Social commentary, Sport

Anelka’s gesture deserves more than just a 5 match ban – by Alan Bolchover

Anelka's quenelle saluteLet’s be absolutely clear: Nicolas Anelka’s “quenelle” gesture was an anti-semetic act.

The gesture is the equivalent of a Nazi salute and if you or I made it in our workplaces, we should be deservedly be fired.

La quenelle consists of pointing towards the ground with a flattened hand while folding the other arm across your chest.


Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala created it.  He is a French comedian/politician who claims it is a sign of being anti-establishment.  Yet Dieudonne has made no secret of his hatred of the Jewish people – his whole show is dedicated to it.  He is endorsed by Le Pen in France and is the godfather to one of his grandchildren.


It may have started out as a gesture of defiance but lately it’s turned into a game that is far more sinister: Find the most Jewish place you can and make the quenelle.

A pair of French soldiers making the gesture outside a bank in Paris is one example.

The memorial to the Shoah in Berlin also works.

At the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  Or Auschwitz – they are both popular spots.

Here is a link to show you how viral and popular it is:


Anelka knew exactly what he was doing and it is no surprise he did it in a game where the one of the owners of West Ham is Jewish. But despite of all the outcry and the evidence against him Anelka has refused to apologise. Even more incredibly, neither have his employers, West Bromwich Albion, even though Zoopla have withdrawn their shirt sponsorship because of the row.

The FA have now announced they finally will charge him and they are talking about a potential 5 game ban. Its not enough.

Anelka needs to know what he has done is unacceptable. In my view he should never be paid to play football again.

More important than Anelka is the Jewish community. Like all other minorities in this country,  they need to know that they are protected by our institutions and that mindless bigotry is never acceptable.

Alan Bolchover lives in East London with his wife and young son

Read more: The Quenelle is the Disgusting Anti-Semitic Fad That’s Sweeping France – Esquire

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