The picture is so surreal and strange, I can't take my eyes off it. Rubbernecking. It is so dishonest. He is so dishonest. The Jewish quarter in Paris is like the Warsaw ghetto, WWII.
House searches produce pro-Palestinian, Salafi documentshere
New York Sun
Mr. Chirac, his prime minister and other politicians joined about 1,000 people for a memorial service yesterday night at a Paris synagogue.
“Today, I ask all French citizens to all stand up as one man and shout loud and clear, ‘Enough is enough,’” France’s grand rabbi, Joseph Sitruk, said at the service.
As home to Western Europe’s largest populations of Jews and Muslims, France saw a surge in anti-Semitic crime starting in 2000 after tensions flared between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East.
Since then, officials have walked a thin line, making forceful denunciations of anti-Semitism while taking care not to offend a Muslim community estimated at 5 million.
But the enmity between Palestinians and Israelis has fanned Islamic militancy in France and even spilled into classrooms. Some Muslim students, for instance, have refused to attend classes on the Holocaust. Many French Jews, in turn, were angry that the government let the ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat into France for medical care in 2004. Arafat died in a French military hospital.
Investigators say the gang allegedly involved in Halimi’s death was based in a housing project near Paris — an area like those where unrest erupted last fall and spread through neighborhoods that are home to many Muslims.
“The whole gang is guilty,” Halimi’s mother, Ruth, said in an interview yesterday with AP Television News. “He was a young Jew so he had to be killed.”
“Solutions must be found so this never happens again,” she added.
In an editorial, the newspaper Le Monde said the case is “a sort of looking glass onto the true state of our society.”
[...]some of the suspects in police custody said that they tortured Ilan with particular cruelty simply because he was Jewish.
No longer able to deny or play down the racial motive, the investigation is entering a new phase. One of the most troubling aspects of this affair is the probable involvement of relatives and neighbors, beyond the immediate circle of the gang, who were told about the Jewish hostage and dropped in to participate in the torture. Nidra Poller, Wall Street Journal hat tip Fausta
Ilan's uncle Rafi Halimi told reporters that the gang phoned the family on several occasions and made them listen to the recitation of verses from the Quran, while Ilan's tortured screams could be heard in the background. The family has publicly criticized the police for deliberately ignoring the explicit anti-Semitic motives, which were repeatedly expressed and should have dictated an entirely different approach to the case from the start. Police searches have now revealed the presence of Islamist literature in the home of at least one of the gang members.
The highest echelons of the French government are now preoccupied with the murder of Ilan Halimi. Paris is well aware that the case threatens France's international reputation, but far more than that is at stake. Once again, as in the suburban riots of 2005, the country is forced to come face to face with the criminalized, alienated and racist Muslim youth and their adult enablers in its midst.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin declared, in a long speech delivered at the annual dinner of the CRIF, that this heinous crime was anti-Semitic, and that anti-Semitism is not acceptable in France. He promised that the perpetrators would be captured and punished. Two French policemen were sent to the Ivory Coast with an international warrant to arrest Mr. Fofana who flew there on a one-way ticket on Feb. 15, the day that his photo appeared in Le Figaro. A delegation of the CRIF and members of the Halimi family on Tuesday met with Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.
The murder of Ilan Halimi invites comparison with the November 2003 killing of a Jewish disc jockey, Sébastien Selam. His Muslim neighbor, Adel, slit his throat, nearly decapitating him, and gouged out his eyes with a carving fork in his building's underground parking garage. Adel came upstairs with bloodied hands and told his mother, "I killed my Jew, I will go to paradise." In the two years before his murder, the Selam family was repeatedly harassed for being Jewish. The Selam case has not been opened by the magistrate. The murderer, who admits his guilt, was placed in a psychiatric hospital, and may be released soon.
The initial response to the kidnapping of Ilan Halimi suggested a comparably selective ignorance. But many things have changed in French society in the past two years. Then, faced with the new tide of anti-Semitism, the Jewish community was left alone with its distress and at times even accused of being justifiably targeted because of its support for Israel. Today the government has apparently decided that the barbarous hatred unleashed against one Jewish man is a threat to all of France.
In other Francostan news;
Americans Sue French Bank In Terror Case
American victims of 13 terror attacks that took place in Israel have filed suit against a French bank that was used to funnel money to Hamas. The suit alleges that over the course of three years during a period of mounting suicide bombings