Mehdi Meklat, a young French Arab who has become a darling of the left for his championing of coexistence between different ethnic groups, has been exposed as having authored several antisemitic, homophobic and extremist tweets.
Meklat allegedly tweeted “Bring on Hitler to kill the Jews” during a French awards ceremony.
He also wrote of the “troubling” “beauty” of Mohammed Merah, the killer of several Jewish schoolchildren in Toulouse and said “I miss Bin Laden”. There were a myriad of tweets which could be considered offensive, with some sources suggesting he made “thousands”.
He has also made homophobic tweets, tweeting ““Long live the fags, long live AIDS under President Francois Hollande”.
Meklat said that he was merely trying to “an experiment to test the borders of provocation”, pointing to the fact that some, but not all, of the tweets were made under a pseudonym. However, calling for “Hitler to kill the Jews” goes beyond the provocation; indeed, it is a man calling for the genocide of Jews in a country in which Jews are already increasingly plagued with antisemitism.
Despite these worrying comments, he had also spoken about how antisemitism is often disguised as anti-Zionism. These contradictory statements demonstrate a reality which France must deal with of established immigrant Communities which have had difficult integrating into mainstream French society, often carrying with them antisemitic attitudes, as evidenced by the shocking amounts of antisemitism in France. Sadly, one of the great success stories of these communities, who had been hailed as a champion of coexistence, is clearly not immune to such attitudes despite the prominent role he has taken in trying to improve race relations in France.