What the Heck Is a 'Quenelle'?

It's a Bird, It's a Plane — It's Notorious Anti-Semitic Gesture

twitter

By Allison Kaplan Sommer

Published January 01, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

According to an expert interviewed in the French newspaper Liberation and cited widely, Jean-Yves Camus, the quenelle salute has become the focus of a “broad movement that is anti-system and prone to conspiracy theories, but which has anti-Semitism as its backbone”with a “conviction is that there is a world order dominated by Washington and Tel Aviv,” he said. “Behind speeches that are critical of NATO and global finance, and supportive of [Syrian President] Bashar Assad and [late Venezuelan president] Hugo Chavez, there is the underlying conviction that it is the Jews who are pulling all the strings.

Presumably, the sense that they are rebelling against some grand conspiracy against the evil Zionist world order - that they are ‘sticking it to the man’ is what puts that mischievous little twinkle in the eyes of those making the “upside-down” Nazi salute in selfies online.

After turning Europe upside down, the quenelle controversy rapidly spread to the U.S., when basketball star Tony Parker, who has been accused of making the gesture and thus “mainstreaming anti-Semitic hate.” He has since apologized.

Even the President of the United States has gotten dragged into the mess. In an effort to minimize the gesture, Anelka also tweeted a picture of President Obama making a similar gesture (which turned out to be baseless with proof that Obama’s action was instead a move associated with a hip-hop song by Jay-Z.)

The more we learn about Dieudonne, the comedian who started it all increasingly sounds like a really fun guy. Even as the quenelle-on-the-soccer-field swirled across the globe, he was getting into yet more hot water, with news breaking that he may be tried for racial incitement for the eighth time with the opening of a criminal investigation regarding possible suspicion of incitement to racial hatred after he made a remark hinting it was a shame that a Jewish journalist doing a story on him didn’t end up in a gas chamber.

If that’s not bad enough, it looks like Dieudonne is hoping to make a profit off all this publicity. The TV station France 24 tells us that he has “been working on launching a range of quenelle-related merchandise and in October 2013 his wife registered the quenelle as a trademark with the French National Industrial Property Institute.”

T-shirts? Coffee mugs? Whether or not racism turns a profit, it seems that in the near future, nobody will have to Google the word anymore.

For more stories, go to Haaretz.com or to subscribe to Haaretz, click here and use the following promotional code for Forward readers: FWD13.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.