Shalom Life | October 31, 2014

Modern 'Hitler' Salute Spreading Across Europe

A neo-Nazi symbol has been gaining momentum with European anti-Semites, posting pictures while making the salute in sensitive areas, including in Israel, and beside unsuspecting IDF soldiers and orthodox Jews

By: Kobi Nachshoni

Published: December 12th, 2013 in News » World

Modern 'Hitler' Salute Spreading Across Europe

The right hand and its fingers are stretched downwards along the body, while the left hand performs a "salute" movement on the opposite arm. Sound like an aerobic exercise for beginners? According to anti-Semitism researchers, it is actually a clear anti-Semitic symbol, a modern Nazi salute, spreading among Jew haters across Europe.


In recent months, the researchers warn, anti-Semites have been taking advantage of the lack of public awareness of the new "salute" and taking pictures of themselves performing the salute in particularly symbolic and sensitive places around the world like the Treblinka extermination camp, the Western Wall plaza and next to IDF soldiers, as well as alongside Jews who are unaware of the "trick." They then post the photos on the Internet.

The phenomenon was revealed in a conference held earlier this week in New York by the World Zionist Organization's Department for Countering Anti-Semitism, in the presence of senior officials involved in researching and countering anti-Semitism in Israel and the United States.


'It's reaching Israel and must be stopped'

In order to expose the public to the new movement, which many have encountered but were unaware of its meaning, the conference organizers presented pictures and videos of neo-Nazis documenting themselves performing it in different places around the world.

As part of a more concrete effort, the Defense Ministry has been asked to warn IDF soldiers against the phenomenon in a bid to prevent them from unknowingly participating in further embarrassing photographs.

Neo-Nazi gesture in Auschwitz
Neo-Nazi gesture in Auschwitz

The new salute, based on a reverse Nazi symbol, was created by a French comedian called Dieudonné, who is known for his anti-Semitic acts and statements and has even been convicted by courts in France several times in the past. The physical gesture, which he dubbed "quenelle," has spread in the country, but the government has yet to define it as illegal.

Under a sign reading 'Jew'
Under a sign reading 'Jew'

Different sources have been arguing whether it is seen as anti-Semitic gesture in all cases. There are those who say that some of those photographed doing the "quenelle" gesture are doing it for "anti-establishment" motives which are not necessarily anti-Semitic. Among anti-Semites, however, as the WZO indicates, it is a common anti-Semitic gesture, and media outlets have even been apologizing for mistakenly exposing it.

Neo-Nazis do 'quenelle'

Yaakov Haguel, head of the WZO's Department for Countering Anti-Semitism and the conference's organizer, told Ynet that the department's Red Email received initial pictures of the new salute several months ago, but "we didn't understand what it was about."

They later realized the meaning of the gesture and were then exposed to cases in which neo-Nazis performed it in Jewish holy sites in Israel and around the world.

Sources fighting phenomenon say this is its origin
Sources fighting phenomenon say this is its origin

"It's gaining more and more momentum, spreading on the Internet and social networks and turning into a clear Nazi symbol, and it doesn't appear to be a passing phenomenon," says Haguel. "It's spreading to Israel too these days, and we must acknowledge that and stop it."

Eitan Behar, director of the Center for Diaspora Communications and Countering Anti-Semitism at the WZO, told Ynet that the phenomenon he defined as "extremely troubling was gaining momentum in recent weeks.

"Saluting with raised hands is banned in the European Union, and people even get arrested for it, so the neo-Nazi activists perform the same gesture in a different angle," he noted.

Popular Facebook page

A special Facebook page is updated very frequently, particularly with photos from around the world documenting the new salute in places with religious and national significance to Jews. It has accumulated tens of thousands of regular followers, and almost 100% of them are active – through "likes," shares and comments. A special website has also been launched for the same purpose.

Continue reading on Page 2

This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates TrendingEverybody Wants to Know Which U.S. Official Called Netanyahu A "Chickenshit" Everybody Wants to Know Which U.S. Official Called Netanyahu A "Chickenshit" TrendingIsrael's Latest Campaign Is A 7-Part Japanese Anime Series [VIDEO] Israel's Latest Campaign Is A 7-Part Japanese Anime Series [VIDEO] Trending
 

Lena Dunham and Celebrity BFF’s Raise Awareness For Planned Parenthood

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lena Dunham and Celebrity BFF’s Raise Awareness For Planned Parenthood

The 'Girls' creator has designed a shirt for the women's rights organization

Read More

Seth Rogen Will Play Steve Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Bio Pic

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen Will Play Steve Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Bio Pic

Rogen is in negotiations to star as the Apple co-founder alongside Christian Bale

Read More

A New Pee-Wee Herman Movie Has Been Confirmed

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
A New Pee-Wee Herman Movie Has Been Confirmed

Paul Reubens told Jimmy Fallon that Judd Apatow will be producing the reboot

Read More

Breakthrough Jew - Joshua Meier

October 30, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Breakthrough Jew - Joshua Meier

18-year-old Meier won the Best in Category Award in cellular and molecular biology at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his work in harnessing the aging process to treat diseases.

Read More

Startup Club: Cat2See

October 30, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Startup Club: Cat2See

The Israeli company has created an app that lets you play with your cats, monitor them, and even feed them when you're not home

Read More

Why the Mastermind Behind Leon Klinghoffer’s Murder Went Free

October 30, 2014 | By Stephen M. Flatow, JNS.org
Why the Mastermind Behind Leon Klinghoffer’s Murder Went Free

Amid the ongoing controversy over the Metropolitan Opera's performance of "The Death of Klinghoffer," little has been said about the Palestinian leader who masterminded the attack in which Klinghoffer was murdered

Read More

This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates

October 30, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates

The Holy Land's only female prison debuted what and what not to wear while incarcerated

Read More

Haaretz Publish Cartoon Depicting Netanyahu as Pilot Behind 9/11 Attacks

October 30, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Haaretz Publish Cartoon Depicting Netanyahu as Pilot Behind 9/11 Attacks

Twitter responds, naturally, with outrage

Read More

More Headlines