By Dave Fryett
01 March, 2005
all the attention payed to President Bush's photo-op in Europe it is
not surprising that a fracas caused by a mulatto comic and film director
in France was pushed from the front pages of that nation's newspapers
and escaped the attention of the world's non-Francophone press. Usually
when one is accused of anti-Semitism and/or Holocaust denial, the Western
media cue for the privilege of casting their finest, self-ennobling
aspersions at the supposed villain. And, indeed, the self-appointed
guardians of rectitude did issue a mitzvah for the offender's blood
amidst a torrent of death threats directed at the recalcitrant comic.
It was at this point that George Bush arrived and drove the affair from
the media spotlight. Or did he? Or was it something else that drew the
curtain down on this dispute and removed it from the public's gaze?
On a recent trip to Algiers to promote his newly released film, Pardon
Judas, Mbala Mbala, better known to his fans as Dieudonne (Godgiven,
a fairly common French surname), made several provocative remarks about
Jews, Zionism, and the French government to the Francophone newspaper
l'Expression. It was not the first time he had made inflammatory comments.
He had been brought to trial before on the charge of incitement to hatred
because of a television sketch he performed. In it he dressed as a rabbi
and gave a Nazi salute and said "Israheil." Despite media
pressure for a guilty verdict, the court found Dieudo not guilty saying
that his criticism was directed at a state and not a people and as such
it was protected as free speech. The Zionist lobby denounced the finding
and bemoaned the growth of anti-Semitism in France which had, they insisted,
even begun to infect the courts.
Encouraged by the victory, Dieudo briefly made a run for the President's
office in 2002. He called himself a Utopianist and announced that if
elected he was going to appoint artists to important offices because
they have an honesty which is lacking in politicians. The campaign was
not taken seriously and quickly morphed into performance art. Dieudo
quietly returned to acting and directing and ceased, or so it seemed,
to be a provocateur culturel. However, the confrontational nature of
his videotaped remarks (linked below) brought him squarely to the forefront
In the l'Expression
interview and in other fora, Dieudo complains that Blacks do not have
the same rights as Jews. The latter have monopolized suffering to such
a degree that when one protests "the whole world rises up"
in opposition. He says that France is tired of Jewish suffering and
tired of Zionism. Dieudonne compared the holocaust to the four-century-long
colonial period and asked which is worse. He laments that Jews, as he
sees it, are denied nothing as France feels a collective guilt and sympathy
for the holocaust but lacks a the similar attitude for former colonials.
Jews, he told the Arabic paper Djazair News, occupy all the strategic
offices in the national government and thus control the national agenda.
And because of this they have a kind of impunity to say what they want
and characterize all criticism as anti-Semitic. He added that the poverty
and political impotence of Arabs and Blacks in France was due to the
machinations of Jewish power all with an eye to keeping the French government
pro-Israel where the majority of the population is pro-Palestinian.
The captious director
was not finished: He referred to President Chirac's right-hand man and
Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, as an "ass-licker" of
the French Zionist community. He described the CRIF (Jewish Council
of France) as a "crooked gang, a kind of mafia" that is going
to be the ruin of the French Republic. And in a tour de force, Dieudonne
likened Zionism to a disease and called it the AIDS of Judaism and labelled
the recent commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz as "pornography
immemorial," decrying the use of the dead as political propaganda
for Israel/Zionism and even more repulsively for profit.
The reaction was instantaneous and furious . The CRIF called him an
anti-Semite. Le Monde was uncharacteristically savage with him in an
editorial. There are calls for a boycott of all of Dieudonne's films.
Even the Left failed to rally to his cause but by far the worst consequence,
assuming he is not mudered, is that he may be imprisoned.
In France, like
Canada, Germany, and elsewhere, it is illegal to question the veracity
of the Holocaust or to disparage its victims or their advocates. The
official story of the treatment of camp internees during World War Two
as determined by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg is
thus not merely an opinion but an article of law. Gainsaying it is a
crime. And according to Francois Hollande, socialist and disciple of
French populist Max Gallo, Dieudonne has done just that. Jewish leaders
and others are pressing for charges to be filed yet again.
In response, Dieudonne's attorney has said that if such charges are
brought centering around the comments made about the ceremony at Auschwitz,
then there would have to be a general investigation of what really happened
there in light of all the new information which has surfaced since the
end of the Soviet era, much of which contradicts the canonical Nuremberg
There is more here than meets the eye. The attorney was expected either
to say that Dieudonne didn't say the things attributed to him, and he
was originally quoted by some French media as saying that remembering
the suffering at Auschwitz was pornography, not profiteering from it.
Several newspapers printed corrections.
Or he was expected
to remind people that his client was in Algiers where no "holocaust
denial" laws exist, even if what he had said could be construed
to be in violation of the French law. Instead, dieudonne's counsel went
on the offensive calling for a reopening of the history of that camp.
