A Paris court has ordered the removal of sections of a YouTube video in which the comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala celebrates the quenelle.
The Paris Court of Grands Instances on Wednesday issued its ruling on the video, which has been widely condemned as anti-Semitic. The judge ruled that one of the passages violated French law against Holocaust denial and another was incitement to racial hatred.
The Union of Jewish Students of France, or UEJF, last month asked the court to order the removal of the video posted Dec. 31 by Dieudonne, who has been convicted seven times for inciting racial hatred against Jews. In the video, Dieudonne declares that 2014 will be “the year of the quenelle.”
The quenelle is the name invented for a gesture Dieudonne devised in which an arm is extended over the chest while pointing downward with the other arm. France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, said in December that the gesture was a “salute of anti-Semitic hatred.” Some practitioners of the salute say it is simply an anti-establishment gesture.
The comedian was given five days to remove the passages or face a penalty of nearly $700 per day that they are left online, according to the French news service AFP.
More than $3.5 million people had seen the video when the case was filed.