Dieudonne fined for saying Jewish journalist should have died in gas chambers

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala was fined $24,000 for saying that a Jewish journalist should have died “in the gas chambers.”

He was sentenced on Thursday in Paris for violating France’s laws banning hate speech, Reuters reported.

Radio France’s Patrick Cohen asked on air in 2013 whether the media should pay so much attention to Dieudonne. The comedian replied that the journalist should consider emigrating.

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“When I hear Patrick Cohen speaking, I say to myself, you see, the gas chambers … too bad,” said Dieudonne.

The fine comes a day after a Paris court gave Dieudonne a suspended two-month jail sentence for social media posts sympathizing with the Islamist gunman who killed four Jews at a Paris-area kosher supermarket on Jan. 9.

Dieudonne has been convicted seven times for inciting racial hatred against Jews. He has been charged almost 40 times under France’s hate-speech laws.

Some see Dieudonne as a symbol of France’s growing anti-Semitism problem because of his performances featuring anti-Semitic jokes and creation of the quenelle, a Nazi-like salute that French Prime Minister Manuel Vals has called a “gesture of hatred” and anti-Semitic.