This is precisely what the Zionist lobby does not want.
After Poland gained
independence from Russia it did its own investigation and reduced the
number who died at Auschwitz by more than half, from 2,750,000 to 1,300,000.
Zionists worldwide objected obstreperously while the Polish authorities
changed the plaques around the camp to reflect the new numbers. The
Poles, and others, also tested the bath houses where millions were reportedly
gassed and found none of the chemical byproducts of hydrogen cyanide,
the active ingredient in Zyklon B. The tour guides were then told to
tell visitors to the camp that the building they had been telling people
for decades was an actual gas chamber is only a "simulation."
The Wiesenthal center was furious and threatened legal action.
And this is just
the tip of the iceberg. There are many facts which have come to light
which cast much of what we have been told about the war and the camps
in a different light. What the truth is will not be known for some time
but it is clear that the number of victims claimed, particularly with
respect to Jews and Russians, is exponentially high. And it is upon
those numbers that reperations were demanded and received after the
Nuremberg trials. (According to the French Holocaust law, the Polish
government committed a "crime against humanity" when it revised
the total number of fatalities.)
position taken by Dieudonne and his attorney has led some to speculate
that the inflammatory quotes were a ruse to provoke the CRIF into calling
for a trial. If so, it worked. The bluff has now been called.
If you wonder how disputing an interpretation of a historical event
can be considered a crime you are not alone. Can never happen here in
the Good Ol' US of A, you say? In 1996, Congress passed the Communications
Decency Act. Its putative purpose was to regulate the internet and keep
it free from "obscenity." This legislation was welcomed by
the Israeli lobby, who pushed it through Congress with all the tender
loving care with which one pushes a baby in a stroller. The act proscribed
"obscene," "offensive" and "harassing"
language or images. And of course, holocaust denial is de facto "offensive"
and "harassing" to Jews. Fortunately, an appeals court in
Philadelphia ruled the law unconstitutional and our right of free speech
(what is left of it) was rescued from the ravages of the reactionary
After WW2, for
the first time in the history of warfare, the losing belligerent was
made to pay reperations not only to the governments of the victors but
to individual victims as well. This precipitated a worldwide rugby scrum
for reperations cash with the vast majority of this money being paid
to survivors of the Holocaust, and the vast majority of them have been
Jews. Additionally, as historian Norman Finkelstein has fastidiously
detailed, the Holocaust is a lucrative business. A business whose proceeds
flow to the state of Israel. Literally billions of dollars are at stake.
It would be catastrophic for Israel if it were determined that reperations
were overpaid and the story of the Holocaust were demonstrated to be,
at least in some particulars, inaccurate. Hence the attempt to criminalize
revisionism and stifle debate. And the effort to criminalize Holocaust
revisionism can only escalate as some undesirable events have already
transpired. A recent PBS documentary on the subject called "Auschwitz;
Inside the Nazi State" used the revisionist numbers of the Polish
Government. Without acknowledging it, this documentary rejected the
canonical Holocaust story, the one Holocaust websites and memorials
continue to tell, and the Nuremberg findings. An investigation into
Holocaust fraud is precisely what the Zionist lobby wants to prevent.
Keep the genie in the bottle at all costs.
It is precisely
this effort that Dieudonne undermined. The problem for the French Zionists
is that Dieudo has already beaten them in court and in order for them
to justify another trial the charge would have to be the breaking of
the Holocaust Law, a "crime against humanity." Here too, they
encounter some obstacles. The statement of Auschwitz "pornography"
was made about the merchandizing of the Holocaust, a subject the Zionist
lobby would rather not discuss in open court. It was made abroad, in
Algiers, where there is no such law. And if the Zionist lobby plough
ahead the court might decide to allow evidence which contradicts the
canonical story, again an unacceptable consequence.
Has Dieudonne laid
a trap? Or were his derisions spontaneous and the resulting legal conundrum
for his adversaries just a deliciously serendipitous concomitant? You
be the judge.
Are Dieudo's accusations anti-Semitic? I must confess that I do not
care, my freedom is paramount! He has properly identified, or at least
brought into a public forum, a grave danger to all of us: the loss of
our liberty. If the Zionists succeed in making dissent illegal or "obscene"
on the subject of the Holocaust where will it end? If one exception
to the First Ammendment is codified into law, what will be next? The
Zionist lobby on its own may not be strong enough to push this legislation
through Congress and the courts, they may need the help of the Christian
Right and what conditions might the latter impose? Will religious dissent
become "offensive" as well?
Even if Dieudonne is guilty of ugly hyperbole, and he may very well
be, he, like Professor Norman Finkelstein and others, has done a thing
immensely brave. He has pointed out that there are those who want to
spin our civilization into retrograde motion. And we cannot let this
Merci citoyen Dieudonne! Vous etes vraiment dieudonne!
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