After Absence from Paris March, Obama Hosts Nazi-Saluting Frenchman at White House

Tony Parker performs the 'quenelle' with Dieudonne M'bala M'bala
• January 12, 2015 1:29 pm

President Barack Obama didn’t join world leaders in Paris on Sunday for a march honoring terror victims, but he is playing host at the White House on Monday to French basketball player Tony Parker, who was once pictured doing a Nazi salute with a notorious anti-Semite.

The president decided not to attend the "Unity March" in Paris, which drew 1.5 million people and more than 40 world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Obama remained in Washington, D.C., and on Monday is hosting Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs at the White House to honor them for their victory in the NBA championship.

Parker posed with Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a French man branded as an "anti-Semite and racist" by the French interior minister. They were both performing the "quenelle," a Nazi salute popularized by Dieudonne.

The "quenelle" is performed by many anti-Semites in France to avoid the country’s ban on the traditional Nazi salute.

Dieudonne is the director of a film called The Anti-Semite which features Holocaust deniers and mocks the Auschwitz concentration camp. It was produced by the Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Center.

Parker apologized for the photo, and said he did not know the meaning of the Nazi salute when it was taken.