Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Friday that France is considering banning a comedian who has made a living repeatedly bashing the memory of Holocaust victims. Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been fined numerous times for hate speech. At one point, he even ran for a seat in Parliament under the banner of the "Anti-Zionist List", a party with far-right connections.
Valls admits to looking at legal ways to bring about an end to M'bala M'bala's behavior as a result of complaints from the Jewish community as well as a sense that the comedian has simply gone too far.
"Dieudonne M'bala M'bala doesn't seem to recognize any limits any more. From one comment to the next, as he has shown in several television shows, he attacks the memory of Holocaust victims in an obvious and unbearable way."
France is seeing an emigration of Jews to Israel and beyond as the country has seen a rise in Anti-Semitic violence. The fact is that many Jewish citizens no longer feel safe.
Meanwhile, M'bala M'bala has not been silent about the criticism aimed at him by members of the French Jewish community. He fired back at prominent Jewish figures, threatening a lawsuit over a claim that his gesture is anyway similar to the saluting of Adolf Hitler. His now infamous gesture is something he says stands for his anti-establishment and anti-Zionist views. He says that his physical expression is simply not Anti-Semitic.
Roger Cukierman, head of the CRIF umbrella group of Jewish organizations, is not convinced.
"It's the Nazi salute in reverse. Very clearly, Mr Dieudonne is developing a nearly professional anti-Semitism under the cover of telling jokes."
M'bala M'bala is openly critical of Jewish policies as they relate to Palestine. Despite originally participating in left-wing anti-racist politics, his opinions and performances have become increasingly negative towards Jews, leading to numerous fines.
If Interior Minister Manuel Valls has his way, he'll be bringing down the curtain on Dieudonne M'bala M'bala once and for all.
Image via Wikimedia Commons