My hats off to the French police for capturing the gang targeting French Jews for kidnapping, torture, death. On the flip side, they have my utter contempt for their antisemitic unwillingness to identify it as a hate crime here.
Hundreds of SWAT officers raided apartments in Bagneux and arrested 12 people. Another suspect was arrested in Belgium.
"They acted with indescribable cruelty," the judiciary police chief leading the investigation said. "They kept him naked and tied up for weeks. They cut him and in the end poured flammable liquid on him and set him alight."
While the citizens of France were shocked by the unbridled violence of the gang, Halimi's family claims that the murder was motivated by anti-Semitism.
"We think there is anti-Semitism in this affair," Rafi Halimi, Ilan's uncle, told the press.
"First, because the killers tried to kidnap at least two other Jews, and second, because of what they said on the phone," Rafi Halimi added. "When we said we didn't have 500,000 euros to give them they told us to go to the synagogue and get it," Rafi said. "They also recited verses from the Koran."
But the Paris public prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin, told Parisian Jewish radio on Thursday that "no element of the current investigation could link this murder to an anti-Semitic declaration or action." The umbrella group of French Jewish secular organizations, CRIF, issued a statement Friday calling on the Jewish community "to keep calm, cautious and wait for developments in the investigation." Story here. Hat tip Tom P
The typical French antisemitic knee jerk denial will deliver the whole of France's into the desperate clutch of Le Pen. C'mon France, surprise us once, just once and do the right thing. What it is. A is A.
UPDATE: From European Jewish Press here;
More than Thousand Jews marched on Sunday in the streets of Paris, demanding justice for Ilan Halimi, the 23-year-old Jewish man who was abducted, tortured and killed near Paris by an organised and dangerous gang.
The spontaneous gathering failed to get support from any Jewish organization.
Where are the Jewish organizations? Didn't they learn anything from the Jewish Councils of Nazi Germany? DO NOT BACK DOWN NOW!
UPDATE February 22:
Anti-Semitic motive finally admitted in the kidnap-murder of Ilan Halimi, 23, in Paris
Prime minister Dominique de Villepin promised Tuesday that the truth of the crime will be uncovered.