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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

French Government Can't Take a Joke, Either

The French authorities have arrested anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne for a joke that wouldn't have been out of place in Charlie Hebdo.
Tell me if you've heard this one before.

Tell me if you've heard this one before.

PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

You know how the photos of dignitaries, with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel leading an anti-terrorist march through the streets of Paris were a cynical fake, produced in a sealed-off alley, with security guards impersonating a crowd of demonstrators? Well, France's commitment to "liberte," the freedom of expression for which staffers at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo died, is just as phony.

Today, French police arrested the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala for "advocating terrorism." The charge, which carries a maximum seven-year prison sentence, is based on this (now removed) post on Dieudonne's Facebook page: