A Jewish human rights group is asking San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker to issue an apology for making the “quenelle” gesture -- a controversial signal known as “the Nazi salute in reverse” -- in a photo he took with French comedian Dieudonné.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center said that Parker’s use of the gesture is “disgusting and dangerous” and that he is responsible for “mainstreaming anti-Semitic hate.”
“As a leading sports figure on both sides of the Atlantic, Parker has a special moral obligation to disassociate himself from a gesture that the government of France has identified as anti-Semitic,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper.
Dieudonné, who is known for his anti-Semitic comedy, created the quenelle gesture.
“It’s the Nazi salute in reverse,” said Roger Cukierman, the head of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations. “Very clearly, Mr Dieudonné is developing a nearly professional anti-Semitism under the cover of telling jokes.”
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said that his administration is hoping to find a legal way to prevent Dieudonné from performing.
“Dieudonné M’bala M’bala doesn’t seem to recognize any limits any more,” Valls said. “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.”
Parker and the Spurs have yet to comment on the matter.