Fury at French comic 'Heil Israel' jibe

4th December 2003, Comments 0 comments

Fury at French comic 'Heil Israel' jibe

Fury at French comic 'Heil Israel' jibe

PARIS, Dec 4 (AFP) - A French comedian who appeared on television dressed as an Orthodox Jew and made the Hitler salute shouting "Heil Israel" has demanded an apology from the programme-makers after they described his performance as offensive.

Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala - universally known as just Dieudonne - called a press conference Wednesday night to answer accusations that his appearance on Monday's edition of "You can't please everyone" on state-owned France 3 television was anti-Semitic.

"Everyone is so touchy about this issue, but I claim the right to take on sensitive subjects," he said, threatening to sue France 3 unless it withdrew the charge of anti-Semitism which he said was levelled against him.

"The ones who are really suffering from racism are not the Jews, but blacks and Arabs. It is easier to make fun of Muslim fundamentalism than Israeli fundamentalism," he said.

Earlier the presenter of the show Marc-Olivier Fogiel as well as the board of France 3 issued statements declaring themselves "shocked and scandalised" by Dieudonne's performance, without directly accusing him of anti-Semitism.Fogiel said the comedian's remarks - which went out live - had taken them by surprise.

"We were trapped. We are culpable for being over-trusting. Today we feel betrayed and insulted by his words," he said.

The 37-year-old son of a French mother and a Cameroonian father, Deidonne has made himself a name for his often controversial humour. Last year an appeal court acquitted him of slander after he described white Catholics as racist slavers.

A presidential candidate in last year's elections, he described Osama Bin Laden as the "most important personality in contemporary history."

"He has succeeded in changing tha balance of power and the method of fighting. He is alone against the biggest power in the world. Inevitably that inspires respect," he said.


                                                                Subject: French news

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