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January 24, 2014

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 24, 2014 Christopher Lee/Getty Images French soccer star Nicolas Anelka performing the quenelle after scoring a goal at a match in London, Dec. 28, 2013. By Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA)--When West Brom- wich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka exposed British soccer fans to the vaguely Hitlerian salute now sweeping his na- tive France, Jewish groups were confident a strong re- sponse was coming. After all, Britain is con- sidered a leader in the fight against xenophobia in sports thanks to its suc- cessful education programs and the tough stance of its soccer institutions, courts and police. But their confidence has been shaken by the refusal of British soccer bosses to condemnAnelka for perform- ing the quenelle in a match against West Ham on Dec. 28. The quenelle, which many believe is designed to test the limits of laws banning explicit expressions of anti-Semitism, was invented by the French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who has multiple convictions against him for inciting racial hatred of Jews. Dieudonne says the quenelle is an anti-establish- ment gesture and denies that it is anti-Semitic. Anelka said much the same in a series of Twitter posts defending his actions, writing that he was neither a racist nor an anti- Semite and had performed the quenelle as "tribute to my comedian friend Dieudonne." But while French lead- EWISH NEWS SPECIAL CELEBRATION ISSUE ANUARY 31, 2014 Hundreds of different parties will be held in the Jewish community throughout the coming year. HERITAGE readers will be in need of a variety of products and services, including hotels, hair salons, clothing stores, jewelers, printers, florists, restaurants and many others. You can reach this exclusive buying market by placing your advertising message in the HERITAGE Special Celebration Issue. Don't let those weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other simchas pass you by. Make sure your business is included on our readers' shopping lists. Deadline: For More Information ' .all. 407-834-8787 ers were quick to condemn Anelka--France's minister for sports, Valerie Fourney- ron, called Anelka's gesture disgusting and anti-Semitic within hours of the match-- Britain's Football Associa- tion and its main partner in combating soccer racism have resisted calls to follow suit. The nonprofit Kick It Out, which partners with the FA in fighting racism, issued a statement on Dec. 28 saying only that itwas aware of the in- cident and offered its support to the Football Association in any investigation. Kick It Out spokesman Richard Bates declined to comment further, telling JTA that the matter is under investigation. A spokesman for the Football Association also declined to comment. "Not good enough," John Mann, the chair of the Inter- Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism at the European Parliament, tweeted last month. "You should be leading on chal- lenging this racism. Your statement is weak and puny." The rebuke was unusual for an eminent body like Kick It Out, which has 20 years of experience in combating racism and conducts training programs for similar groups around the world. Leaders of the Israeli version, Kick Rac- ism out of Israeli Football, were in England last year for five days of anti-hooliganism training with Kick It Out. Since Dieudonne intro- duced the quenelle last year, WASHINGTON (JTA)--Two top Obama administration officials urged Jewish groups not to back new Iran sanc- tions, calling them "danger- ous." The officials--from the White House national security team and the Treasury De- partment-spoke Wednesday with Jewish leaders in a call convened by the Conference of Presidents of MajorAmerican Jewish Organizations. JTA spoke with multiple partici- pants on the call. The officials outlined the terms of the interim six- month sanctions-for-nuclear rollback relief set to begin next week, saying it allows Iran no more than $7 billion of relief from the $100 billion that sanctions are costing the country. They also said the agreement increases inspec- tions and adds safeguards against any advancement in Iran's nuclear capability. A number of the Jew- ish participants pressed the government officials on why the Obama administration opposes new sanctions under consideration in Congress, noting that the sanctions would only go into effect should Iran renege. The officials said that even with the precaution, the leg- islation would be perceived by Iran and U.S. partners negotiating the deal as cre- ating new sanctions, which hundreds have posted online photographs of themselves performing the gesture, which consists of pointing toward the ground with a flat- tened hand while folding the other arm across the chest. Several photos showed peo - pie performing the quenelle near Jewish sites, includ- ing synagogues, Holocaust monuments and the school in Toulouse, France, where four Jews were murdered in 2012. On Jan. 9, the 70th an- niversary of the deporta- tion of hundreds of Jews from Bordeaux to Nazi death camps, more than a dozen people participated in a group quenelle outside the city's main synagogue. At least 10 other promi- nent French athletes have performed the quenelle in recent months. One was Alexy Bosetti, who performed the gesture for cameras and then said on Twitter he was only showing off his tattoo. Bosetti ended his tweet with an emoticon depicting awink. Despite complaints by Jewish groups, the quenelle appears to be immune from prosecution under French laws prohibiting the display of Nazi symbols. Such legal fuzziness is a Dieudonne trademark. He coined the word "shoananas"--a mash- up of the Hebrew word for Holocaust and the French word for pineapple--to sug- gest the Holocaust is a myth without breaking laws against genocide denial. Nevertheless, French of- ficials have taken a hard line against the quenelle in re- cent weeks. Interior Minister Manuel Vails said the gesture was an inverted Nazi salute and an expression of anti- Semitic hatred. He also urged cities to ban performances by Dieudonne, leading to the cancellation of the comedian's nationwide tour that was due to begin this month. "The quenelle may be a complicated legal matter, but it's a very clear moral issue," said Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's international affairs direc- tor. He called on the Football Association to condemn it, "and especially on Kick It Out, which are not a court of law." The European Jewish Con- gress called for Anelka's suspension as punishment and said the association's inaction is indicative of big- ger problem in European and British soccer. "Kick It Out's tame re- sponse puts into question its commitment to tackling anti-Semitism in football and, sadly, reflects a com- mon lack of reaction from the whole European football community," Raya Kalenova, the executive vice-president of the European Jewish Con- gress, told JTA. "Where is the apology from player or club? Where is the condemnation, ban or suspension from the Football Association, UEFA or FIFA? Kicking out racism and anti- Semitism requires a lot more than holding up banners." would violate the terms of the interim agreement and lead to the collapse of the in- ternational coalition that has drawn Iran to talks through existing sanctions. The offi- cials called the new sanctions "dangerous." A number of pro-Israel groups, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Commit- tee, are lobbying intensively for the new sanctions. The U.S. House of Representatives last year passed the sanctions with a veto-proof majority, and 59 senators have spon- sored the Senate version, shy of the 67 that would vitiate President Obama's promised veto. Backers of the new sanctions say they would strengthen the hand of the six world powers at the talks, including the United States. The officials walked back previous statements by Obama administration officials that called on supporters of sanc- tions to admit they would lead to war, saying that both sides are acting in good faith, but also urging those opposing the sanctions to defer to the judgment of negotiators. The officials said that enforcement of existing sanc- tions remains rigorous. They dismissed concerns raised by callers who noted visits to Tehran in recent weeks by Russian and other foreign officials, saying that such visits were routine and rarely led to actual business deals. The officials said the final status deal would not recognize an Iranian right to uranium enrichment, but that Iran likely would be allowed to continue enriching uranium at low levels. HANDYMAN SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning Electrical Plumbing Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960