In 2006, the French Jewish community was shocked by the brutal kidnapping and stretched-out murder of Ilan Halimi, a Jewish mobile phone salesman from Paris. The community’s anger and confusion were intensified by the French police’s inability to acknowledge that Halimi was the fatal victim of a hate crime, motivated by anti-Semitism. The kidnappers-turned-murderers assumed that Halimi would be a good ransom target because all Jews are rich —so goes the anti-Semitic trope. It took years for the French courts to acknowledge the anti-Semitic character of the crime.
Now, 11 years later, the same thing is happening with a different Halimi (not a relative). This time it’s Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old physician who was brutally murdered in what is clear from all news reports was a religiously motivated attack.
Once again, the French judicial system is prevaricating, not including in the indictment any mention of a hate crime, even though the killer yelled “Allah hu akbar” before he beat Halimi and threw her out the window. As in the Ilan Halimi case, French media have remained largely silent on the anti-Semitic essence of the Sarah Halimi case.
French Jews — as represented through their governing body CRIF — are incensed. They should be. In 11 years, it seems that France has learned nothing. The primary victim of France’s malice? France itself.
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