who died in 2017. Right after her death, the comedian called Veil an "uninspiring woman who had long lived in the realm of oblivion. As far as I was concerned, she was already deceased."

The comedian stirred up controversy several years ago when he invented the quenelle gesture, a reverse Nazi salute that has become extremely popular in anti-Semitic and extremist circles across the French-speaking world and worldwide.

He was widely accused of promoting anti-Semitism and already has a string of convictions in France for hate speech and other related offences, and saw his performances banned by French authorities due to their virulently anti-Semitic content. The comedian managed to have some of the bans overturned.

In 2015, a French court convicted Dieudonné of anti-Semitic comments and fined him $24,000.

Dieudonné was also barred from entering Canada in 2016, though he later performed in front of fans in Montreal via video link.

The controversial comedian was also sentenced to two months in jail in Belgium for incitement to hatred over anti-Semitic comments during a show in that country.



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