Dieudonne fans bring down French JDL website, two others

Supporters of anti-Semitic comedian whose new show was banned in France hijack pro-Israel websites.

January 10, 2014 22:32
2 minute read.
Screenshot of the  French Jewish Defense League hacked by fans of anti-Semitic French comedian.

Screenshot of the French Jewish Defense League hacked by fans of anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne. . (photo credit: JTA)


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Supporters of the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala hijacked three French pro-Israel websites in a coordinated cyber attack.

The attack Thursday paralyzed the websites Israel-Flash.com, Europe-Israel.org and liguedefensejuive.com, the website of the French Jewish Defense League, and replaced their content with messages of support for Dieudonne, Le Nouvel Observateur reported.

On the hijacked websites, the hackers called the attack a “triple quenelle” — a reference to a gesture invented by Dieudonne, which French Interior Minister Manuel Valls last week termed “an inverted Nazi salute, an anti-Semitic gesture of hate.”  The gesture involves placing one’s outstretched left palm on one’s right shoulder while pointing downward with one’s right arm.

On the website of the far-right JDL, the hackers posted a caricature of the league’s logo, featuring the silhouette of a ballet dancer framed by the Star of David of the original logo.

“Dear Zionist enemies, some of you (all?) interpret the quenelle to a be secretly anti-Semitic. This is a mistake,” the text posted on the JDL’s website read. “I realize you don’t like Dieudonne but unfortunately, you don’t understand the material. This can be fixed.”

The hackers also posted videos claiming the quenelle is an anti-establishment expression.

On Monday, Le Monde reported that French police are looking to question a man who posted a photo of himself performing the quenelle in front of a synagogue in Bordeaux, one of dozens of such photos that have surfaced in French media in recent weeks.

Dieudonne, 46, has been repeatedly fined for "hate speech" and local authorities in several towns across France have barred his shows on the grounds of risk to public order.

On Thursday, a French court banned him from performing in Nantes in what was to be the debut of his new show, “The Wall.” His second performance in the city of Tours on Friday was also banned.

Lawyer Sanjay Mirabeau criticized France's highest court decision and said the comedian may try to seek a compromise to get around the ban, notably by changing its name or pledging to remove offensive sketch material.

"We're reaching the point of absurdity when we need to appeal to the Council of State, France's most prestigious judicial institution, to rule on what is funny or not," said Mirabeau following his hearing.

In addition to Nantes, Tours and seven other cities which have banned the show on a planned 28-city tour, authorities are seeking to stop Dieudonne performing the show at a Paris theatre, La Main d'Or, a sort of headquarters for him.

A court in the city of Orleans near Paris, where Dieudonne is due to perform on Saturday, will rule early in the day on whether to uphold a ban proposed by local authorities.

Originally active with anti-racist left-wing groups, Dieudonne began openly criticizing Jews and Israel in 2002 and ran in the European elections two years later with a pro-Palestinian party.

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